We tend to avoid highlighting dubious rumors around these parts, but since this is the first dubious rumor of the (for most teams) offseason, let’s use it to get our offseason debunking skills back into game shape, shall we?
So I saw this last night, from a sports anchor at WBBM radio in Chicago, George Ofman:
Are the Dodgers shopping Puig? You bet and the Cubs are one of several teams interested.
— George Ofman (@georgeofman) October 9, 2014
With the caveat that, sure, I suppose weirder things have happened, this makes no damn sense. Partially because Puig, his NLDS Game 4 benching aside, is still the Dodgers best every day player and the most versatile member of an outfield that needs to be made-over to some degree, making him far less expendable than, say, Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford. Partially because he’s a pretty marketable face which Dodgers’ ownership has increasingly used to promote the team.
But it makes less sense from a bigger picture perspective. As was reported yesterday, GM Ned Colletti is on the hot seat, with people speculating that he may be fired. It’s preposterous to think that a GM who may be on the outs in two weeks would be allowed to make a move so significant. That a team who is considering not allowing this man to decide who gets non-roster invites for spring training would be allowed to trade away one of the biggest stars in the game. Especially when the dust hasn’t even settled from the Dodgers’ playoff exit yet.
The only way this would make sense to me is if something big happened between the Dodgers and Puig recently. Something so big that it led to his benching for Game 4 and has made Dodgers ownership decide that they need to part with Puig as soon as possible. But if something like that happened, we’d have heard about it by now, don’t you think?
I don’t know George Ofman. He may be a crack reporter. But it’s rare that local radio guys are the first ones in on major transaction news like this. Maybe once in a while this sort of thing will be borne out, but when it comes to transactional stuff of this magnitude, remember that there are really only two pools of folks who tend to get this kind of news: (a) the national hot stove reporters like Heyman, Rosenthal and Olney; and (b) the beat reporters who cover baseball teams on the regs such as Dylan Hernandez for the Dodgers, Andy McCullough for the Royals, Nick Piecoro for the Dbacks, etc. etc. After that you’re most likely to hear the news from teams themselves and way, way, way down that list come local radio and TV guys.