Rojas, Dodgers reach contract extension

February 5th, 2023

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers and infielder have agreed to a contract extension that will keep the 33-year-old in Los Angeles through at least the 2024 season, the club announced on Saturday.

The deal includes a $5 million salary for 2024 and a $5 million club option for '25 that can be bought out for $1 million.

Rojas began his career with the Dodgers in 2014, appearing in 85 games. He was reacquired earlier this offseason from the Marlins in exchange for infield prospect Jacob Amaya.

“When I got the news I was coming back to L.A., I couldn’t be happier,” Rojas said at Saturday’s FanFest. “I couldn’t be happier. I received a big opportunity almost 10 years ago to get my first hit, to get my first home run, to get my first opportunity to play in the big leagues. Now I come here with a different perspective, a different point of view, and I’m looking forward to embracing the opportunity.”

Rojas is coming off a down season at the plate in which he posted a .606 OPS in 140 games with the Marlins. He played through a nagging wrist injury and underwent surgery to repair it earlier this offseason. While he was rehabbing the wrist, tests showed a loose bone between his index finger and thumb. That required another surgery, one he underwent three weeks ago.

“I think a ton,” Rojas said, when asked whether the wrist injury affected his numbers last season. “But I’m not going to put it as an excuse for my numbers or anything that happens. I felt it, and I knew how it felt to hit with a bad wrist.”

After being shut down from most activities following the two surgeries, Rojas said he was cleared to start swinging a few days ago. He would love to represent Venezuela in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He’ll be put on the preliminary roster, but the ultimate decision will be made based on how he continues to progress from injury and dialogue with the Dodgers.

Whether he participates in the event, Rojas said he expects to be 100 percent ready by the start of Spring Training.

“[Friday], I hit off the tee for 15 swings,” Rojas said. “[Saturday] was two rounds of 15 swings off the tee, and I’m looking forward to going to Arizona tomorrow to start working out on Monday. When I get to Arizona, I want to start the hitting progression.”

This spring will look a bit different for Rojas. In Miami, he was the everyday shortstop. With the Dodgers, Rojas will be more of a utilityman. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he envisions Rojas playing second and third base this season, as well as getting some time in left field. Rojas will also serve as the primary backup to Gavin Lux at shortstop.

“I always say I’m going to prepare to play 162 games at shortstop,” Rojas said. “But if anything happens and they need me somewhere, I’ll be ready.”