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The two young prospects coming back to the Dodgers are infielder Jeter Downs and right handed pitcher Josiah Gray. Both prospects are several years away from being major league ready at the least. Gray is considered a top-100 prospect, or once was. Gray tossed 2.58 ERA in 52.2 innings pitched at the single-A ball level. Downs batted .257 and hit 13 home runs and stole 37 bags at the class-A level. I don’t see either player ever suiting up in a Dodger uniform to be honest, but they’ll provide some useful minor league depth. Hey even the Rancho Quakes need players too. Check out the analysis Dustin did on the prospects over at Dodgersdigest.
That doesn’t mean this trade is anything resembling a major league swap in any way whatsoever. As a matter of fact this is probably one of the worst trades the Dodgers have ever made in the history of the franchise. I don’t mean that because they traded Puig, Kemp or any of the other guys. I mean this because they didn’t get anyone of value back at all. They essentially gave the Reds several good players while opening up another hole on the position player side. This may go down in the hall of shame for trades right alongside other whoppers of foolishness like the Pedro Martinez for Delino Deshields debacle, or the Fox created Mike Piazza trade to the Marlins in 1998. The Dodgers have given the Reds charity during the holiday season and I sure hope the Cincy faithful appreciate what Andrew Friedman’s idiocy will do for them in 2019.
Puig should hit 25-30 home runs at Great American Ballpark, and Kemp will have a good year hitting there as well. This ends one of the most tumultuous Dodger careers of our generation. We’ll have fond memories of Yasiel Puig. He may not be the same player he was when he first broke in with the Dodgers but he’s still an immensely talented and entertaining player. He’s one of the most marketable faces as well and losing him for nothing stings. We’ll take a look back another time at his incredibly up and down Dodger career. We’ll miss Kemp too; it was nice to see him back one last time.
Let’s talk about why the Dodgers made this moronic trade. Other than sending Package into a rage, why did the Dodgers do this? One would say that they’re gearing up to sign mega free agent Bryce Harper. That would make sense as there is now a gaping hole in right field and Harper would slot right in there. However you and I both know how unbelievably small market minded and cheap Friedman is. He’s never given a contract to a marquee free agent since him and his penny pinchers rode into town. I doubt they start now, especially considering Harper would command a humongous deal. Probably somewhere in the 300 million dollar range.
This was a deal made to save money and create roster space. Surely Friedman loves to save money, but let’s not pretend the Dodgers even need to do something like this. The Dodgers saved somewhere around 17-20 million dollars in the trade, which can be used to do something this offseason, so I am assuming more moves are coming. But again the Dodgers are not poor.
Please do not even begin to try and sell me that the Dodgers had to do this to get below the luxury tax, or because they’re in the red, or bleeding money all over the field. Look I get that payroll can’t be like 500 million or something but let’s not pretend like the Dodgers are poor. Yes the poor little broke Dodgers simply can’t afford Puig or Kemp anymore. The Dodgers are not the Tampa Bay Rays despite Friedman running them like they are. The Dodgers are one of the richest if not the richest sports organizations in the world. The two riches teams in baseball are the Dodgers and Yankees. They’re owned by a multi-billion dollar per year investment firm that has resources in the billions. The franchise and brand makes billions of dollars per year off marketing, ticket sales, a huge television deal, merchandise, endorsements and who knows what other business dealings. The fact is if the Dodgers want a player, they can get him easily. They have the funds.
With that being said, Friedman better go out and sign someone like a Harper, Machado or acquire a JT Realmuto. Because while I do think the Dodgers can survive without Puig and Kemp, a large market behemoth like the Dodgers salary dumping like this for no reason not only sends a really bad message to the fan base but it makes them look awful in the eyes of the sports world. The way to make up for this stupidity is to fork out the cash and sign Harper. Otherwise the Friedman fans get to cheer again about how much money he saved. His wallet never looked thinner.