Los Angeles Dodgers – MLB Trade Rumors https://www.mlbtraderumors.com Wed, 19 Dec 2018 05:25:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.7 Latest On Dodgers' Pursuit Of Bryce Harper https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/bryce-harper-dodgers-rumors-phillies-manny-machado-david-ross-cubs.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/bryce-harper-dodgers-rumors-phillies-manny-machado-david-ross-cubs.html#comments Tue, 18 Dec 2018 16:00:40 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140928
  • The Dodgers’ interest in star free agent Bryce Harper remains a storyline to watch. The Los Angeles club doesn’t seem inclined to tantalize Harper with a record-setting overall guarantee, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic suggests (subscription link). Rather, the club would be more interested in a shorter-term pact with a “high” average annual value and multiple opt-out clauses along the way. ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez heard largely the same late last week, while adding a few intriguing additional details. Harper “badly wants to be a Dodger,” says Gonzalez, but would have to sacrifice years and dollars in order to make that dream a reality. That also meshes with a recent report from ESPN’s Buster Olney, wherein Olney suggested that a front-loaded deal with a huge annual value could be the most appealing scenario to Los Angeles. Details are understandably sparse at this point, but generally, it stands to reason that if Harper and agent Scott Boras were to consider anything shy of a record-setting contract in terms of overall value and/or length, they’d likely need to establish a new high-water mark in terms of AAV by a considerable margin. That doesn’t seem like something that Harper’s camp would consider until a ways down the line, however, as Boras & Co. are quite likely still locked in on a longer-term mega-deal. The timeline for Harper’s signing remains unclear at the moment.
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    Dodgers Notes: Grandal, Realmuto, Puig https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/quick-hits-kikuchi-grandal-angels-mets-puig.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/quick-hits-kikuchi-grandal-angels-mets-puig.html#comments Mon, 17 Dec 2018 05:56:52 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140853
  • The Dodgers are open to re-signing Yasmani Grandal, though on a one-year contract, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports.  Los Angeles is hesitant about adding any new catcher on a longer-term deal, as catching prospects Keibert Ruiz and Will D. Smith are both approaching readiness for the majors.  To that end, the Dodgers only had interest in Wilson Ramos on a one-year contract, though they have been heavily linked to J.T. Realmuto (who is controlled through 2020) in trade talks.  Morosi figures that the Dodgers could consider moving pitching prospect Dustin May and one of Ruiz or Smith in any potential Realmuto trade package, though that wouldn’t be enough to meet the Marlins’ large asking price.  “The Dodgers were balking at the inclusion of at least one key player on whom the Marlins were insisting,” Morosi writes.
  • Yasiel Puig in a Giants uniform?  The idea isn’t as outlandish as it sounds, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that new Giants GM Farhan Zaidi is “is open to dealing with his old team,” the Dodgers.  While it’s quite common for a new general manager to explore players from his former job, the arch-rival Giants and Dodgers have only completed three trades with each other since 1953.  Perhaps for this reason, there haven’t been any whispers about the Giants targeting Puig, though there is something of a fit on paper.  San Francisco is looking for corner outfielders while Los Angeles is looking to clear payroll and perhaps a spot in their outfield for a larger target, and Puig has been specifically mentioned as a potential trade chip.
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    Dodgers Notes: Ramos, Realmuto https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/reaction-analysis-the-wilson-ramos-signing.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/reaction-analysis-the-wilson-ramos-signing.html#comments Mon, 17 Dec 2018 01:43:18 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140833
  • According to Heyman, the Mets were Ramos’ first choice this winter.  The Dodgers also had interest, though only on a one-year contract, Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times tweets.  The Rays and Phillies, Ramos’ most recent teams, didn’t strongly pursue a reunion, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports.  Philadelphia has youngster Jorge Alfaro, of course, while Tampa Bay made another addition behind the plate in acquiring Mike Zunino from the Mariners.
  • Zunino’s presence hasn’t kept the Rays from being involved in the Realmuto market, however, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes (Twitter link) that Tampa and the Dodgers are two of the teams still in the hunt for Miami’s All-Star catcher.  The Marlins continue to feel, however, that “they don’t have to do anything” in regards to a Realmuto trade, and could still end up keeping the catcher.  “This week will be telling if a trade is made or not,” Frisaro writes.
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    Joe Kelly Drew Interest From 15 Teams https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-notes-reds-giants-marlins-j-kelly.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-notes-reds-giants-marlins-j-kelly.html#comments Sun, 16 Dec 2018 20:42:36 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140737
  • Before he agreed to a three-year, $25MM contract with the Dodgers this week, hard-throwing reliever Joe Kelly drew interest from half the league (15 teams), according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Kelly revealed that the Dodgers were the first club to extend him a three-year offer.
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    Trade Candidate Faceoff: Yasiel Puig Vs. Nicholas Castellanos https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/trade-candidate-faceoff-yasiel-puig-vs-nicholas-castellanos.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/trade-candidate-faceoff-yasiel-puig-vs-nicholas-castellanos.html#comments Sun, 16 Dec 2018 16:01:01 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140762 For at least the past year, a pair of right fielders – the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig and the Tigers’ Nicholas Castellanos – have been among the majors’ biggest potential trade chips. Neither player has gone anywhere to this point, but it now looks like only a matter of time before both Puig and Castellanos don new uniforms.

    During this week’s Winter Meetings, reports surfaced indicating the Dodgers are “actively” attempting to trade Puig and the Tigers are “determined” to ship out Castellanos. As of now, Puig and Castellanos haven’t been connected to the same teams in the rumor mill, but it stands to reason they’d have similar suitors. Los Angeles may even replace Puig with Castellanos, who would likely offer analogous on-field value and perhaps cause fewer behind-the-scenes headaches.

    A native of Cuba, Puig signed with the Dodgers to great fanfare in 2012 and made a dazzling debut the next season, when he was as captivating as he was productive. The early version of Puig – the one who often inspired awe at the plate, in the field and on the bases – was not only a perfect fit for Hollywood, but he was also among the majors’ elite players. From 2013-14, Puig’s first two seasons, only Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt finished ahead of him in wRC+ (153). Meanwhile, just those four and 10 other position players outdid Puig in fWAR (9.5), despite the fact that he accrued fewer plate appearances than everyone near the top of the leaderboard.

    Had Puig continued to produce at anything resembling the blistering pace of his first two seasons, it’s possible the Dodgers may have worked to extend him by now. Instead, the 28-year-old’s numbers nosedived after his second season, and his relationship with the Dodgers has soured along the way. Thanks in part to those factors, Puig’s entering his last year of team control, and it seems like a strong possibility that he has taken his final at-bat with the championship-contending Dodgers.

    There haven’t been any reports of problems between Castellanos and the Tigers, on the other hand. Nevertheless, as a team in a rebuild, Detroit’s positioned to bid goodbye to Castellanos – whom it chose in the first round of the 2010 draft. Like Puig, the soon-to-be 27-year-old Castellanos is entering his final season of control, and the two players are projected to earn matching $11.3MM salaries in 2019. The similarities continue in the form of their respective outputs dating back to 2016, Castellanos’ breakout season.

    Since Castellanos finally began living up to the billing he had as a prospect, he has accumulated 1,790 PAs and 7.0 fWAR on the strength of a .285/.336/.495 batting line – good for a healthy 121 wRC+. During the same period, Puig totaled far fewer PAs (1,382) but still managed 5.8 fWAR, thanks largely to a .264/.334/.470 slash and a 115 wRC+. Puig also swiped 35 bases, easily trumping Castellanos’ seven, and destroyed his fellow trade candidate in the field. From 2016-18, only nine outfielders piled up more Defensive Runs Saved than Puig’s 29. Meanwhile, Castellanos has struggled to find a position – he was a butcher at third base from 2016-17 and also fared poorly in the outfield last season. Consequently, Castellanos’ future may be at first base or designated hitter.

    Aside from their dissimilarities in the field and on the bases, the two right-handed hitters have also provided their offensive production in different ways. Castellanos tortured left-handers from 2017-18 – a 308-PA sample in which he slashed .338/.386/.585 (159 wRC+) – whereas Puig was borderline unplayable versus southpaws in the same span. Although Puig was a formidable presence against lefties earlier in his career, they held him to a feeble .197/.292/.320 line and a horrid 66 wRC+ over the previous two seasons and 259 PAs. As a result, the Dodgers limited his playing time when a righty wasn’t on the hill last season, reportedly leading to discontentment from Puig and an open-minded attitude toward a trade.

    Both Puig and Castellanos may well have new homes come 2019, potentially joining the top free-agent corner outfielders – Bryce Harper, Michael Brantley and McCutchen – in that regard. McCutchen’s already off the board, and for teams that aren’t in position to ink Harper to a record contract or hand Brantley a lucrative multiyear payday, Puig and Castellanos could represent appealing alternatives. The question is: Which player would you rather have?

    (poll link for app users)

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Latest On Realmuto: Narrowed Market, 3-Team Possibilities With Mets/Padres https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/mets-padres-marlins-discussing-3-team-scenarios-involving-realmuto-syndergaard-reds-rays-dodgers-braves.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/mets-padres-marlins-discussing-3-team-scenarios-involving-realmuto-syndergaard-reds-rays-dodgers-braves.html#comments Sun, 16 Dec 2018 03:15:11 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140445 DEC. 15: Atlanta hasn’t discussed Realmuto with the Marlins in the past five days, and the Braves don’t plan on picking up talks again, Mark Bowman of MLB.com tweets. That runs counter to a prior report suggesting the Braves are at the head of the race for Realmuto.

    DEC. 13: The Marlins have made some progress in winnowing the field for backstop J.T. Realmuto, per Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald (via Twitter). Still, though, six teams remain involved, per the report: the Reds, Mets, Rays, Braves, Dodgers, and Padres.

    Certainly, the Mets have been the most visibly aggressive organization to this stage. The New York club has created quite a few off-the-wall possibilities along the way, some of which involve other teams. That makes it relatively unsurprising to hear that they’ve cycled back to prior talks with the Padres regarding Noah Syndergaard in a possible three-team deal, per SNY.tv’s Andy Martino (Twitter link).

    Previously, the Mets reportedly danced around possible deals along these same lines with the Yankees. Also, earlier in the winter, the Mets and Pads were unable to line up on a two-team arrangement that would have sent Syndergaard out west, with the San Diego organization unwilling to part with top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. It seems quite unlikely that Tatis is now available, so presumably other pieces from a loaded Padres farm would be utilized.

    While the Mets are obviously pushing to win in the near-term, the Marlins would certainly have the ability to be a bit more patient with pre-MLB assets. For the Padres, meanwhile, Syndergaard would obviously represent a much-sought-after staff ace. Importantly, too, he’d be under team control for three seasons at an affordable rate of pay.

    It’s hard to gauge the likelihood of a deal coming together between this trio of teams, though, particularly with so many other previous scenarios falling apart and other organizations still involved. Presumably, the Marlins remain emboldened to continue holding Realmuto while waiting for a rival to jump at their reportedly high asking prices.

    For now, the stalemate continues, though there’s obviously still quite a bit of movement afoot. As Marlins president of baseball ops Michael Hill puts it to Wells Dusenbury of the Sun-Sentinel (via Twitter), “anything can gain traction at any moment.” For the Mets, meanwhile, there continue to be ongoing reports that the team has interest in quite a few other backstops, and it’s at least questionable whether it’d be sensible to prioritize Realmuto if it means losing Syndergaard.

    NL Rumors & Notes: Brewers, Lowrie, Nats, Giants, Pillar, Kelly https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/__trashed-8.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/__trashed-8.html#comments Sat, 15 Dec 2018 23:00:42 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140676 Following last month’s non-tender of Jonathan Schoop, the Brewers’ exhaustive, months-long search for a second baseman continues with the team’s pursuit of Jed Lowrie, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Lowrie, of course, is fresh off an outstanding, 4.9 fWAR 2018 season with Oakland, itself on the back almost identical offensive campaign (119 wRC+ in ’17, 122 in ’18) the year before. MLBTR projects the 34-year-old to earn a solid 3-year, $30MM deal this offseason, though Lowrie’s camp, given his recent two-year output, will surely be fighting for more. The risk with the switch-hitter lies in his subpar performance across multiple seasons (2011, ’14, ’15, and ’16), in obvious addition to his age and former propensity for the serious injury, plus the tendency of second basemen to decline earlier than most, but there could be surplus value aplenty to be found if he continues on his current trajectory.

    In other news from around the NL …

    • The Nationals, another team with a hole at the keystone, offered Ian Kinsler a one-year deal before the 36-year-old signed a two-year pact with San Diego, per Rosenthal. Earlier this week, the club was said to have “checked-in” with free agent second-sacker D.J. LeMahieu, who would likely command a deal in excess length to the one offered to Kinsler, so it seems unclear as to exactly which direction the club will go in terms of filling the position. Carter Kieboom, a 21-year-old middle-infield prospect, has raked in the low levels of the minors and may just be a season and a half or so away, so perhaps the club is seeking just a one- or two-year stopgap in the interim.
    • Per Alex Pavlovic of NBA Bay Area, the outfield-naked Giants are interested in Blue Jays CF Kevin Pillar.  The club, who in years past has shown little interest in staking a defense-first player at the position, despite its park’s huge territory in right-center field, may be undergoing a philosophical about-face under its new, analytics-driven regime.  The club, of course, is stacked with right-handed fly-ball types in the rotation, and would seem to benefit in large measure from a ball-hawking center-fielder like Pillar.  The 29-year-old’s defensive metrics took a bit of a hit last season, but his peak from ’15-’17 (50 DRS) has rarely been matched in recent times. 25-year-old Steven Duggar would seem, at least in part, to fit the bill, but whether or not his bat will play – Steamer projects an 81 wRC+ for ’19 – is still an open question.
    • New Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly, who this week agreed to a 3-year, $25MM with the team, explained (audio version) to WEEI’s Rob Bradford why he chose LA, noting that the team was the first to extend its offer to three years. Though the duration may come as little surprise, it is notable that it came from the Dodgers, who in recent times (Kenley Jansen excluded) have preferred their relievers to be of the under-the-radar variety.
    Post-Winter Meetings Rumors On Manny Machado, Bryce Harper https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/manny-machado-rumors-visit-phillies-yankees-bryce-harper-white-sox.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/manny-machado-rumors-visit-phillies-yankees-bryce-harper-white-sox.html#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2018 15:13:00 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140567 Manny Machado will head to Philadelphia for an in-person visit with the Phillies next week, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, and George A. King III of the New York Post suggests that a similar visit to Yankee Stadium could be lined up for next week as well. The Yankees and Phillies are two of the reported four teams set to be aligning visits with the polarizing Machado, along with the White Sox and the ever-popular “mystery team.” For the Phillies, the acquisition of Jean Segura makes Machado a likelier fit at third base despite the infielder’s clear preference to play shortstop. Machado’s former third base coach in Baltimore, Bobby Dickerson, tells Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he believes Machado would move to third base if an offer to do so was the clear best offer he received in free agency. Perhaps more interestingly, Dickerson talks with Lauber about Machado’s personality, his preternatural defensive aptitude at third base and, in reference to Machado’s October villainy, his belief that Machado “is fine with being the bad boy.”

    With the Winter Meetings now in the rear-view mirror, here’s a bit more on Machado and the market’s other top free agent…

    • White Sox GM Rick Hahn somewhat indirectly acknowledged his interest in both Machado and Bryce Harper on Thursday, as Bruce Levine writes for 670 The Score FM“We are excited to be discussing impactful moves for the long term,” said Hahn of his team’s reported interest in the market’s top two free agents. “It’s good to have a seat at the table for some long impactful moves. This work does not mean anything is going to come together. … Even if we are able to convert on something big, there is a lot of work to do behind it to get us where we want to be (as an organization).” Levine suggests that an opt-out provision after three or four years would be a “significant draw” for Harper, though that much has been more or less expected for some time. Top free agents have increasingly gravitated toward the inclusion of such contracts, and several recent free-agent signings have included multiple opportunities to re-enter free agency (e.g. Jason Heyward, J.D. Martinez).
    • Also via Nightengale, agent Scott Boras implied in characteristically colorful fashion that he’s not concerned about early indications that some potential suitors (e.g. Yankees, Cardinals) have limited interest or trepidation when it comes to a legitimate pursuit of Harper. “When the nurse walks in the room with the thermometer, the issue is not what the thermometer says that day,” said Boras. “The issue is what’s the health of the patient when they’re ready to leave the hospital.” The Phillies and White Sox both remain in the mix on Harper, per the report, and Nightengale speculatively suggests that the Dodgers, who are reportedly trying to move Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, shouldn’t be ruled out. Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, though, tweets that the Dodgers aren’t interested in pushing talks to 10 years on Harper. Nor, for that matter, are the Angels or Giants, each of whom has been previously mentioned as a potential dark horse.
    • ESPN’s Buster Olney writes that executives from other clubs and agents throughout the industry find it increasingly possible that the Phillies, long the presumptive favorite to sign one of Harper or Machado, could instead come away with neither in hand. Olney, too, suggests that the Dodgers’ efforts to move Kemp, Puig and other notable salaries could eventually result in the capacity to submit a winning offer to Harper. While there’s doubt that the Dodgers would offer the longest-term contract, Olney suggests perhaps a front-loaded deal with a substantial annual value from a team that has appeared in consecutive World Series would prove enticing. Meanwhile, the Yankees still present a viable threat to the Phillies for Machado as they look to close ground on the World Champion Red Sox.
    • There’s no indication that anything has changed for the Cubs, per Patrick Mooney of The Athletic (subscription required), who writes that the team is “close to maxing out” its baseball operations budget for the 2019 season. Rather than acknowledge a need for any sort of augmentation to the roster, manager Joe Maddon suggested that the greater issue for the Cubs is to extract better performance from the talent already in house. Along those same lines, GM Jed Hoyer spoke of the promising signs he’s seen in Kris Bryant as he looks to rehab from 2018 shoulder woes.
    Dodgers Have Shown Interest In Wilson Ramos https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-west-notes-dodgers-ramos-rox-smoak-desmond-pads-profar.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-west-notes-dodgers-ramos-rox-smoak-desmond-pads-profar.html#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2018 23:47:14 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140497 The Dodgers reached out to free agent backstop Wilson Ramos with interest, per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). It seems, though, that the Dodgers are angling for a one-year pact, while Ramos is still seeking a multi-year contract. A single-year deal for Ramos appears unrealistic, given that he’s one of the two best catchers on the market – along with Dodgers free agent Yasmani Grandal – and is coming off an excellent offensive season. MLBTR predicts Ramos, 31, will receive a three-year, $36MM guarantee, which should put him out of the Dodgers’ reported range. Either way, with Austin Barnes as the only catcher who has significant major league experience on its roster, LA seems likely to add a backstop sometime this offseason. The club is reportedly among those still in the hunt for Marlins star J.T. Realmuto.

    Dodgers Notes: Cervelli, Hundley, Reds https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-west-rumors-lynn-roark-giants-cervelli-dodgers-reds-greinke-padres.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-west-rumors-lynn-roark-giants-cervelli-dodgers-reds-greinke-padres.html#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2018 09:29:06 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140358
  • The Dodgers have been in touch with the Pirates about catcher Francisco Cervelli, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.  Coming off a solid 2018 season, Cervelli has received trade interest from several teams.  The 32-year-old is only under contract through 2019 (at $11.5MM in salary), so that type of short-term fit could appeal to a Dodgers team that has top catching prospects Keibert Ruiz and Will D. Smith getting closer to cracking the MLB roster.  In addition to starters like Cervelli, Gurnick notes that L.A. is also looking at “fallback options” like veteran catcher Nick Hundley.
  • The Dodgers have been heavily linked to the Reds in trade talks, and while Yasiel Puig has prominently featured in these rumors, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman (Twitter links) hears that Puig hasn’t been involved in one of the latest proposals.  This version of a deal would see Matt Kemp and Alex Wood go to Cincinnati in exchange for Homer Bailey, which would shave roughly $13MM off of the Dodgers’ luxury tax payroll calculations since Kemp’s contract has a higher average annual value than Bailey’s deal.  Given Bailey’s struggles and injury problems over the last few seasons, one would imagine L.A. might pursue something more substantial back (i.e. a prospect or two) rather than pure salary relief, though it’s worth noting that the Dodgers acquired Kemp last offseason in a deal that certainly appeared at the time to be simply a bad contract swap.  Clearing some luxury tax room would likely also allow the Dodgers to make another big-ticket addition.
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    Dodgers Close To Deal With Joe Kelly https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/dodgers-close-to-deal-with-joe-kelly.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/dodgers-close-to-deal-with-joe-kelly.html#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2018 07:57:45 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140371 The Dodgers and free agent righty Joe Kelly are close to an agreement, according to Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray of The Athletic (Twitter link).  Kelly is set to receive a three-year deal worth around $25MM, as per Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan (via Twitter).  Kelly is represented by ACES.

    The Dodgers received an up-close (and, at the time, unwelcome) look at Kelly’s ability during the World Series, when he tossed six shutout innings over five appearances to help Boston capture the championship.  His work in the Fall Classic capped off an outstanding postseason for Kelly, who allowed just one earned run over 11 1/3 IP against the Dodgers, Astros, and Yankees.

    If last October represented Kelly at his best, the righty hasn’t always been able to consistently deliver on that potential throughout his career.  Kelly posted a 4.39 ERA, 9.3 K/9, and 2.13 K/BB rate over 65 2/3 innings in the regular season, and has had some issues avoiding walks over the last three seasons (4.6 BB/9 since 2016).  His 9.2 K/9 over that same stretch is nothing to sneeze at, of course, though it still seems somewhat of an underwhelming total given the pure electricity in Kelly’s arm.  He averaged 98.1 mph on his fastball last season, dropping just slightly from a 99 mph average in 2017.

    Kelly is likely to fit into the setup role in the Dodgers’ bullpen, handling the eighth inning to set up closer Kenley Jansen.  Given the amount of flexibility and potential starting arms that could see time in the pen, however, it also wouldn’t be surprising to see Kelly brought into higher-leverage situations earlier in games.

    Between Kelly joining the Dodgers and Jeurys Familia going to the Mets, we’re beginning to see some of the offseason’s top free agent setup men come off the board.  MLBTR ranked Kelly 25th on our list of the winter’s top 50 free agent, projecting him to land three years and $27MM (though we had the Anaheim native going to his hometown Angels, rather than the Los Angeles area’s other team).

    Latest On Dodgers' Talks With Reds https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/trade-rumors-realmuto-rays-athletics-profar-rangers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/trade-rumors-realmuto-rays-athletics-profar-rangers.html#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 23:25:11 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140286
  • Speaking of Reds trade chatter, Rosenthal tweets that the club is still kicking around scenarios with the Dodgers. (We previously rounded up the rumors on that match here, here, and here.) It turns out that the clubs are discussing scenarios involving Matt Kemp, along with a host of other previously rumored players, in what are quite obviously wide-ranging talks. No deal is close, says Rosenthal, though it certainly appears as if both teams believe they match up well on paper on a deal that would, in conjunction with some other pieces, send an expensive outfielder to Cincinnati and deliver the hefty Homer Bailey contract out west. It’ll be fascinating to see whether something comes together in these talks — or, frankly, any of the many others being conducted by the Cincinnati and Los Angeles organizations.
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    Dodgers “Actively” Attempting To Trade Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/dodgers-actively-attempting-to-trade-yasiel-puig-matt-kemp.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/dodgers-actively-attempting-to-trade-yasiel-puig-matt-kemp.html#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:52:12 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140136 TODAY: Aside from Puig, the Dodgers and Reds have also discussed Alex Wood in trade talks, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand tweets, though Feinsand’s source says “nothing serious at this point” has developed.

    TUESDAY, 10:53pm: The Mets aren’t in on Puig, Andy Martino of SNY tweets.

    10:27pm: The Dodgers are “actively” attempting to trade either or both of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Los Angeles would presumably have a much easier time moving the mercurial Puig, who’s the younger, less expensive and better of the two outfielders.

    The 28-year-old Puig is projected to make an affordable $11.3MM in 2019, his last season of team control, and is reportedly “open” to playing for another club after developing a distrust of Dodgers management in 2018. The right-handed Puig has fallen flat against left-handed pitchers in back-to-back years, but nevertheless, he didn’t like that the Dodgers limited his playing time versus southpaws in 2018. Despite that, Puig still turned in another quality offensive season, hitting .267/.327/.494 (123 wRC+) with 23 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 444 plate appearances. Since then, the Indians, Mets and Reds have been connected to Puig.

    Kemp, 34, was similarly effective at the plate in 2018, as he bounced back from a rough 2017 in Atlanta to bat .290/.338/.481 (122 wRC+) with 21 long balls in 506 PAs. However, Kemp tailed off in the second half of the season, continued to struggle in the outfield and is due an unreasonable $21.5MM next year. The Dodgers figure to have trouble dealing Kemp, then, unless they eat a large portion of his salary or swap him for another team’s undesirable contract.

    Jettisoning one or both of the Puig-Kemp duo would still leave the Dodgers with other outfield-capable players in Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez, Andrew Toles and high-end prospect Alex Verdugo. Plus, given the Dodgers’ ability to spend, they may add to the group by signing Bryce Harper, the best, most expensive outfielder available in free agency. Incidentally, the Dodgers reportedly offered Puig to the Nationals for Harper at last summer’s trade deadline.

    NL Notes: Reds, Mets, Cubs, Maeda https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-notes-reds-mets-cubs-maeda.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-notes-reds-mets-cubs-maeda.html#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 09:46:13 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140163 With news that the team is contemplating a rare foray into the big-game portion of the offseason’s free agent market, and today’s reports that the club is interested in acquiring Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig, the Reds have moved to the fore of the offseason’s hot stove.  As The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans details, it’s a unique position for a team that’s spent the last four years in the cellar of the NL Central. The Reds, to no one’s surprise, are said to be pursuing a center fielder, but quotes from President of Baseball Ops Dick Williams suggest the player need not be of the defense-first variety: “That’s one of the factors in not being comfortable in paying Billy (Hamilton) what we were paying him,” he said. “You could argue we can have room for a little more offense, a little less defense out of our center fielder.” One player said to be in the plans is blue-chip prospect Nick Senzel, a third baseman by trade who apparently offers enough athleticism to handle the position, though the options surely remain numerous at this juncture.

    In other news from around the NL . . .

    • Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets continue to ruminate internally about whether or not top prospect Andres Gimenez will be able to make the jump to the parent club in 2019, which would allow the team to dangle current shortstop Amed Rosario in a deal to reel in the trade market’s big fish, Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto. Such a scenario would, in all likelihood, necessitate the signing of a stopgap, defense-first shortstop, though 24-year-old Luis Guillorme, a supposed virtuoso with the leather, would seem to fit the bill as well as any. Gimenez, who spent nearly half of last season in Double-A as a 19-year-old, has a scouting report that reads quite similar to the one originally stamped to Rosario: a plus glove, with questions surrounding the bat.
    • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times cites sources who claim the Cubs would like to acquire two “established” but “not high-end” relievers, though such moves might not happen until next month. The Cubs’ pen delivered strong results last season (an NL best 83 ERA-), though much of the success may be ascribed to a combination of luck and sterling defense — the unit’s .277 BABIP, after all, was tied for the second lowest in the league, and its collective 106 xFIP- ranked in the league’s bottom half. Brandon Morrow, arguably the team’s best reliever in his limited action last year, is already scheduled to miss time next season after undergoing elbow surgery in November.
    • Per Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts (via the LA Times’ Jorge Castillo on Twitter), righty Kenta Maeda will begin next season in the Dodger rotation. Maeda, 30, was yo-yoed between the bullpen and rotation last year despite mostly excellent (10.62 K/9, 3.30 FIP) results as a starter. His contract, which includes a series of incentive bonuses for each additional 10 IP after reaching the 90-inning plateau for a season, plus $1MM each for making his 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, and 32nd starts of the year, may have been a factor, though the club’ll be hard-pressed to again limit the Japanese hurler if he reprises his dominance from a season ago.
    Dodgers, Cards Discussing Jose Martinez https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-rumors-phils-boras-cards-dodgers-j-martinez-giants-tulo.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-rumors-phils-boras-cards-dodgers-j-martinez-giants-tulo.html#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 05:21:01 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140146
  • More on Martinez, who’s drawing interest from the Dodgers, Rosenthal tweets. The two teams are discussing Martinez, with Rosenthal noting the Dodgers could use the defensively challenged 30-year-old at first base and deploy Cody Bellinger in center field. Despite his defensive limitations, Martinez has proven himself a formidable hitter, and he’s controllable for the next four years.
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