On Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds completed a long-rumored move, and completed the biggest action of the offseason to date. The trade sent Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, Kyle Farmer, and $7 million to the Reds for a return of Homer Bailey and prospects Jeter Downs (No. 7 in the Reds system) and Josiah Gray (No. 20). (You can read up on them here)
While this probably won’t be the biggest move of the offseason, it is the perfect Christmas gift for fans of Major League Baseball (barring an unforeseen signing of Bryce Harper).
The connections between Puig and the Reds is nothing new to those who have followed the events following the conclusion of the World Series. In order to clear space for Harper, the Dodgers had to shed players in an overcrowded outfield and dump salary to save space in the salary cap. This trade does both.
Let’s start with what the Dodgers gain. The Dodgers accomplished both of their goals by clearing a crowded outfield by shedding both Kemp and Puig. The Dodgers will also save some money on the Alex Wood and Matt Kemp contracts, and they also save whatever Puig will be due in arbitration which is probably around $10 million. As for the return, both Downs and Gray should be able to make immediate impact for the Dodgers whether it be as future players or as trade chips moving forward.
The Reds gain seems more straightforward, but it is an overall positive for baseball. First, they acquired proven talent in Puig, Kemp, and Wood who have all shown flashes that they can be solid pieces for a team coming out of rebuilding mode. Puig should replace the impact bat that the Reds lost with the Adam Duvall trade to the Atlanta Braves. Kemp provides a great platoon option with Scott Schebler and provides solid pinch hitting assistance and another potentially dynamic bat for the lineup. Wood figures to be the anchor of a young rotation, and he will replace the inconsistent Bailey who was sent to the Dodgers in the deal. Although it may only have a short-term impact for the Reds, it signals a greater desire for the franchise to win after a 67-95 season., and it puts them in a great position to climb closer to .500 in the 2019 season. Additionally, the Reds gained some cover for their top catcher, Tucker Barnhart, by acquiring Farmer in the trade.
This trade has the feel of one that should have been made during the Winter Meetings (they were a bit dry this year), but both clubs should feel good about their moves. Personally, I may have to catch a Reds game just to watch Puig the rematch of him against Jeremy Jeffress (you can watch it here).
That’s about it on this trade. For more MLB news, check back on this page, or feel free to explore our other content.