The Dodgers need starting pitching. Last night a report came out that they’re willing to deal Yasiel Puig in the right deal. Later Ken Rosenthal reported that they’re discussing Alex Guerrero in possible trades.
The loss of both players could solve some problems for the Dodgers, separate and apart from whatever problems the players they’d get in return might solve. In dealing Puig, L.A. could (a) get nice talent given his value; and (b) rid themselves of a guy who aggravates certain segments of their clubhouse. Guerrero is a different kind of square peg in that he really doesn’t have a solid defensive position and his contract is such that he can refuse minor league assignments and the like.
Of course, like Puig, Guerrero has considerable upside too. Though he has cooled off considerably, his bat has pop and the tear he went on earlier this year may make some suitor think, if they squint just right, a player could be made out of this project. And while his defense is dreadful, he can, in theory, play any number of positions making someone possibly see him as a corner guy or a super sub. There’s at least something to work with there.
Either way, one of the hallmarks of the new Dodgers regime was cutting bait on guys who were playing out of position like Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp and trying to get a more conventional baseball team on the field for lack of a better term. Getting rid of the defensively challenged Guerrero and putting an end to the Puig drama, such as it is, would be in line with that. If it solved a glaring weakness — the rotation after Greinke and Kershaw — it could be worthwhile.
We know that the Dodgers are likely to add a pitcher or two before Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline, but could they also deal Yasiel Puig in the process? Bob Nightengale of USA Today hears that it’s possible.
“In the right deal” can mean a lot of things. Teams should be open-minded to all sorts of possibilities, so this doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Also keep in mind that the Dodgers would be selling low on Puig, who missed a bunch of time this season with a hamstring injury and has underwhelmed somewhat with a .253/.327/.423 batting line over 53 games. Regardless of his popularity in the clubhouse, he’s insanely talented, young, and under team control through 2019.
By the way, it was reported over the weekend that Puig was recently given assurances from the Dodgers that he wouldn’t be traded this season. Well, Puig told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that it didn’t happen. Still, it would take a pretty big deal for the Dodgers to even consider the possibility of trading the dynamic outfielder.
Yasiel Puig’s name has been floated in trade speculation this week, but CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers have told the outfielder that they don’t plan to trade him this season.
Puig asked the Dodgers about his status after he heard about a rumor which linked him to the Reds. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the rumored return package included Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto. That would be quite a blockbuster, but it turns out it was never actually discussed. Meanwhile, Heyman hears that the Dodgers “are not having any conversations about Puig and are not interested in moving him.”
Puig missed a large chunk of the early part of the season due to hamstring injury and has had a pretty quiet year when healthy enough to play, batting .259 with six home runs and a .759 OPS. Still, he’s just 24 years old and remains under team control through 2019. He might not be the most popular guy in the Dodgers’ clubhouse, but you don’t give up on this sort of talent unless there’s a monster deal coming down the pike. That scenario hasn’t presented itself yet.