The offseason is starting to heat up with trade rumors and free agent speculation, and there is a lot of buzz surrounding what the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to do to try to improve their roster.
They’ve made consecutive World Series appearances, but are looking to see what player transactions can ultimately get them over that final hump to a championship
The Reds have finished last in the NL Central for four consecutive seasons, and it appears like they’re interested in making some big acquisitions to reassert themselves in that strong division.
They recently lost speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton to the Kansas City Royals, so there is definitely a need in the outfield.
The Dodgers are also said to be looking to trim payroll to make room for other potential acquisitions, and the Reds could be willing to oblige that request in order to improve their own lineup.
Ken Rosenthal has some interesting reporting on the subject. He says that the two teams have talked multiple times about a trade.
Puig is in play, as well as other Dodgers outfielders and pitchers. The Dodgers would want to trim their payroll, and Puig is projected to make $11.3 million in arbitration.
Wood is also a player to keep an eye on in these ongoing discussions, as he is projected to make $9 million in arbitration.
That alternative would be going against their supposed desire to trim payroll, but it would be a way to get some prospects.
There was a lot of talk about how Puig grew distrustful of Dodgers management last season, so it’s not hard to envision him on another team next season.
Based on his age and salary figure, Puig would presumably be easier to move than Kemp, but Puig’s fiery personality could definitely make teams shy away from wanting to add him to their locker room.
Kemp is set to make $21.75 million next season, and perhaps the Reds would be willing to take on that contract if the Dodgers agreed to take the Bailey contract off of their hands.
The Dodgers have a very crowded outfield and starting pitcher group right now, so it makes sense that guys like Puig, Kemp, and Wood are being shopped.
It looks like the Reds are a team that would be willing to take on a hefty contract, and the Dodgers seem to want to unload one of those three players in exchange for increased payroll flexibility and a less-crowded depth chart.
Dealing Puig or Kemp could open up more playing time next season for another outfielder, and Wood being dealt would make it easier to project the rotation for the beginning of the 2019 season.