The Los Angeles Dodgers have their core of position players set with the offseason underway, but they still need to figure out what their plan is in the outfield for the 2024 season.
James Outman is locked into one of the starting spots, which is presumably center field, unless the Dodgers make a surprise move that pushes him into a corner position. But everything else is up in the air.
Mookie Betts is expected to see a lot of time at second base, which esssentially leaves two open starting outfield spots in the corners. Betts will still see some time in right field, and Chris Taylor is another option to receive starts out there, but he figures to also move around the diamond as well.
One other option for the Dodgers is using two of their top hitting prospects in the outfield corners. Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes said it’s a possibility that both Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch see time in the outfield next season, per Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“I think that it’s possible,” Gomes said of using Vargas and Busch in the outfield. “We’ll just see how the rest of it plays out and how they fit in. What they’ve done in the upper minors and their ability to move around the diamond is only beneficial.”
Vargas has 46 MLB innings played in left field and he’s also logged an additional 30 in Triple-A. Busch has only played one MLB inning in left field and started 15 MiLB games at the position.
Neither project as a quality defender in the infield, so the outfield may ultimately be the best position for both Dodgers prospects. However, there’s going to be a learning curve with little experience in the outfield.
Still, it would present a way to get them into the lineup as Busch has more than earned an extended look at the Major League level. Vargas did receive a chance last season but struggled to find his footing, though the Dodgers still remain confident in his ability.
The Dodgers should still add a veteran outfielder or two, but the possibility of the prospects getting an opportunity provides more flexibility in constructing the roster.
Dodgers interested in veteran outfielders
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