Higher Trade Value: Alex Verdugo, Yasiel Puig or Joc Pederson?


With two days left before the non-waiver trade deadline, things are relatively quiet, at least in terms of the whispers surrounding the camp of the Dodgers. Things are so silent that there have been rumors surfacing which are downright silly, including Los Angeles being first in line should the Nationals decide to become sellers and trade away outfielder Bryce Harper.

I think there’s a good chance the Dodgers make a move, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if they stick to their guns on the current roster. Yesterday, we discussed why this may happen, as there are numerous options in house to reinforce the club, especially when it comes to several conceivable upgrades in the bullpen.

Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of chatter as to which players are likely to be shipped out, if a trade does go down anytime soon. Of course, the departing players primarily depend on the needs of the opposing team, but as we have mentioned many times in the past, the Dodgers are loaded with outfielders throughout the system, and the front office probably lines at least one or two of these players up at the front of almost any prospective deal.

I mentioned Alex Verdugo quite a few times this year, mainly because he was seemingly blocked as he continued to dominate at the Triple-A level. However, he did get a few looks recently when teammate Yasiel Puig was on the shelf with oblique problems and he did impress during his short stay in the bigs. Despite his fine performance, Verdugo was optioned back to Oklahoma City as soon as Puig was healthy enough to rejoin the club.

All this leads to some thinking, and it makes many fans wonder who has the highest trade value between Verdugo, Puig and Joc Pederson. The 26-year-old Pederson has cemented himself on the Los Angeles 25-man roster, as he is often featured against right-handed pitching at the top of the batting order. Deservedly so, Puig is the regular right fielder, which leaves Verdugo hanging out at OKC, despite the 22-year-old perhaps having the highest ceiling of the entire trio.

Throw in Matt Kemp, alongside outfield floaters like Enrique Hernandez, Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor, and it doesn’t leave much room for somebody like Verdugo to climb the organizational ladder. Aside from Kemp and Puig, who are likely to remain with the club through at least 2019, many of these players also have multiple years of team control, which pushes Verdugo back even more. And with Andrew Toles continuously impressing at Oklahoma City, one is led to believe that somebody is bound to be dealt soon, should a trade target appear attractive to the Dodgers over the coming days.

Which player would rival clubs desire more? Puig, the rare five-tool breed, likely has the better skills of all three players, although he has never used them consistently over the course of an entire year, aside from maybe his rookie campaign in 2013. Pederson, on the contrary, has finally found a bit of consistency this year, despite the fact that his quickness on the basepaths continues to decline and he’s still believed to have difficulties hitting southpaw pitching. Verdugo is right up there with Puig as far as tools go, aside from the ability to hit for power, although he has recently shown his potential muscle, most specifically in his long ball to dead-center against the Braves on Friday evening.

Some may think that Verdugo would be in higher demand because of his age and the number of years he’d be under team control. Puig can theoretically become a free agent after his 2019 campaign, while the earliest that Pederson will be able to test the market is 2021.

It would be interesting to know exactly how the management group of the Dodgers envisions the future of the club and which players they believe will be parts of the central core, especially with guys like Verdugo and Toles appearing to be blocked on several different levels.

All that being said, if the Dodgers do indeed make a big splash over the next two days, or even if they wait until August when the waiver deals go down, fans may get a quick peek at those future plans. Yet, at the same time, if there isn’t anybody intriguing enough to make Los Angeles pull the trigger, we may see the club continue to hoard its best prospects and continue to build one of the best  young farm systems in baseball.


53 thoughts on “Higher Trade Value: Alex Verdugo, Yasiel Puig or Joc Pederson?

  1. Here’s how I see it: KEEP VERDUGO AND TOLES, DEAL PUIG AND PEDERSON! Here’s why, 1) Verdugo is finally ready and his latest call-up showed it. Still amazed at how quickly he has picked up the game at the big-league level so far. And that HR he hit the other day was actually him doing his homework in the dugout, talk about an active intel gatherer right there (lol). 2) I’ve been praying for the Dodgers to flip Puig for the last 3 years and now they might finally have a chance to pull it off. He may still have top-of-the-line 5-tool potential and is very much in his prime, but potential without a respectable baseball IQ:::snicker:::is ultimately potential unrealized. Besides, he’s merely keeping the seat warm for Verdugo (who has NO trouble handling southpaw pitching by comparison) and doesn’t really have to anymore. 3) Pederson pretty much boosted his trade value with his offensive performance so far this season, but like you already said Dennis, he still has yet to figure out lefties at the plate and his speed has slowly been on the decline of late (two things that Toles does NOT have any issues with based on current track record).

    Simply put, Dodgers can get a lot more out of Verdugo and Toles long-term than Puig and Pederson at this point for the reasons given. Come to think of it, front office would probably do well to package both Puig and Pederson to get the late-inning bullpen help they so crave at the very least. Maybe that alone would be enough to land that Keone Kela fella they’ve been reported to have scouted recently, for instance???

  2. You were speaking about respective trade value and my rankings from most to least are Verdugo, Joc, Toles, Puig. Frankly, although I’m a big fan, I think Puig would be relatively difficult to deal at this point. He still has his somewhat negative reputation to outsiders (I’m talking behavior rather than baseball IQ here), he has only one season of control after this year and he’s earning a decent amount of money, certainly far more than the other three. Although Toles may have more ultimate upside than Joc, he hasn’t proven it yet over a decent sample size in the majors (224 at bats represents basically less than 1/2 season total). Joc’s trade value may never be higher than it is today. He is now, for the most part, taking quality at bats almost every time up. As a matter of fact I’d like to see him give Bellinger some hitting lessons. Yes, his speed is declining, but I could see a team trading for him and starting to give him some time both in the outfield and at first base. To me, Verdugo is far and away the guy I feel is likely to have the best career and therefore also has the most trade value. His last trip up here was very impressive and I think with a full season of regular playing he could develop into something really special and could prove to be an excellent lead off hitter. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean I would absolutely refuse to trade him. It would just have to be for something terrific. On a totally different subject, I expect to see Stripling moved to the DL shortly. As great a year as he’s had, he is on a downward slope. Part of this might just be more innings pitched than he is used to. I think they’re going to want to sit him down for a while so unless they just decide to option him, I could see a DL stint, for whatever reason they want to make up.

    1. I’ll leave it to the rest of you to point out when I’m wrong and make a fool of myself, but when I’m right, I’m right. Please refer to the last sentence in my comment of July 29th at 2:15 PM. Stripling has just been put on the DL with a toe injury of some sort. They probably put a bunch of things in a hat and this is the one that was drawn.

  3. There’s no debate that Verdugo has the most trade value of any mentioned. The Dodgers would prefer to move Puig but that won’t happen without including another top prospect to sweeten any deal. The guy I think is most likely to be traded is Andrew Toles as the 2nd piece in a package for a reliever headlined by someone like Yadier Alvarez. Toles is my favorite among all of these guys but it’s clear he will never get a chance at a starting job in LA. At this point I’m convinced Friedman will not trade Verdugo unless it’s for someone like Chris Archer. If he’s not traded Verdugo should be the starting RF next season.

    1. It’s funny that everyone—including myself—feels that Verdugo’s one of the Top 3 outfielders in the system (both offensively and defensively), yet he’s still wasting away at OKC.

      1. Follow the money. They aren’t going to sit guys like Puig and not get some kind of return on investment. I’d include Kemp but he actually deserves his spot.

      2. Not gonna win a championship with that mindset. There’s a kid named Kasowski right now at Double-A Tulsa who’s probably better than at least three guys in the big league pen. Hell, for that matter, Shea Spitzbarth probably is, too.

    2. Nice to see a new name here Alex. Your last name wouldn’t be Verdugo by any chance would it? 🙂 I agree with most of your points but the one disagreement I have is that anyone would take Alvarez as the headliner in a trade for a good reliever. I think his trade value has declined dramatically in the last year or so. Not to say he won’t ever turn things around and not to say no team would take him but I just don’t see him as the headliner in the deal. That said, you could be proven correct by Tuesday. We shall see.

  4. I think Kasowski may very well make it here by September at least for a look see, but Spitzbarth seems to suffer from the same disease as many of the guys we have here already. He throws together a number of good outings and just when you think you really have something, he has a couple of lousy performances.

  5. Dennis, any chance of your coming up with a list of guys we’ll have to put on the 40-man this winter to protect them from the Rule 5 draft? Just wondering how many there are. I think Alvarez is one of them which might make him more likely to go in a deal in the next couple of days. If the front office doesn’t deal with this glut of outfielders now, they will certainly make some moves this winter. I agree with those of you who feel that if Verdugo isn’t traded he will definitely be one of the starters next season. As I’ve said before, I don’t see any way that we re-sign Puig when his contract is up after 2019 so it makes sense to trade him before next season when you can still get something for him. What you could get, I have no idea but it only takes one GM to really like him. Poor Alvin will never get playing time here as long as we have both Joc and Verdugo, so his only hope is that one of them goes in a trade. Otherwise another team could do themselves a huge favor by swooping in and grabbing him. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him included in a trade this month. I’m going to say this one more time. My most fervent hope is that Andrew is gathering up a bunch of names to throw at the Reds for Iglesias or names so good that the Pirates will decide that they would be better off with what we’re giving them than by keeping Vazquez and will send him over here. That’s my early Christmas wish. Please Santa…………………………………………………….

      1. Just because they’re buying doesn’t mean they can’t also sell. Same with us.

      2. In that case, maybe they’d part with Trevor Williams for a package of Zac Rosscup and Pat Venditty. Dodgers could immediately convert Williams to a seventh inning guy.

      3. Nice try. It’s Vazquez or bust. Joc or Toles, Alvarez, Wood or Stripling. Yes I know, I’m probably the only TBPC reader who would do that deal and probably the Pirates wouldn’t even consider that enough. And I’d throw in Baez, unless they would feel that made the deal worse. Go ahead folks, have at me!

      4. In that trade I just suggested I meant Alvarez and Wood or Stripling and Joc or Toles. So 3 players all together.

  6. Word out of Tampa has it that Archer talks are intensifying with SD still the most likely landing spot if he’s actually traded. The writer went on to say a young catcher and power hitting outfield prospect would be a good start to a package. Sounds like he’s talking about Smith or Ruiz and JD Peters. I vote no. If we put Smith and Peters in a package for Archer I think Manuel would go berserk.

      1. That would have been a very quick dialogue. Although I really loved the drafting of Kendall, as time goes on I find less and less to like about his hitting approach. I would be more than happy to include him in almost any trade at this point. As far as Wong is concerned, speak of being blocked………………………………….

      2. Maybe we should sub Kolten Wong for Kendall and Wong. That way we save a player, although I think MLB might frown on trading 3 players all of whom belong to other teams.

      3. I think he’s practicing law now. Part of the firm Kendall, Wong, Wong and Kendall, or is that Kendall, Wong, Kendall and Wong, or Wong, Kendall…………………………never mind.

  7. Oh man, we just moved Kremer, and now you want to move Pop too, who are we going to root for after that. Welcome aboard Alex, hope you keep putting your two cents in. I know some of our other outfielders may have more value, but if it was up to me Toles would be playing over all these guys, I think he is the kind of guy that gives a team a little extra spark. I know every one loves archers contract, but I don’t think he is as great as he is supposed to be. His numbers aren’t all that impressive. We rarely see the rays here so haven’t seen him pitch much so maybe he is a lot better than his numbers show. Do you guys think he would be better away from the Rays?

    1. I’m thinking he would probably be helped by being involved in a pennant race but I doubt I would be willing to give up the guys the Rays would want in exchange because I don’t think he would be a major improvement over what we already have.

  8. Might not be anything…but I noticed tonight during Tulsa’s game that Will Smith and DJ Peters were “strangely absent” from that Drillers lineup of all things. Jeff might be onto something there regarding those two possibly being thrown into a trade package for Chris Archer. Definitely not a coincidence with those two being pulled out based on the timing of it. Damn, Smith better not be in that deal or I WILL go berserk!

    1. Wait till you hear the rest of the deal, Gonsolin and Vargas. Calm down Manuel, I’m just trying to ruin your evening. Am I doing a good job? This is what the wind down of the trade deadline does to people. I normally run off at the mouth anyway, but the suspense of it all is making me worse than usual. On a more positive note, did you see where “Meaux” hit his first homer yesterday and John Rooney was sent to Great Lakes?

    2. You know Jeff, I would normally find your little jabs amusing at best but not today unfortunately. I’m with Dennis on this one, if it turns out BOTH Peters and Smith were involved in those ongoing Archer trade talks with Tampa Bay as of now it’s not gonna end well for the Dodger front office if it does happen to go through. Dealing away Peters I can understand because Verdugo is still around, but dealing away your future Yasmani Grandal replacement on top of THAT? Better not do it, Friedman.

      That said, yeah I noticed Landry hit his first HR of his pro-ball career the other day as well. He’ll be mentioned again in my upcoming weekly minor-league report because I’ve also noticed that five of his six hits so far were of the extra-base variety. Guy apparently follows the JD Martinez guide to hitting it seems, heh. Also like the 5 walks he’s drawn through his first 6 games down there, too. Hopefully, he’ll be promoted to Ogden soon so Dillon Paulson can finally be on his way to one of the A-level affiliates as a result. Glad to see Rooney on his way to Low-A Great Lakes, though I was praying he’d wind up at High-A Rancho instead (haha). Might have the best pick-off move in the entire system, too…

      1. Speaking of which, Marshall Kasowski went from being completely off the radar to being ranked as the 24th top prospect in the system, according to MLB Pipeline. That didn’t take long.

      2. I think the collective group here at TBPC can take credit for discovering Kasowski. The other guys just followed our lead.

      3. Yup, he’s already moving up in the minor-league world it seems. Also seeing some new faces on the Top 30 Dodger prospect list like pitchers Edwin Uceta, Gerardo Carrillo, and Robinson Ortiz in addition to some of those key 2018 draft signings like Michael Grove, John Rooney, and Braydon Fisher. Talk about a rather quick reload right there, buddy! Strange that the one glaring omission to that recent update was our young Cuban phenom Miguel Vargas, but it might be on account that MLB still hasn’t been tipped to his presence yet. Won’t be long if that be the case…

      4. Already have Uceta leading off the Great Lakes section of my upcoming minor-league report, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt for you to delve deeper into that guy’s background in one of your prospect profiles. At one point, him and fellow teammate Jesus Vargas (currently rehabbing down with the AZL Dodgers) were spearheading that Loons starting staff during that awful 1st half. Both arms showed a rather advanced feel for pitching for their respective ages compared to the others on that staff and with the recent addition of Carrillo, that could be a fun little bunch to track over the next year or two…

      5. Can’t remember if you ever said where you live Manuel. Greater L.A. area? If so, do you ever get out to Rancho to see the Quakes in person?

      6. Speaking of prospects, 19 year old Ronny Brito seems to be finally putting things together (if you can say finally about a 19 year old). Had 8 RBI’s tonight as Ogden squeaked out a 20-19 victory over Idaho Falls.

  9. Speaking of moves, we need to demote Barnes and bring Farmer back up. Maybe a stint at AAA, will help Barnes get his stroke back. He and Forsythe are providing nothing offensively. Speaking of Forsythe, at this point I’d just release him and bring Verdugo back up. 2B can be covered by Hernandez, Muncy and Utley.

    1. For some reason, I don’t think management really wants to use Farmer much behind the plate or I think they would have done what you suggest already. Even when he was here, Farmer spent most of his time at third rather than catcher and, although I could be mistaken, I think he spends most of his time at OKC playing infield (which is actually where he played in college). As you mentioned, Forsythe and Barnes have become total dead weight in the lineup and when you have them both in at the same time against a southpaw, that means the bottom third of the lineup is totally useless, assuming that they aren’t batting Forsythe sixth (which is enough to make me pull my last remaining hair follicle out).

  10. Man this place blew up. Good reads.

    Archer ain’t all that this year but a move to LA might light a fire under him. I’d do Peters and Wong.

    As for the theme of the thread, it depends on what team is involved. I think Puig, with an average of 3 WAR per year in bigs is the most valuable in the group for the immediate future. Verdugo would be of interest to teams rebuilding. Those teams in constant rebuilding mode, Tampa being one, might be interested in Joc or Puig to flip them so a 3 way could happen. I have no idea what FAZ might do so I don’t expect much. Machado was the big move. If anything I might look for a peripheral move – another arm for the pen – but it won’t surprise me if nothing, or nothing much, is done.

    1. I’d do Peters and Wong in a second Scoop but if that’s all it would take I think he would have been traded ten times over already. I think the simple reason he’s still in a Rays uni is that his contract is so favorable to whichever team has him that the Rays haven’t been ready to move him unless somebody knocks their socks off. As time moves on and the contract has less years left on it, they get more inclined to move him, but it’s still going to take a lot, in my opinion.

      1. Peters and Wong lead the deal. Some A League talent could be used as filler. Give them some Loons!

      2. Again, just my opinion, but if they are going to take a catcher they’re going to insist on either Ruiz or Smith. Remember, this isn’t an expiring contract we’re talking about so they really don’t have to trade him. He’s cheap and controllable so you only trade him if you get back more value than you’re giving up.

      3. Makes sense, but which one of these guys grades out highest? We don’t need 3 of them. Wong and Smith are older. Ruiz looks like the keeper to me. Smith can take Barnes’ roster spot as far as I’m concerned. If one of our catchers seals the deal it’s worth considering.

      4. I think by any standards Wong comes out #3 on the list. Most people seem to rate Ruiz #1 but Manuel likes Smith better and he makes some compelling arguments. And then we just signed another young kid out of Cuba, also a young catcher with a glowing reputation. In the right deal, I think they trade one of Ruiz or Smith but you better hope you keep the right one, although they may both turn out to have great MLB careers.

      5. Because they left him alone for the last month! Now watch, they’ll trade him today which would actually be great for his career. The Rangers could use him and I would really like to have Leclerc. Stewart, Rios and Wong for Leclerc.

      6. Yeah, that’s what I’ve deduced. Smith may be closer, Ruiz better, but younger. Wong grades well and I assume the Cuban is young too. I agree, pick the right one and offer the others. I like the idea of Archer as he has shown more length than anybody we have. 200 innings 3 years, 3.68 career ERA in the AL is damn good. 3.62 xFIP this year I believe.

        But I still don’t see it.

  11. 2018 3rd rounder John Rooney finally made his Great Lakes debut today and pitched 3 innings of 1-hit ball, probably won’t go much longer than that. Didn’t strike out anybody, but did pick off 2 baserunners IN THE SAME INNING! Man, what I wouldn’t give to see him and Will Smith hook up at some point down the road…

    Btw Jeff, I do live in LA but tend to stay close to home. Rancho might as well be on the other side of the world, lol. And yeah, I just finished mentioning Brito’s offensive explosion in yesterday’s Ogden game in my latest weekly minor-league installment. Telling you, that infield of him, Amaya, Paulson, and Cuban “wunderkind” Vargas might be on par with the Cubs’ big-league version based on just pure raw talent alone. Wouldn’t mind seeing all four moving up together for that very reason.

    1. OK, nice start for Rooney. I live about 60 miles from RC but my son drags me out there once or twice a year to see the kids. Haven’t been yet this year and was hoping to see May but I guess I’d have to go to Tulsa to do that now, and that’s a little farther than I’m willing to go. Will just have to wait until I can see him at Dodger Stadium. Hopefully when I do that he’ll be wearing a Dodger uniform.

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