1. Gleyber Torres/Gavin Lux Swap
What *is* Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux, exactly? Is he the shortstop/second baseman with upper-echelon prospect pedigree?
Or is he more the bench jockey type, cheering on his Dodgers teammates during their postseason runs while being mostly known for coming up just short on long, wind-swept fly balls.
This is our second time in as many offseasons writing about this potential deal, and after a year of additional data, the circumstances have only gotten stranger.
Last offseason, Gleyber Torres was a starting shortstop for an American League favorite. Now, he’s a second baseman who knocked a $120 million man out of position. But … for how long?
Last offseason, Lux was still the Dodgers’ “future,” but that future was getting cloudier. Now, he’s one more disappointing, injury-plagued year further into his career with ton of opportunity ahead of him after Corey Seager’s departure … but are the Dodgers having second (OK, fine, sixth or seventh) thoughts?
In 2021, Lux was elite at not chasing balls (87th percentile) and sprinting (94th percentile), but decidedly average in hard-hit stats (61st percentile average exit velo, 67th percentile max exit velo). He posted just an 87 OPS+, though he remains just 24 and as enigmatic as ever, worth 1.6 WAR on the strength of his defense at second, short, and in center.
In 2021, Torres was elite down the stretch, but posted just a 93 OPS+ overall, disappointing (especially in the power department) until mid-August. He crushed the ball on occasion (82nd percentile max exit velo), but did it rarely (15th percentile average exit velo, 26% hard-hit). His fielding was well-documented and abysmal. He is not a shortstop.
The Yankees have to make an extension decision on Torres at the tail end of the 2024 season. The Dodgers and Lux? After 2026. If LA attaches a lottery-ticket pitcher to him, too, and the Yankees send a Quad-A bullpen talent (Stephen Ridings?), is Lux the stopgap shortstop the Yanks never saw coming?