The Los Angeles Dodgers feature an exciting farm system. 2022 top prospect Diego Cartaya, a catcher, has a high-ceiling without question. He could impact LA as soon as 2023. But the path to the big league roster will prove to be difficult for Diego Cartaya with Will Smith and Freddie Freeman presenting a roadblock.
Smith isn’t a bad fielding catcher. But LA favors his bat. He’s someone who could move to first base. However, the Dodgers have Freddie Freeman set to play the position through the 2027 campaign, per Spotrac. DH is a possibility, but the Dodgers could make a specific course of action in order to help Cartaya reach the majors faster.
Diego Cartaya’s Dodgers Freddie Freeman, Will Smith roadblock solution
Diego Cartaya could learn a new position.
Will Smith still has multiple years of team control and projects to be the Dodgers’ catcher of the future. LA could trade backup catcher Austin Barnes. But even then, Smith and Cartaya would have to split time behind the plate.
The Dodgers could use corner outfield or infield help. There have been a number of former catchers who’ve successfully transitioned to other positions.
The issue is that Diego Cartaya is regarded as a quality defensive option. He features an especially strong throwing arm. But that throw power could be of use in a corner outfield position. Additionally, Cartaya may profile well at third base.
In the end, the preferred course of action would be to keep Diego Cartaya behind the plate. Will Smith could potentially take over DH duties down the road. But Cartaya’s MLB ETA is 2023. And the likelihood of Smith leaving the catcher position this year is slim.
Moving Diego Cartaya to a different position would allow him to contribute to the Dodgers as soon as this season.
In the end, there are certainly other alternatives. But the fact of the matter is that Freddie Freeman and Will Smith both have multiple years of team control remaining on their deals. And given the Dodgers’ current roster needs, LA should at least consider moving Diego Cartaya to a new position for the 2023 season.