Former Dodgers infielder Miguel Rojas became current Dodgers infielder Miguel Rojas on Wednesday when L.A. acquired him from the Marlins for shortstop prospect Jacob Amaya. Within about two hours in the afternoon, the deal went from rumored to official.
Rojas was a Gold Glove finalist in 2022 and is an outstanding defensive shortstop, but Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that he’ll fill more of a utility infielder role for L.A.
Been told that Miguel Rojas will play 3B, SS and 2B for #Dodgers and won’t necessarily come in as starting SS once acquisition for #Marlins INF is completed. But Rojas was a Gold Glove finalist at SS and gives LA a solid option there if they want to keep Gavin Lux at 2B
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) January 12, 2023
Rojas has a history as a utility infielder; while shortstop has always been his primary position, he has played multiple positions in every season except 2021. His most famous play in the minds of Dodger fans, of course, came at third base when he saved Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter in 2014.
Rojas doesn’t have the bat to be an everyday player, unless L.A.’s hitting team can unlock whatever magic he found in the shortened 2020 season, when he posted a 138 OPS+ in 40 games. But as a utility infielder, he can provide value even if he hits like a 1980s shortstop.
Despite DiGiovanna’s report, though, it’s not a totally sure thing that will be his role. Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic thinks Rojas could slot in as the starting shortstop, moving Gavin Lux back to second and freeing up Chris Taylor to play wherever he’s needed.
Adding Rojas at the shortstop position allows the Dodgers to keep Lux at second base – where he put together his best big league performance as an everyday player last season – and frees Chris Taylor up to bounce between second base and the outfield, another area of need for the Dodgers.
We might get more clarity on L.A.’s plans for Rojas in the coming days, or they might let things play out in spring training and see where the chips fall. One thing is sure, though: Rojas gives them more options, and that’s not a bad thing.
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