Dodgers Team News

Should the Dodgers Trade for Luis Robert Jr? Here Are All the Pros and Cons

As the MLB trade deadline approaches, the Dodgers are looking to bolster the bottom of their lineup. 

Despite spending more than $1.2 billion during the offseason, the Dodgers still have some missing puzzle pieces, specifically in the outfield. In the 2024 season, the Dodgers’ outfield has a wRC+ of 87, trailing the league average by 13 percent. Outside of Teoscar Hernández, the Dodgers have struggled to find a consistent outfield contributor.

That’s why Dodgers Nation’s Doug McKain recently broke down the top 10 outfielders the Dodgers could trade for. At the top of his list was Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. 

“With Luis Robert Jr., you not only add an elite bat that helps you win this season, but you plug in a hole that needs to be filled long term.”

— Doug McKain via Dodgers Nation on YouTube

Last season, Robert Jr. boasted a triple-slash line of .264/.315/.542, along with a career-high 38 home runs. He adds value as an effective baserunner with 20 stolen bases in 24 attempts and he ranks in the 84th percentile for sprint speed across the major leagues.

Moreover, Robert Jr. offers long-term financial appeal, as his contract extends to the 2027 season. His salary amounts to nearly $8 million for the remainder of the 2024 season. His salary is $45 million for the next three seasons, with a $20 million club option for 2026 and 2027, along with a $2 million buyout for each.

“We’re talking about three and a half years, the rest of this season and three more full seasons after that… The maximum would be $63 million for an All-Star MVP-caliber talent in his prime. Really, you can make the case he’s in his pre-prime because he’s still 26 years old.”

— Doug McKain via Dodgers Nation on YouTube

Concerns linger about Robert Jr.’s injury history. Throughout his five seasons in the major leagues, the center fielder has made five appearances on the injured list, including missing a majority of the first two months of the 2024 season with a hip injury. Nonetheless, his resilience showed during a 145-game season in 2023 – his first full MLB campaign. 

Additionally, Robert Jr. has free-swinger tendencies. Since 2020, there are only three players who have swung at more pitches outside of the strike zone than him. He has a 46.3 percent career chase rate and a 54.6 percent contact rate, which is below the league average. His 25.5 percent strikeout rate suggests room for improvement at the plate.

“I don’t think he’s come close to fully realizing his potential, because he’s been in a bad organization. I would love to see what Luis Robert Jr. can do when he’s one, healthy consistently for multiple seasons. And two, batting in a lineup with more talent surrounding him. Three, have better coaching, better development, better analytics.”

— Doug McKain via Dodgers Nation on YouTube

Securing Robert Jr. would likely require surrendering anywhere from 2 to 4 prospects. The question for the Dodgers revolves around whether to gamble on an All-Star outfielder with a strong bat but a limited history of full-season play.

Photo Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

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Sam Garcia

Samantha is a third-year transfer student at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Professional Writing.

One Comment

  1. This is a no brainer. Send them Outman, (He and Robert are equal but Robert has done more at the plate. Plus Pages has more upside.) Vargas ( only so so in the outfield and blocked in the infield) a decent minor league pitcher (or two if required) and eat half of Chris Taylor’s contract and throw him in the deal if Chicago will take him. He needs a change badly and I think most of his problems are in his head. If he would take a voluntary demotion to the minor leagues to straighten out his approach at the plate (ditch the big swing that has more holes than Swiss cheese) like Jose Abreu did for the Astros (and it helped) maybe you keep him for the rest of the year but if he won’t do that then he needs to go. Its sad but the change might do him good.

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