Talk surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers might be that they need to fill the void at shortstop left after Trea Turner signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, but utilityman, Chris Taylor, won’t shy away from the opportunity if given a shot.
The Dodgers have watched their last two shortstops receive mega-deals after Corey Seager inked a 10-year, $325 million deal from the Texas Rangers after the 2021 season. Turner followed that up with an 11-year, $300 million contract with the Phillies that includes a full no-trade clause.
Replacing Turner’s MVP-level production won’t be an easy task, and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has voiced his support for Gavin Lux if they choose to move forward with him at shortstop.
Another route they could choose is to let Taylor see a solid amount of time at the position he’s played 1,993.1 innings at in his nine-year career. During an appearance on “Dodger Talk,” Taylor said he would be open to not only playing shortstop, his favorite position, but center field as well, via AM 570 L.A. Sports:
“I would love to play short and center, (but) haven’t even had that conversation or thought about it at this point. We’re still early in the offseason. A lot can happen. Shortstop always has been my favorite position, so that would be exciting if I got to play some shortstop. And outfield is outfield to me. Left field, center, right, it’s kind of all the same.”
Much of the value that Taylor brings to the Dodgers is his versatility and ability to play every position at an average or above-average rate. But the club is in a unique and unfortunate spot to plug a hole at one of the most important positions without a clear option moving forward.
Lux has had known struggles defensively, even though he rose through the Minor League ranks as a shortstop, and if the Dodgers slot Taylor there, he losses his versatile value. But he’s their most seasoned shortstop at the big league level, seeing nearly 2000 innings there might be the route Friedman and manager Dave Roberts feel most comfortable going.
Chris Taylor looking to have bounce-back year
Regardless of which positions Taylor ends up playing in 2023, he’s looking to bounce back from a down season at the plate. He is further removed from right elbow surgery and looks to overcome a fracture in his foot and neck trouble.
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