Neither do they, apparently.
A couple of weeks after locking up Andre Ethier, the Los Angeles Dodgers gave Cuban defector Yasiel Puig a seven-year, $42 million contract in June. Now, as a result of the weekend’s megadeal with the Red Sox, it’s hard to see where he’s ever going to fit in.
1B Adrian Gonzalez – Signed through 2018
LF Carl Crawford – Signed through 2017
CF Matt Kemp – Signed through 2019
RF Andre Ethier – Signed through 2017
The Dodgers’ outfield is completely set for five years beyond this one, and moving Ethier to first base during the back half of his deal is also off the table. Of course, the Dodgers are plenty rich, and they could well pay someone to take Crawford or Ethier come 2014 or ’15. Puig, though, looks like a very expensive excess piece. And with the huge contract, he’s not going to have any trade value at all until he proves he can play in the majors.
Puig, for what it’s worth, has impressed in limited action this season. The 21-year-old went 12-for-30 with four homers in nine games in his stint in the Rookie Arizona League. Since moving up to high-A ball earlier this month, he’s hit .375/.468/.425 with no homers and six steals in 40 at-bats.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.