When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired future Hall-of-Famer Max Scherzer from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline, they also added All-Star shortstop Trea Turner despite having the 2020 World Series MVP Corey Seager at the position.
Turner is considered one of the three best shortstops in baseball, and arguably the second-best behind Fernando Tatis Jr. This season he is hitting .322/.369/.521 with a 127 wRC+ and 4.2 WAR. He is also on pace for a 30-30 season with 18 home runs and 21 stolen bases.
Unlike Seager, Turner is due to remain with the Dodgers for at least one more season before potentially becoming a free agent.
Although the Dodgers acquired another shortstop, Seager explained he was not upset with the addition because of what it means overall for the team, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“It’s not something that you really think about,” Seager said of seeing the Dodgers trade for another shortstop. “You’re just excited to add a good piece like that. We’re adding a couple really good pieces to our team that’s really going to help us down the stretch.”
The team has yet to determine who will play shortstop once Turner is activated off the COVID-IL, but Seager did say he would like to stick there:
“That’s not really my decision. That’s their decision,” Seager said. “I’d like to play shortstop. I want to play shortstop. But we’ll see where it goes.”
Although Turner is the much better defensive shortstop, there is a very high chance Seager will remain the Dodgers’ starting shortstop. Turner has previous experience at second base and center field, so L.A. will likely utilize him at second base.
Seager has some experience at third base, but the Dodgers already have Justin Turner there and are unlikely to move him.
They could decide to get Seager reps at second base, and it would likely improve the overall defense, but there is a lot more risk to that because he has never played the position before.
Betts might play second base
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said it is possible Mookie Betts could see some time at second base, however, that comment was made prior to Turner being acquired.
Betts has previously pushed to get time in the infield and he played three innings at second last season. He received a start there in a return from the 10-day injured list, though Roberts explained that primarily stemmed from keeping Betts off the turf as he overcomes hip trouble.
Betts made a couple impressive defensive plays and Roberts did allow for the possibility of more time at second base in the future, but he also unequivocally referred to the 2018 American League MVP as the team’s starting right fielder.
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