The Dodgers Discussed Trading Yasiel Puig To Boston And Thankfully They Didn’t

Yasiel Puig

The Dodgers have been rumored to be shopping Yasiel Puig for several years now, but have yet to move the enigmatic right fielder. For the record I have never been in favor of moving Puig, despite Oscar wanting to trade him for Giancarlo Stanton earlier this winter. Nevertheless according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, the Dodgers approached the Red Sox about a Puig for Jackie Bradley Jr. deal during the earlier part of the offseason. The Red Sox refused and the talks went nowhere.

It’s an interesting idea. Both players are young and under team control. However Puig is making more money, nearly six million dollars more per year. Bradley does have an extra year of team control and perhaps that’s what attracted the Dodger’s front office to the Boston outfielder.

Even with the extra year of control, I still think Puig is more valuable. I know that Puig’s batting and on-base skills are not in the same stratosphere as they once were when he first broke in with the Dodgers in 2013, his overall offensive production is still heads and tails better than Bradley’s. The beantown centerfielder posted a .245/.323/.403 batting line in 2017 with 48 walks and 124 strikeouts in 541 plate appearances. That’s well below league average production. He took a big step back after having somewhat of a breakout year offensively in 2016 when he slashed .267/.349/.486 with 26 home runs and 87 runs batted in. His power numbers fell off in 2017 as he slugged 17 dingers and drove home 63 runs. Injuries did play a big part in that.

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Puig however had a resurgence at the plate in 2017. He batted .263/.346/.487 with 28 home runs, and 74 runs driven in. His plate discipline improved as well. Puig drew 64 free passes and struck out 100 times. If you look at the two player’s OPS+ marks over the last three seasons, you’ll see that Puig and Bradley were actually a lot closer than you think in terms of overall production.

Bradley Jr. -53 home runs

2015- 119

2016- 118

207- 89

Puig- 50 home runs

2015- 110

2016- 98

2017- 118


What makes Puig a little better offensively over Bradley is his higher on-base skills. Puig has a career .357 OBP to Bradley’s .318 clip. Puig is also a career .281 hitter in comparison to Bradley’s career .239 mark. But perhaps the best earmark of a good hitter is how he does with runners in scoring position. In that category Puig has Bradley beat as well.


Puig – .269/.362/.471 22 home runs 190 RBI

Bradley Jr. .251/.338/.463 15 home runs 164 RBI

But it’s not just their bats that stir this discussion, it’s also their gloves. Bradley is considered an elite defender, and Puig is also seen as one of the better defensive right fielders in the game despite being unrecognized. It’s difficult to compare the two on defense. The numbers would seem to considerably favor Puig in this section too. Puig saved the Dodgers 18 runs in 2017 according to defensive runs saved, and his total zone fielding runs above average was a +11. Meanwhile Bradley saved Boston 9 runs and his total zone fielding rating was a -3.

Here’s possibly the tiebreaker in Puig’s favor, his cannon arm. We’ve all seen it many times in action, but Puig has 39 career outfield assists. To be fair, Bradley has a strong arm too, He’s tallied 37 outfield assists over his career. Both men can play all three positions with ease.

Were the Dodgers trying to move Puig? Or perhaps they were attempting to acquire a cheaper cost controlled knockoff of the Wild Horse? Maybe it was just offseason chatter of a front office just doing their due diligence to explore possible deals. We’ll never know.

I’m glad this trade was never made. While the two men are comparable offensively and defensively, you have to give Puig the nod because of his slightly better power, on-base skills and throwing arm. It does tell us that the Dodger’s front office was thinking about moving him. I’m glad they didn’t…..for now. What say you?

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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49 thoughts on “The Dodgers Discussed Trading Yasiel Puig To Boston And Thankfully They Didn’t

  1. Not only do I think the FAZ won’t (be able to) move Puig, I think Puig will sign as a FA with LA and give the Dodgers a home town discount.

    Puig’s years with Mattingly and his on-camera antics will compel every FO to ask for a discount. The FAZ won’t do that. Dollar store shoppers are not going to sell you anything for a discount – they get discounts, not give them out.

    As for why Puig will sign another contract with us at a discount – it was difficult enough for him to fit in here. He’s got enough money to last him a lifetime already. Puig strikes me as a emotions – first guy. So I think Puig will going to be thinking he’s not going to want to go through another big adjustment process again and he’ll just play his career out in LA. Unless he’s signed by the Marlins (but with Jeter there I don’t see it).

  2. I have no problem trading Puig. It depends on the return. Bradley? They project about the same for ‘18. As I said to Bluto the other day and Scott re-iterates today, it looks like a money deal to me. Bradley will be a few million a year cheaper, and that few million a year could be applied to a guy like Arrietta or Darvish or, whoever.

    As for the retirement of 19, I know Gilliam was a deeply respected man by the Dodger organization. Though he did have a few very good years, I think the retirement of that number was done out of love. Not likely that will happen again – right? Why not #30? Why not 14? Hall of Fame as a Dodger is what the organization uses.

    1. Love and respect Badger for his service to the organization. There are a lot of people who have said that Fernando’s 34 should be retired, and he did not come close to HOF numbers. But here is the rub on that…no one has been issued that number for a very long time, so in a sense it is retired. Last person to wear 34……Fernando…..Gil Hodges belongs in the hall. His numbers are very comparable with Tony Perez. The voters and the veterans committee have really screwed the pooch with Gil. Maury Wills might have been a HOF type player if he had made it to the majors sooner. He was in his late 20’s before he came up for good. He has not come close to making the hall. Even though he brought the stolen base back into vogue. There are HOF Dodgers who do not have their number retired nor are they in the ring of honor. Wilbert Robinson, Dazzy Vance and Burleigh Grimes come to mind.

        1. You are right, they did not use numbers which is why there is none retired for Grimes or Robinson, but they still could put them in the ring of honor. Vance wore #31 for a short time. I had totally forgotten Wheat who owns most of the Dodger career marks for games and stuff like that.

    1. Heard that too.

      I send Verdugo and Grandal to Miami for Yelich. Is that enough? Prolly not. Who else goes in that package?

      1. Badger
        I will definitely take some of that Yelich stuff. I think that is a fair trade. I would do the same trade for Cutch also. A no brainer for sure.

        1. The one guy out there I like, and another home town boy, will probably end up staying in Miami. He’s not that expensive – $7mm then $9.75mm so no rush to move him. It appears it will be lf by committee again. And that might be ok. It won’t put up 4.5 fWAR, but it might be ok.

  3. Jay Bruce rejoins Mets on 3 year deal. Darvish adds mystery team to the 5 teams still in the running for his services. According to all reports, the Dodgers are not on his list.

    1. The mystery team is supposedly the Dodgers. Can this be any more obvious that it’s just a face saving gesture? Just like when the Dodgers were supposedly in on Stanton, a SoCal native, to save face, until they were assured that the salary dump deal with the Braves would go through. Then it became clear that they were never in serious discussions in the first place. As if the other FOs cannot tell whether someone is serious or not. I just laugh when people say that they’re in the game “just to drive the price up”. There are only a few teams and they pretty much all know each other. Only amateurs get fooled with stunts like that.

      1. Yueh Fei
        That is definitely the Dodger’s MO for sure. I find it very bush league. I feel they do some of it to give a message to the fans that they are trying to upgrade when nothing could be further from the truth. FAZ should just be associated with Tampa baseball. I hate Tampa baseball.

        1. I think the good news Pack is that we still have the non FAZ players that should carry the team again. Kershaw projects an injury free year and the Seager Bellinger combo could be awesome for years to come.

          1. Badger
            I am still worried that the starting pitching is weaker than it should be. You know guys get hurt a lot. I wouldn’t mind Yu but I do not think the FO will spend that much. I also though Cole would have been good. FAZ likes Tampa so maybe Cobb??

  4. Package, in my eyes you have every reason to worry. Kershaw and Wood will be the steadiest of the bunch. Hill is 38. How long can he weave his 5 inning magic? Sheesh I wish he could go 6. Maeda, well if Kenta can build up some stamina and make it through a season without flaming out at the end, he could be good for 16 wins maybe. Ryu or the mystery pitcher in the 5 spot. Ryu, now 2 years removed from surgery could bounce back. He did show some signs last year,, and also had some real stinkers. But I would have much rather seen him pitch than McCarthy. Of course McBrittle and Kazmir are gone and no longer a problem, but is Buehler ready for prime time? I think he needs a little more AAA seasoning as he also is just a little more than a year removed from TJ surgery. Urias will not be ready until at least June, and then most likely will be out of the pen. I still think they are too LH heavy in the starting rotation. They have a couple of guys on the roster in Owens and Baker who have made some starts. They will also probably bring in more than a few non roster guys with starting experience. The wild card could be Font. The guy had a great year at AAA and will probably get a long look in spring.

  5. Stuff from around:

    1. Chris Hatcher signed with Oakland for 1.2
    2. Cody Bellinger said he’s gained 15 pounds since the World Series with a stepped-up conditioning and nutrition program.
    3. Picking up on the Kike/Bobbehead talk, since joining the Dodgers, Kiké has hit .276/.369/.540 against LHP, and his 142 wRC+ vs. southpaws ranks 12th in MLB (min. 400 PA)
    4. Jon Heyman writes about the Dodgers’ remaining needs:
    Baseball’s best regular-season team doesn’t have a lot of weaknesses, either (obvs!), and they already addressed their biggest one, which was their perennial luxury tax issue, by trading a bunch of guys with high salaries in 2018 for one, Matt Kemp, with a high salary spread out over two years.

    Their rotation remains deep, but another top-of-the-rotation starter would be nice – though that seems almost impossible, what with their threshold concerns. They’ve made a couple nice moves to try to make up for the loss of October set-up stalwart Brandon Morrow (the pen is an Andrew Friedman specialty) but have taken at least a small step back there after finding and mining a gem in a rejuvenated Morrow.

    If there’s one thing that’s something to watch, perhaps it’s center field. With the report by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe that they offered mercurial right fielder Yasiel Puig for the Red Sox’s Gold Glove center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., there appears to be at least a hint of concern that Joc Pederson won’t be able to carry his postseason success into the regular season. Lorenzo Cain seems like the one true upgrade out there, if he can be fit into the budget (one L.A.-connected person said he didn’t see that as realistic), though Jon Jay, Jarrod Dyson and Carlos Gomez also remain available, and with several outfielder prospects coming, perhaps someone on a shorter term makes more sense. They could also use Chris Taylor in center field for now, and they would still have several left-field options (Enrique Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles, Alex Verdugo). So center field isn’t a necessity.

    1. Quote his full stats there Bluto. Not just what he did against lefty’s. The guy could not come close to being the utility player Gilliam was. He hit under 200 in 2016 and barely above it in 2017. Nothing there shows me the guy is worth that kind of recognition. I care less about his average against lhp. Gilliam was a switch hitter, excellent defensively and was probably the most unselfish player I ever saw. He usually hit 2nd and constantly would give up his at bats to get Wills in scoring position on a team that did not score much. Kike is no where near that kind of player….sorry, he does not merit a bobble.

      1. I was not in anyway alluding to his viability as a “bobble.”

        For the record, I think anyone can and should have a bobble. I put no value in that “award”

        If they wanted to give Trace Thompson, Carl Crawford or AJ Ellis one, I wouldn’t care.

        1. Ellis has one. For most guys it is the t-shirt with their number on it that is what most people buy. Crawford actually had 2 T-shirts. One with 25 which was the original number he wore after the trade and then 3. Usually bobble’s are reserved for achievements, or the star players. Case in point, Koufax has 3. One for his 4 no hitters, another for his MVP award, and another celebrates his perfect game. Kersh has 4 now I think, Seager will be getting his 2nd this year as will Bellinger. His is for his ROY. MJ is right that they are promotions, but there usually is some sort of history attached. Gibson’s shows his 88 WS game winning homer. But Kike has done nothing like that. I personally think they should have made on of Amoros’s catch that saved game 7 of the 55 series.

          1. Actually Bluto, it just says he is the 5th bobble next year. And it also said it is highly unusual for a scrub to get his own bobble. My take is that he will probably be in that banana costume. His 3 HR performance against the Cubs does not really rate a hurrah. It won nothing. That game was pretty much in the bag after his first HR.

    2. Bluto
      I like Badger’s idea. Trade Joc and Grandal for Cutch and then put him in CF. I would then put Taylor at 2nd base. I still think Kemp is the Left fielder. Now for the reality, FAZ will get nobody just like he did in Tampa. Hey everyone ” Its time for Tampa West baseball.”

      1. Here is a thought, maybe the Dodgers should think about getting a 3rd baseman. Don’t get excited, I would play Turner at 2nd. I am always afraid that Justin will get injured and there is an abundance of available 3rd basemen like Manny M at Baltimore and others. Just a thought.

      2. Well, I don’t mind putting Taylor at 2nd.

        But I’m not huge on McClutcheon at his age.

        FAZ could very well get nobody else, but I still think they need to clear out some OF bodies. Too many.

        1. McCutchen has been a negative dWAR CFer for the last 4 years but as RH hitting LFer he could be a good fit here. He’s only 31 and obviously can still run – 30 doubles, a couple triples and 11 stolen bases. .849 OPS last year. He’s signed for ‘18 at $14.5mm so using Grandal in that deal covers a lot of that. Free agent after that might be an issue, depending on how good he is at 31 in a contract year.

          I wonder how much having Kemp here figures into left field plans. Is he is, or is he ain’t in the mix? If he is, there is no need for a McCutchen trade. Use Grandal for Archer or somebody like him.

      3. I would not put Cutch in CF. His range is not what it once was. Nor would I move Turner off third. They are not going to trade for Machado. They might go after him in free agency, but I doubt that. I would rather see Taylor at 2nd and Forsythe in a utility role, but he is getting close to 9 mil. He is going to be the starter this year and then probably gone in 2019.

    3. “the pen is an Andrew Friedman specialty”

      Isn’t he the same guy that gave us Hatcher? Guess this fantastic writer forgot about that.

  6. If our minor league pitcher of the year Wilmer Font can give us some starts that’d be great. Stripling should get a chance too.

    To be honest I am not sold on our AAA pitchers. None of our Minor League players of the year have panned out after extended stints in the majors, and I think our FOs are using those awards as marketing for pieces they want to dangle as trade bait. I think most of the other FOs aren’t fooled.

  7. “Their rotation remains deep, but another top-of-the-rotation starter would be nice –“

    Sounds like a contradiction in terms to me. If it’s truly deep, they shouldn’t need another starter.

    I think the plan is to have four $10-$16mm 5 inning starters and six $2mm 8th inning guys all framed at one end by Kershaw and at the other end by Jansen. They will also limit those five innings guys starts by manipulating the 10 day again and having minor leaguers and Beachy type pickups start a few games. I think the $ numbers add up to less than getting another $25mm starter. Have only done the math in my head and I’m on drugs.

    This is the FAZ model. 110 innings out of a starter? Who cares if they put up between 2-3 WAR, and Hill proved that is possible. It’s not sexy but it’s working. Is it sustainable? Beats me. But I’m not angry about it anymore. This is the Dodgers Way now. To take a stand against what is is something I no longer intend to do. These guys moves, many of which raised payroll and just didn’t work, actually got us to a World Series. We’ll see how good they are when lowering payroll. Maybe it works. I find myself taking the under again but I admit they surprised the hell out of me last year.

    2018 and Beyond!

    1. But would you pay 1/4 of your check to see a 5 inning starter, six relief pitchers, two catchers, and a Kike in a pear tree?

      A lot of people do. It works. The Edsel worked. Anybody here love their Edsel?

        1. Yeah, but they still have not won anything have they. Friedman’s teams have gotten to the series twice and been beat both times. Kasten won 1 world championship with Atlanta despite all those division titles. They field winning teams, just not champions, and that’s a fact Jack……

          1. They won a NL pennant. That’s kind of a big deal around here. They won 3 games in the World Series. Bummer they took a dump in a couple of those games they didn’t win.

            I get it everyone, team members and fans, believe the goal is to win it all. Is ‘18 the year? It could be very difficult working two goals at the same time – reducing payroll while doing what is necessary to take the next step. The genius of these guys will be tested.

          2. Mr. Norris,
            You have a unique way of telling it like it is. Good Job. It could not have been said any better and that’s a fact Jack…..

      1. Because you love the team and the game is about the only reason I can think of. The last few times I have actually been to a game I got to see the back end of the rotation. I did see Maeda throw a gem in 16 at Coors. But then I was subjected to Kazmir on that Sunday and he blew a 7 run lead. Dodgers eventually won the game 12-10 when they scored 5 in the 9th inning and Jansen closed the door.

  8. After Kershaw, our pitching is quite vulnerable to decline. Morrow is a huge loss. Maybe one of the new guys can pick up for him, but maybe not. I wouldn’t count on Urias for anything–I mean some people talk him showing up in August will be like getting an all-star back, but we don’t really know about him yet, do we? I’m up and in on Buehler, but he’s raw too. By the same token, we need these two guys to come along, or we could end up with diddley squat if Kershaw leaves next fall. Somehow I don’t think FAZ is going to mortgage the farm to keep him…not their DNA. If that happens It’s Parades, Font, whatever’s left of Ryu, and the fumes of Hill and Maeda. Maybe FAZ start hanging out by the surgeons office to start collecting guys fresh off the operating table.

  9. Bruce
    I think you have it pegged pretty good. I also have no faith in FAZ. I think luck has played a huge role in their success so far. I feel FAZ needs to suck it up and sign Kersh and “Pay the man his money”.

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