The Los Angeles Dodgers have been connected to several different players and situations this winter that it is becoming hard to gauge who will be moved.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are bound to make a splash this winter, or so it seems. The Dodgers have been connected to three huge stars this winter and all three would fill an area of need for the Dodgers.
The strongest connection lies with Corey Kluber, who the Cleveland Indians are willing to shop for outfield help. Jon Morosi reported that talks of trading Kluber have intensified since the start of the Winter Meetings with the Dodgers involved in the discussions.
It initially seemed that the Indians would be asking for Yasiel Puig in the trade. And while Puig still has a chance of being dealt this winter, it is top prospect Alex Verdugo that the Indians are interested in.
Moving one of the outfielders should be fine as the Dodgers are also connected to Bryce Harper. The Dodgers have a lot of money freeing up after this season and might be willing to go over the luxury tax for one year in order to get Harper.
The third star that the Dodgers have been connected to is J.T. Realmuto, however, speculation between the two sides has since faded. With the Dodgers having a deep catching farm system, adding Realmuto for his likely price might not be in the team’s best interest.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the Dodgers should still be considered as players in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, although it seems very unlikely that LA will bring back the star shortstop.
Back to the deep catching farm system, the Realmuto deal likely will not happen as it would require the Dodgers to trade Keibert Ruiz, the team’s second-best prospect on MLB Pipeline.
Ruiz, alongside middle infield prospect Gavin Lux, should be the two prospects that are deemed absolutely untouchable this winter. That means that Verdugo, Dustin May, Will Smith, Yadier Alvarez and any other notable prospects could all be in the mix to be dealt.
Ruiz and Lux, though, have easy paths to the big leagues that should not be tampered with. In three years, every Dodger fan is going to be glad that the team did not trade Ruiz and Lux, much like everyone was glad in retrospect when Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger or Walker Buehler weren’t traded.
Ruiz is going to be the everyday starter by Opening Day 2021 and will likely have that role for most of the 2020 season. He is an exceptional hitting catcher with decent defense behind the plate that will be just fine at the big league level.
Ruiz has a ton of upside and could be the best catcher in the entire league in six years. That is how high his ceiling is.
More from LA Sports Hub
- Lakers: 5 Players to Target Through Trades to make another championship run
- LA Chargers: Week 8 against Denver Broncos is a must-win
- LA Rams: Jared Goff wants to keep the Los Angeles title streak going
- Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Clippers interested in Rajon Rondo
- LA Chargers: Justin Herbert wins AFC Rookie of the Month
Lux, on the other hand, does not have as traditional of a path to the big leagues as he is a traditional shortstop. However, Lux started spending some time at second base as well and can play either middle infield spot just fine.
Lux has soft hands and a pretty good arm in the field. However, he did have a tendency to rush his throws at times, which could force him to make the transition to second base.
At the plate, Lux has all the tools to be a successful big league hitter for a long time. He has exceptional patience at the plate and has some of the best plate vision that I have seen at the high-A level.
He has a smooth left-handed swing that is a hybrid of Max Muncy and Corey Seager with decent pop. His power lies more in gap-to-gap hits but he did slug 15 home runs in the minors last season in 524 plate appearances.
Lux has all the makings of being on the big league roster by 2020 and could become an everyday second baseman. He did struggle against left-handed pitching but was an elite hitter against right-handed pitching.
Heck, Corey Seager is built like a natural third baseman and the Los Angeles Dodgers might even have plans of moving Seager to third once Justin Turner‘s contract expires. If that is the case, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lux become the Dodgers everyday shortstop.
Either way, both Ruiz and Lux have paths to be in the starting lineup as early as 2020 and are two pieces that the Los Angeles Dodgers cannot move this winter.