Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times writes that there is “industry-wide speculation” the Dodgers will trade Yasiel Puig this offseason.
Puig has, for the most part, stayed out of the headlines and has been pretty darn productive over the past two seasons, so this might come as a bit of a surprise. Hernandez reports, however, that Puig is “disgruntled” over being increasingly platooned and, one year away from free agency, likely wants to show potential suitors that he’s not a platoon player.
Which, however understandable, is not going to make him many friends among his teammates, most of whom have been platooned, often aggressively, by manager Dave Roberts. That’s part of how the Dodgers role these days given their depth and given how many players they have who can man multiple positions. For what it’s worth, Puig hit far, far better against righties than lefties in 2018, with an OPS of .921 against the former and .628 against the latter.
Puig has been on the trading block many times over the years, but the Dodgers haven’t pulled the trigger. If what Hernandez says is true, that could very well change this offseason.
The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports that the Cubs have considered trading super-utilityman Ben Zobrist in order to free up payroll space, which would allow the club to address other areas of the roster.
Zobrist, 37, is entering the final year of his contract and will earn $12 million in 2019. According to Cot’s Contracts, the Cubs project to have an Opening Day payroll of about $204.5 million, just a hair below the luxury tax threshold of $206 million. The Cubs have notably been absent from the free agent marketplace, particularly involving Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, due to luxury tax concerns.
Last season, Zobrist hit .305/.378/.440 with nine home runs, 58 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 520 plate appearances. He played all over the field, logging 100-plus innings in both outfield corners and second base while also spending a handful of games at first base. With Addison Russell serving a 40-game suspension to open the 2019 season, Javier Báez will handle shortstop and Zobrist figures to be the starting second baseman.