Yasiel Puig has been popular in trade rumors dating back to 2016, but the Dodgers have nonetheless retained the outfielder to this point. However, it’s possible that will change this offseason – perhaps as early as the upcoming week’s Winter Meetings. The Dodgers limited Puig’s playing time against left-handed pitchers in 2018, which has left him “disgruntled,” “distrustful of management” and “open” to playing for another team, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes. While the right-handed Puig has offered above-average production versus lefties over his career, he has struggled against them since 2017, leading to diminished at-bats last season. Still, it’s not certain the Dodgers will trade the 28-year-old Puig, Hernandez suggests, adding that he likely wouldn’t bring much back in a deal. And the Dodgers aren’t interested in dumping Puig’s projected $11.3MM salary for the sake of doing it, per Hernandez. Rather, it seems they’d want a legitimate return for Puig’s last year of team control. Consequently, despite Puig’s current dissatisfaction with the Dodgers, he could end up remaining in their uniform in 2019.
- More on the Dodgers, who will attempt to trade outfielder Matt Kemp this winter, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. The Dodgers reunited with Kemp last December in an unorthodox, luxury tax-based trade with the Braves, and the 34-year-old went on to enjoy a productive season in Los Angeles. Kemp faded during the second half of 2018, however, and is due $21.5MM in 2019 – the last year of his deal. The former MVP candidate will be extremely difficult for LA to move, then, though perhaps it could swap him for another team’s unwanted contract.
- With the Rockies looking to upgrade an offense that was woeful in 2018, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post focuses on first base and the outfield as areas they could attempt to strengthen. In an ideal world, the Rockies would add a power-hitting first basemen, enabling them to shift Ian Desmond to the outfield, Saunders notes. As for A.J. Pollock, the best free-agent center fielder available, his current asking price is likely out of the Rockies’ range, according to Saunders.
- Given that the rebuilding Rangers don’t figure to contend in the next couple years, they should consider trading the likes of Jurickson Profar and Nomar Mazara this offseason, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News opines. Although the 25-year-old Profar finally began living up to his top prospect billing in 2018, and is only projected to earn $3.4MM in 2019, the infielder is not under control past 2020. Mazara, 23, will be similarly affordable next season ($3.7MM), the outfielder’s first of three potential arbitration years, but hasn’t yet delivered on the hype he garnered as a prospect.