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Dodgers Offseason: Andrew Friedman Suggests Prospect Jacob Amaya Could Replace Trea Turner

Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner hit free agency this week, one of the “Big Four” shortstops on the market along with Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson, and Xander Bogaerts. Los Angeles will be interested in signing one of those four stars, but they also have internal options.

Chris Taylor was L.A.’s primary shortstop in 2018 between when Corey Seager got injured early in late April and when the team traded for Manny Machado at the trade deadline. In 2021, Gavin Lux filled in as the primary shortstop while Seager was out with injury from mid-May to late July. But as Bill Plunkett reports in the Orange County Register, Andrew Friedman and Brandon Gomes think there’s one other internal option who hasn’t gotten as much notice: prospect Jacob Amaya.

Beyond the quartet of free agents, Friedman and Gomes indicated the team does “feel good” about Gavin Lux as an internal option to replace Turner at shortstop. Lux was a shortstop throughout his amateur career and for the first few years in the minors before the Dodgers moved him to second base with Seager at the major-league level. …

Additionally, the Dodgers could use Chris Taylor at shortstop and prospect Jacob Amaya “can certainly handle it defensively and his offense is developing.”

“There are a lot of options externally and we have good options internally,” Friedman said. “So we get to wade through that market and figure out what ultimately makes the most sense.”

In a way, it’s surprising we don’t talk more about Amaya. For one thing, he’s the only pure shortstop on the 40-man roster who’s played above A-ball, so it seems like he’d be close to the default option. It’s just that his offense would be a step back from Trea — Amaya posted a .795 OPS in Double-A and Triple-A in 2022, 14 points lower than Turner despite playing in a much better hitting environment.

But Amaya is a good reminder that the Dodgers don’t necessarily have to continue to pursue the “All-Star at every position” approach of the last couple years. Amaya is excellent defensively and could slot in very well at the bottom of the order, and he’s gotten better offensively as he’s matured in the minors. Getting on base is a specialty of Amaya’s, so plugging him in ahead of Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman could work out pretty well.

It might be just crazy enough to work.

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15 Comments

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  1. If Dodgers expect to win, they cannot carry Amaya just for his glove. If he can’t hit, he shouldn’t be considered just yet.

  2. Lets keep the manager that has not been able to coach our guys up unlike Lasorda who got the most out of his players and injected passion and excitement in the dugout! Lets try the same thing and expect a different result!

  3. Good field no hit shortstops are plentiful. We don’t need an automatic out at the bottom of the order.

  4. When was the last time the Dodgers produced their own shortstop that could hit? Anyone? Answer= Kory Seager, the guy that was always clutch. Dodgers wouldn’t pay him so he bolts, meanwhile Dodgers don’t have any clutch players when it counts. Now, the guy they supposedly replaced Seager with “Turner” , will bolt also because the Dodgers won’t pay him. Meanwhile down in San Diego, the Pads will get back Tatis to add to the already potent hitters that can hit when it counts. The Dodgers in the biggest market in America, with the most fan revenue will put a no hitting, unproven minor league player at short while allowing 2 Incredible baseball players to leave all because “they won’t pay them”. Keeping Dave roberts, then allowing their bread and butter to leave is typical Dodger moves that constantly hinder their own success. Other teams view Titles as success, Dodgers do as well, just not the biggest Titles. Division titles are good enough for the Dodgers.

  5. Learning on the job is not the route a championship level team would want to experiment with, especially at a critical position. He seems to be like another G. Lux with a developing bat, but have a better savvy on defense. I think DRS is very important in winning games and being athletic and hungry are good traits. Unless he’s the next Jeremy Peña, I would rather see the Dodgers go with a seasoned SS to lead an unknown infield roster. What’s wrong with a “All-Star at every position”? The SS position must be an All-Star…..he’s the captain of the infield (eg. Reese, Jeter, Ripken, Seager, T. Turner).

  6. Dodgers should not hesitate plug him in at SS. That’s the only way they’ll know. Go with the players they have available. That is the internal option to make it work!!!!!

    • To Lefty Ed and Alfredo, I’m not against the youth movement and I’m all for homegrown talent moving up if they’re major league ready. You cannot just throw them in the fire and hope for the best, especially the SS position. You can get away at other positions if you have the 5-tool talent and athletic enough to beat out the veterans. SS is a complex position that the player must be very cerebral to the game, especially with the new shift ban. Amaya has not shown any exciting numbers in the minors or ranked high enough to be ready as a everyday player for the Dodgers. Seems like he needs to develop his bat and show some exceptional numbers in the minors to be considered to move up. They’re going to need an experienced SS to stabilize the communication between a constant rotating infield lineup. However, they need a couple of high energy, athletic, and hungry players to improve this complacent attitude.

  7. I’m LOL at Pauldodgerfans comment. He says the dodger can’t carry Prospect Amaya for his glove only. Doesn’t that sound familiar. They’ve been carry Cody for two years for his glove. I’m all in on a youth movement.

    • Well exactly as far as Bellinger is concerned. They’ve been carrying him for last couple years. With that said, it might not be such a good idea to put Amaya full time at SS just yet. Carrying more than one all glove no hit player may not be ideal.

    • It may be ok during the regular season as we saw them carrying Bellinger for his glove and as long as team is competitive maybe a 2nd defense only player can be in lineup now and then. If Dodgers get into October, and what with the non existent offense being well chronicled, it might not be such an ok idea to have too many all glove no hit players in starting lineup at the same time.

  8. Friedman sounding like a used car salesman the last few interviews. Not the smug guy speaking to the little people who don’t understand at end of post season press conference.

  9. There are openings in left field, center field and short stop. If they acquired good bats for the outfield positions they could live with Amaya at ss.
    New outfielder LH good OBP
    Mookie rf
    Freeman
    New outfielder RH w power and average
    Smith
    Lux
    Dh-Turner
    Vargas/Muncy
    Amaya
    This lineup is better than last year, no Belli, no Taylor, no dependency on Muncy.

    • Problem is you’re still paying for Muncy, Turner, Ct3, and probably Cody too. You can go cut the grass or walk around the stadium for a while after #3 hitter bats until the top of the order comes back up. Andrew is in full retreat mode on salaries, you might not need to worry about playoffs. Padres May win the division this year, and Giants will be better.

  10. Outfield — Why doesn’t anyone consider Jason Martin from Oklahoma City? 32 home runs. OPS .938. Has played in MLB in the past. 27 years old. Likely to be more productive than Bellinger at 1/20 th of the price. And Outman. And Edwin Rios. And Trace Thompson. And Chris Taylor. 5 players for CF and LF. That should be enough talent to get through the year, then Pages in 2024. Keep under the Competitive Balance tax threshold for one year.

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