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Dodgers notes: Gavin Lux, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Will Smith

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Dodgers had one of baseball’s best offenses during the 2023 season, with the two-headed monster of Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman leading the charge. As good as they were and look to be for the 2024 season, if there is one area of concern in the lineup, it would be their depth at shortstop.

After Gavin Lux tore his ACL during spring training last year, Miguel Rojas was thrust into the starting shortstop role, posting below average offensive numbers and connecting for just five home runs all season. It was the first season that a Dodgers primary shortstop posted a wRC+ of less than 100 since 2015, where Jimmy Rollins posted a wRC+ of just 80.

Juan Toribio of MLB.com notes that Lux has been working out at Dodger Stadium during the offseason as he gears up to reclaim his role as the starting shortstop ahead of the 2024 season.

“Lux is feeling healthier and has been working out at Dodger Stadium all winter. The key for him this spring will be showing that he can move laterally into the holes to make plays on the surgically repaired knee. It’ll be a big spring for Lux, as the Dodgers will likely go into the season with the 26-year-old as their starting shortstop.”

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Some new details about Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s contract have been revealed.

Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reports that Yamamoto has two different opt-out clauses which are dependent on the health of his elbow.

“If Yamamoto has Tommy John surgery or is on the injured list for a right elbow injury for 134 consecutive service days from 2024-29, he would have the right to opt out after the 2031 and 2033 World Series, according to terms of the deal obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday. If he avoids Tommy John surgery and doesn’t miss that much time with an elbow issue during that window, he can instead opt out after the 2029 and 2031 World Series.”

Since making his major league debut back in 2019, Will Smith has emerged as one of the best catchers in all of baseball, highlighted by him making his first career All Star team this past season.

Dodgers bench coach Danny Lehman appeared on the MLB Network Radio and discussed the amount of preparation Smith puts in every season, praising him on his desire to continue improving every single day.

“There is a ton of work daily that he puts in to continue to get better at [blocking], and to his credit, he is super open to continue to get better and not really being stale in where he’s at.”