This off-season, the team saw infielders Mark Ellis, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker leave and now have a lack of depth at certain positions. Competing for second base and an infield role are Alex Guerrero, Dee Gordon, Miguel Rojas, Justin Sellers, Chone Figgins and Turner.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the team is on the lookout for another infielder with a specific position in mind:
After signing Justin Turner, the Dodgers are in the process of finding someone who could help with the depth at shortstop.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 6, 2014
Hanley Ramirez is the team’s starting shortstop, but he missed time last season dealing with two separate injuries that left Punto to take on a majority of the duties. Gordon and Guerrero are both natural shortstops that have been moved to second base to fill a hole, although Gordon has had trouble at the position. Sellers was the Opening Day shortstop last season, but his inability to hit pushed him back to the minor leagues in favor of Gordon. A lack of infielders on the free agent market leaves the Dodgers without a big name to pursue in their search for a shortstop.
It’s unknown whether the Dodgers will be looking to trade or continue to search the available free agents, but with Spring Training in the coming days, something should likely be done soon. The team hasn’t been linked to anyone specifically, but some believe that Emilio Bonifacio would be a fit with the team. Bonifacio was recently designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals and is available for trade or will be released next week.
Meanwhile, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said on Saturday at Fan Fest that he was interested in signing an international player to add to the infield mix. Cuban IF/OF Rusney Castillo is one name in the mix since Dodgers scouts attended a workout of his in the Dominican Republic, but he isn’t cleared yet to be a free agent. Another possibility is Cuban shortstop prospects Aledmys Diaz, who the Dodgers attended a showcase for in Mexico along with several other teams.
A deal may be coming in the next week and could give the Dodgers another player that can play shortstop, protecting themselves from injuries during the season.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Justin Turner agreed to a minor league deal