Dodgers ‘Remain Interested’ in Acquiring Brewers Star

Willy Adames

Getty Willy Adames could be a potential target for the Dodgers even after the season starts.

Heading into 2024, the Los Angeles Dodgers expected to start Gavin Lux at shortstop, but given his recent defensive issues, they could be looking to upgrade at the position, according to the Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya, who wrote that the team “remained interested” in the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Willy Adames.

Manager Dave Roberts was “noncommittal” to Lux as the starting shortstop, according to Ardaya.

“With Lux’s erratic defense this spring — including errors on each of his first two defensive chances, and multiple bounced throws in an ugly sequence Wednesday — the Dodgers’ position appears to be softening,” Ardaya wrote on March 7.

Adames is entering the final year of his contract with the Brewers, who “have been reluctant to move the 28-year-old pending free agent,” Ardaya wrote.

The team has Miguel Rojas and Kiké Hernández as options at shortstop in 2024 as well. Ardaya reported in December that the Dodgers explored upgrades at the shortstop position but “none came to pass.”

Willy Adames’ Availability

Adames signed a one-year, $12.25 contract with the Brewers to avoid arbitration. However, Adames will be a free agent after the 2024 season, and the Brewers’ inability to reach a long-term agreement could mean Adames won’t be a Brewer past this season.

The Brewers are not shopping Adames or star closer Devin Williams, according to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman in a February 15 story.

However, the Brewers have set a precedent on trading players for the right price despite the belief that those players were not available. In January, MLB teams did not believe Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes was available for trade, according to USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale. But the Brewers traded Burnes to the Orioles in early February.

The Brewers’ options at shortstop would be thin if the team was to trade Adames. They have Brice Turang, an elite defender who served as the team’s second baseman in 2023 but who came up through the minor leagues as a shortstop. However, his struggles offensively pushed him out of the lineup at times during the season.

Willy Adames a Good Fit for the Dodgers

Lux also had throwing issues in spring of 2019, when he was the Dodgers’ top prospect, Ardaya wrote.

“Obviously, performance is paramount at this level, and for our team vying to win a championship,” Roberts said, according to Ardaya. “So I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do know that it will be in the vein of whatever gives us the best chance to win.”

Roberts acknowledged that he thinks the issues are partly mental, according to Ardaya. Lux’s above-average play at the plate puts the Dodgers in a tough situation. On one hand, they do not want to keep his bat out of the lineup, but, on the other hand, they do not want to sacrifice defense at the shortstop position.

Adames is an everyday player who provides elite defense at the position. He has played in 288 games for the Brewers over the last two seasons and has a .242 batting average with 75 home runs since joining the Brewers in May 2021. Adames had a down year offensively in 2023 but still managed to hit 24 home runs and collect 80 RBI.

The Dodgers open their season March 20 in South Korea against the San Diego Padres.

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