The Dodgers have informed rival clubs that they would be willing to move outfielder Yasiel Puig “in the right deal,” Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on Twitter. Thus far, however, Los Angeles has received more trade inquiries on their higher-end prospects.
Puig was reportedly informed by the team recently that he would not be dealt. At the time, the report (from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com) indicated that the team was not engaged in any trade talks regarding the somewhat controversial, but incredibly talented, 24-year-old.
All said, it still seems unlikely that anything will come together on Puig. He’s not playing up to his prior levels, but still owns a productive .253/.327/.423 slash over 217 plate appearances.
With a meager $4.5MM salary this year and three more years of control remaining for just $19.5MM, Puig’s contract has long looked like one of the game’s best bargains. (He can opt into arbitration once he reaches three years of service, but that would only potentially impact the last two years of the contract, since he entered the season with 1.119 years of MLB service, and any additional raises would obviously reflect his performance.) But his less-than-inspiring play this year and a variety of off-field issues have raised some questions about his true value.
For the Dodgers, parting with a high-end young asset would seem to be a stretch. But the team does have a wide variety of options in the outfield, with Andre Ethier playing at a high level, Joc Pederson emerging as a young star, Carl Crawford finally returning to action, and several strong platoon candidates under control.
Los Angeles figures to make a move for starting pitching, and has been said to be involved in a variety of scenarios. The team is apparently unwilling to part with its best prospects — infielder Corey Seager and pitcher Julio Urias being the two blue-chip pieces — but would surely have to give up young talent to add a quality, controllable arm. Rental arms are also under consideration, of course, and it remains to be seen how the team will proceed.