Dodgers Trade Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp to Pave Way for Potential Bryce Harper Signing
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp
- The Dodgers traded Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood to the Red for Homer Bailey and two prospects on Friday.
- The deal is regarded as a salary dump by industry bigwigs, with Los Angeles pushing to sign Bryce Harper.
- Oddsmakers also believe the Dodgers will be getting better as a result of this move, as their World Series odds have moved from +700 to +600 - making them the lone favorite.
As many folks were heading for the hills to get home for Christmas on late Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds pulled off a pretty substantial trade involving several major league players.
The Dodgers traded veteran outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in addition to left handed starter Alex Wood in exchange for Homer Bailey, Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray. Late reports also have catcher Kyle Farmer headed to Cincinnati.
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If you’re wondering why the Dodgers would deal away so much major league talent for a struggling veteran starter and the Reds’ seventh- and 20th-best prospects, respectively, many believe it’s to clear up salary with the hopes of signing Bryce Harper.
Kemp is set to make $21.5 million this season, while Puig is in his final year of arbitration, as is Wood.
Bailey, owed $25M, expected to be released by #Dodgers after trade. Deal will still benefit LAD from a luxury-tax perspective. Puig projected to earn $11.3M in arbitration and Wood $9M, per @MLBTradeRumors, and Kemp still owed significant sum (unclear what exact number is).
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 21, 2018
Obviously, in addition to freeing up some money, the Dodgers now have two fewer major league outfielders, which would also point to a Harper signing.
The Dodgers had been +260 to land Harper in free agency, but those odds were just taken off the board following the trade. The Phillies had been favored at +156.
Though the Dodgers’ major league roster just got worse, their World Series odds got better. They went from +700 to +600, making them the lone favorite ahead of the Red Sox, Astros and Yankees, who all sit at +700.
The Reds also benefited from the deal, as their odds went from 66-1 to 50-1.
Other possible roster moves that folks believe the Dodgers could be interested in are trading for Corey Kluber or J.T. Realmuto. They could also sign a lesser star such as A.J. Pollock if they do not sign Harper.
Has Christmas come early for the Dodgers? Perhaps it has. Stay tuned for more hot stove news as both Harper and Manny Machado appear to be inching closer to new homes.