Yasiel Puig heads to the Reds in a massive trade
Friday saw three intriguing trades go down around the league, but by far the most interesting one was between the two-time defending NL champion Dodgers and the rebuilding Reds. Based on those descriptions, the two sides of the deal aren’t how you’d expect. The Dodgers are sending away Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood and in exchange they receive Homer Bailey, prospects Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray as well as international pool money. The Reds also get some cash in the deal. Bailey is being released immediately as part of the deal.
So, there’s a few things to look at here. For one thing, it’s pretty clear what the Dodgers are doing here. They already had a crowded outfielder, and they’ve always been expected to be a — or the — top option for Bryce Harper. Now, they have room. They also have the money, which they always had of course because they’re the Dodgers. However, we know the luxury tax is being used as something of a salary cap by pretty much every team, and even one like Los Angeles is using it. When a team like that is trying to save money, something ain’t right. The Dodgers can very well be as good in 2019 as they have been the last few years if they can get Harper and pull off a J.T. Realmuto deal, but they will be decidedly less fun without Puig. Meanwhile, the Reds look like they are getting ready for a push into contention and have a really interesting lineup now, though they could use some help on the pitching side.
Jurickson Profar traded to the Athletics in three-team deal
The Athletics were one of the most surprising teams in all of baseball in 2018, and they are doing everything they can to continue to contend in 2019. Part of that process includes trading for the former number one prospect in baseball. As part of a three-team deal with the Rangers and Rays, Oakland has acquired Jurickson Profar from division rival Texas. There’s a lot going on in this deal, and you can see all of the moving parts here. Profar is easily the most interesting name on the move, though, and the now-famous bust is a little underrated now, in my opinion. As mentioned above, he was once the top prospect in the game, and that he didn’t turn into an immediate superstar gave him the bust label pretty quickly. It was earned, too. That being said, this past year was a strong one for the infielder, as he posted a 108 wRC+ in 146 games playing all over the diamond. The A’s lost Jed Lowrie to free agency this winter, and this gives provides their replacement. Meanwhile, the Rays continued to build their bullpen with Emilio Pagan.
Domingo Santana heads to Mariners
You know if there is a day of trades in MLB, Jerry DiPoto is going to find a way to be involved. After the first two trades above, the Mariners and Brewers pulled off a trade of their own. In this one, Seattle acquired Brewers outfielder Domingo Santana in exchange for outfielder Ben Gamel and pitcher Noah Zavolas. This has the makings of a good deal for the Mariners without a whole lot of risk. Santana burst onto the scene a couple of years ago in Milwaukee’s outfield as a strong power hitter. Then, Milwaukee acquired Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain, pushing Santana to a depth role. They’ve been looking to deal him since, and after a down year off the bench they pulled the trigger on a deal. In exchange, they get a more prototypical bench outfielder in Gamel, and also a left-handed one that better fits the roster. Zavolas was a 2018 draft pick who had a solid professional debut.