LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers have found a way to address their infield depth, and it involves a familiar face.
Los Angeles acquired shortstop Miguel Rojas from the Marlins in exchange for Minor League infielder Jacob Amaya, the club announced on Wednesday.
Rojas, who turns 34 on Feb. 24, is entering the final season of a two-year, $10 million extension, with $5 million owed to him in 2023. In Rojas, the Dodgers get an elite defensive shortstop who is a two-time Gold Glove finalist — including last season , when he ranked in the 98th percentile of outs above average, per Statcast — as well as a respected clubhouse leader.
Beyond that, they’re reuniting with someone who secured his place in Dodgers history as a rookie in 2014. During the seventh inning of Clayton Kershaw’s no-hit bid on June 18, 2014, Rojas made an excellent pick and throw at third base to keep the effort intact and allow the ace to finish the job.
It’s that glovework for which Rojas was best known during the eight years he spent with the Marlins, after being traded there with Dee Strange-Gordon and Dan Haren for Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher, Andrew Heaney and Kiké Hernández in December of 2014. Although he’s served as Miami’s primary shortstop for much of that span, he’s also seen time at all three other infield positions.
On the offensive side, Rojas slashed .265/.318/.366 during his time with the Marlins, with 2022 seeing him post career lows in nearly all offensive categories. He spent most of the second half of the season playing with a right wrist injury, although ultimately undergoing debridement of his right wrist to remove cartilage in October.
After the Dodgers missed out on the big-name free-agent shortstops on the market this offseason, it seemed that Gavin Lux would get the majority of reps there in 2023. That may still be the case, but at the very least Rojas gives them some flexibility. Additionally, Rojas also bats right-handed, whereas Lux hits left-handed.
Amaya, who is regarded as a plus defender at shortstop with impressive plate discipline, is expected to make his Major League debut during the 2023 season. He was selected by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2017 Draft. Amaya was on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, so no additional move is needed for Rojas.