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Dodgers: Zach McKinstry and Gavin Lux Provide Options if Corey Seager Leaves in Free Agency

Former Dodgers top prospect Gavin Lux and utilityman Zack McKinstry could be the future of the middle infield if Corey Seager leaves in free agency this offseason.



Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager will be a free agent following the 2021 season. The slugger has stated that he’s not focused on his impending free agency this season.

Losing Seager would be a massive blow to the Dodgers’ potent offense. When healthy, the argument can be made that Seager is the best offensive shortstop in the game. No disrespect to Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Fernando Tatis Jr., or Xander Bogaerts. After winning the NLCS and World Series MVPs, Seager has the hardware to prove it.

If Seager signs elsewhere this winter, who could the Dodgers replace him with?

Former number one overall prospect Gavin Lux and utility man Zack McKinstry could be the answer.

Gavin Lux

Lux has struggled the last few games (0/11), but his ceiling is still high. Lux earned the starting second base role this spring by slashing .314/.340/.451. More importantly, he came in with a professional attitude this spring. 

Zack McKinstry

Zack McKinstry has exploded in April. As of Sunday night, the 33rd round pick in 2016 currently leads the team in RBI (10) and ranks third in OPS (1.033). With former MVPs Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts missing time, McKinstry has taken advantage of his opportunities.

On Sunday, the 25-year-old blasted a two-run homer off of the Nationals Tanner Rainey to lift the Dodgers to a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning. McKinstry logged all three of LA’s runs batted in during Sunday’s tilt at Dodger Stadium.

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Final Thoughts

Losing Corey Seager would be devastating, but with the versatility of Lux and McKinstry, the Dodgers could still have a potent middle infield combination. Both Lux and Mckisntry can play shortstop or second base. Both Lux and McKinstry are under team control until the 2027 season.

Should Seager walk in free agency, the Dodgers have not one, but two great options to plug into the shortstop position for years to come. 

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Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. Way too soon to be offering up these alternatives. Lux has yet to prove that his name isn’t really Sux. We’ve een waiting for him to prove himself as Rookie of the Year for a few year now. McKinstry has shown early potential, but again — way too early. The bottom line is that we don’t want to lose Seager, no matter what.

    • I concur because even this year without a DH I don’t believe the offense is as good as it was last year. And if Seager walks after this year, the Dodger offense will take a HUGE hit from this year as well. It’s too early to tell but at this point neither alternative is anywhere close to the hitter Seager is.

    • Hey ME: Watching Lux, I see a guy who thus far is a Gold Glove caliber fielder. And DRS stats back that up. And his defensive WAR is .3 in 10 games. That translates to a 4.0 WAR for a season just for defense. And he is the second fastest runner behind Trea Turner in baseball. He had a bad start to his career due to 2020. Things may have been different in a regular season. Let the guy settle in a a bit before passing judgement. It sounds like Seager is going for the gold. I agree with Eric that we are not over a barrel. We do not NEED to sign Seager. We might already have the answer in our lap.

    • It IS too early to proclaim either of them ready to succeed Seager. However, Lux debuted in late 2019. We have not been waiting “a few years” for him to be Rookie of the Year. Let’s see what happens this season. Implying that time is running out for him is incorrect.

  2. McKinstry and Lux combined aren’t half the player Seager is. Offering them up as alternatives at this point is laughable. I can’t believe anyone on your staff could write this without bursting into laughter.

    • Concur, Tim. Let’s hope Lux doesn’t continue to struggle offensively like we saw against the Nats for an extended period. But if Seager does end up elsewhere in 2022, Dodgers will have an impressive stack of other free agent SS they can choose from to replace Seager if it comes to that.

      • You wrote that Lux struggled “for an extended period” against the Nats. You’re referring to a three-game series as an extended period?

  3. I’d prefer NOT to lose Seager. With multiple contracts coming off the books at the end of the year, and a couple that could be moved, the Dodgers should be able to pay Seager, Urias, Buehler, and Bellinger.

    But with Boras as the agent, I’m not holding my breath. At all….

  4. There is another shortstop option for Dodgers should Seager leave — re-sign Chris Taylor. I believe Seager will sign a long, lucrative contract with the Dodgers, but should he leave I look for the Dodgers to sign Trevor Story, or possibly trade for Xander Bogaerts.

  5. The issue will be length of contract. Nobody wants to lose Seager for his prime years, and he is still very young. But if they insist on getting paid 30M+ for ages 36-38, or even beyond, Friedman is too smart to sell out the future. Seager has already had 2 major surgeries, and shortstop isn’t a position you want a 35+ year old manning, moving him to third reduces his value somewhat.

  6. Both Lux and McKinstry are not a good replacement for Seager. Maybe defensively we won’t lose much, but I doubt either one or even both together can match the offense Seager produces. It’s too early for this conversation. Freidman should be talking wih Boras now, although I’m sure Boras would reply with, “my guy is going to try the market at this point.” To be fair, he would have said that last year as well. Anyways, it would be a huge loss, and the Dodgers should try their best to keep him.

    • We gain defensively if either one replaces Corey at SS. And Taylor would also be an improvement over Corey at SS. The issue is the hitting, and where would the Dodgers find that if Corey was to go elsewhere. Defense up the middle wins ballgames. So catcher, 2nd and SS and CF must be elite defensively. Which also plays to the strength of our great pitching and stadium (Pitchers’ park)
      The elite hitters need to be at 1st, 3rd, LF and RF. Perhaps we get an incredible LF hitter next year to offset Corey’s departure. Max, JT and Betts are elite!

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