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Report: Dodgers and Brewers are still discussing a trade involving Ryan Braun

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According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, the Dodgers and Brewers are still in talks regarding a potential trade for Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun. The two sides initially had a trade in the works last August, when it was rumored that the Dodgers would receive the veteran outfielder in exchange for outfielder Yasiel Puig, right-hander Brandon McCarthy and two unidentified prospects. However, talks fell through prior to the August 31 deadline and discussions appeared to be tabled, though not entirely nixed.

Now, both Cafardo and MLB.com’s Jon Morosi report that the clubs have started to revisit the deal. While it is unlikely that the two sides will finalize anything in the first month of the new season, it’s worth noting that Braun will gain his 10-and-5 rights on May 24, allowing him to veto any potential trade offers. Morosi speculates that Braun would be unlikely to reject a trade to the Dodgers, both because the team was left off of his no-trade list last season and because of their proximity to his home in Los Angeles.

Following Saturday’s game against the Reds, the 33-year-old outfielder has gone 9-for-46 during the 2017 season with three home runs and three stolen bases. He’s looking to follow up on a productive 2016 run, during which he slashed .305/.365/.368 with 30 home runs and 3.2 fWAR in 135 games with Milwaukee. The Dodgers, meanwhile, could use the extra support in the outfield, where their fielders are drawing a collective .242/.338/.462 at the plate and Franklin Gutierrez and Andre Ethier have been compromised by injuries.

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

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Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”

The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.

Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.