Winter Meetings Update: Dodgers Talking To Reds, Trying to Move Puig, Kemp

Matt Kemp

The annual winter meetings are underway this week and as usual the Dodgers are involved in multiple rumors. Normally Andrew Friedman refuses to participate in these meetings but this season may be different. Perhaps the Dodgers will actually make some moves? Will we see player movement from the Dodger front office this year? It’s hard to say.

Usually the Dodgers are reported to be in on every player under the sun yet no moves ever get made. As I mentioned above Friedman generally sits out these meetings. Oh sure he attends but never makes any trades or signings. The thing is most of the hot stove league develops at these meetings. That’s just how things work in baseball. It doesn’t mean that the Dodgers have to make a move during the meetings but most of the trade talks materialize at the winter meetings.

The Dodgers have been reportedly in talks with the Reds on a few scenarios that would send an outfielder to Cincinnati and pitcher Homer Bailey to the Dodgers. We’ve been hearing that the Dodgers are trying to unload Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp. I don’t know why number one they’re talking to the Reds, and number two why they have to take on Homer Bailey in order to do it. One could only speculate that the desperate Reds are the only club interested in either Kemp or Puig, or both.

Bailey is not the main focus of discussion here. Bailey is terrible. He’s been horrible for several years now and hasn’t produced a below 5.00 ERA season since 2014. He’s under contract for one more season before hitting free agency. He comes with a long and established history of injuries and is 32-years old. Hopefully Bailey never suits up in a Dodger uniform. The rebuilding Reds are trying to offload the 23 million dollars remaining on his salary. The Dodgers could always decline the 2020 mutual option in his contract anyways.

The Dodgers are also trying to unload Matt Kemp’s contract as well. Not to mention clear roster space by unloading the unhappy and disgruntled Puig. But are the Dodgers doing this in order to clear room to make a run at Bryce Harper? Or is Friedman considering this to just clear salary/roster space. If the Dodgers do unload Kemp or Puig or both, they would still have plenty of outfielders for 2019. For example they would still have Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, young Alex Verdugo and Andrew Toles. Chris Taylor can of course also play the outfield as well. The Dodgers once again have too many outfielders.

Maybe there’s a bigger trade brewing. Reports indicated the Dodgers have also discussed moving Alex Wood. The Reds have been reported to be interested in all-star catcher J.T. Realmuto. So perhaps there’s a bigger deal in the works where Realmuto would come back to the Dodgers somehow. Remember the Dodgers still don’t have a catcher.

It’s possible that ownership has finally stepped in to put some heat on Andrew Friedman who has yet to sign a marquee free agent since coming to town four years ago. It’s incredible to note this, but it’s true. If that’s the case maybe the Dodgers are gearing up for a potential run at Bryce Harper. Though it’s important to mention that the winter meetings are coming to a close soon and nothing has happened.

My guess is that once again, none of the rumors become true and Friedman sits on his hands and does nothing. Maybe Kemp gets dumped for some prospects but otherwise nothing else of interest happens. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers do absolutely nothing and go into spring training with nearly the exact same roster, with the exception of a huge downgrade at catcher (Austin Barnes) and second base manned by either Taylor, or Hernandez or both. Then again we could see some complicated unnecessary three-team trade for marginal prospects and salary dumps, or an expensive injury riddled pitcher like Bailey. We’ll see how things play out over the rest of this week.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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17 thoughts on “Winter Meetings Update: Dodgers Talking To Reds, Trying to Move Puig, Kemp

  1. Well, we are very close to ending the winter meetings and so far we may be adding Joe Kelley. The Dodgers are actively trying to trade Puig and Kemp. Now there’s a revelation. I think the whole Dodger world knew that for about 2 years. We know that other teams would like some of the Dodger catchers and outfielders but no deals. Another revelation. We should know by now that the Dodgers never get top tier players for building purposes. We got Darvish and Manny to fill holes and that is all of the so called top tier players. I will be shocked if the Dodgers get anyone of interest this off season. Remember Friedman said the Dodgers do not need much. So owners Mark Magic and Stan Put pressure on Friedman to get players of value. Won’t do it? Too much money?? The ususal YES!! Stand Pat! As&h#les!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Meetings pretty much over and Andy proved to be a hot air balloon once again. Joe Kelly will be ok with me, but they still need a catcher. No really big trades and they lost 2 players in the rule 5 draft, Drew Jackson and Connor Joe. Joe a C/1B hit .299 at AA/AAA last year and was plucked from the system by the Reds. Jackson, a middle infielder was picked by the Phillies and immediately flipped to the Orioles for international slot money. So over all the meetings were a total bust and very boring. There is a 3 team trade that is being finalized, nothing to do with the Dodgers of course, but Edwin Encarnation is being sent to the Mariners and Carlos Santana, who was traded to the Mariners by the Phillies a week or so ago is headed back to Cleveland. Cleveland is also getting Bauers from the Rays. Not sure what the Rays are getting. As a fan, I am sick and tired of Friedman.

  3. Trying is the optimum word here. I think Friedman is going to have to get very creative to get anyone to take Kemp. Although I think Matt would really thrive on an AL team in need of a DH, I doubt any NL team really wants him. Why Cincinnati would want him other than to just release or flip him to the AL is beyond me. Of course everyone was looking at a deal with the Reds that would include Matt and Yasiel. But that does not look like it is happening anytime soon, and Bailey, who the Reds want to dump in return for taking Kemp, has the Dodgers on his no trade list. By the way Scott,,,,,I still have to fill in my name and email everytime I post. Anyway to fix that????????

  4. I think we need to concentrate on washed-up pitchers and washed-up catchers.

    Why won’t they give Farmer a chance beyond the plate, is he that far beyond hideous? He can’t be worse behind the dish than Grandmal, and he sure as hell would hit more consistently than Grandmal.

  5. IMO the Dodgers should move Kemp, especially since they chose to sit the 2018 MLB Comeback Player of the Year and savior when JT was down. If they are not going to play him, then let him go, at any price. Alex Wood should definitely go. I still think he has some value in the trade market. I would even trade Hernandez and Peterson. Kiké could have significant trade value, but his downfall was his failure at the plate in the WS. Pederson, like Kemp, should be cut loose, if they are not going to play him. Joc is wasted on the bench.

    I would not trade Puig. I just get the feeling that he will make the Dodgers regret the decision to give him up. If he just gets the opportunity to play every day (Freidman says he wants to cut down on platooning) he should fair well. Alex Verdugo should not even be mentioned as trade bait. Alex deserves a fair shot at LF, thus making Kiké and Pederson expendible. I even read somewhere that the Dodgers might even trade Rich Hill…. that is totally ridiculous.

    Rather than looking for a slugging first baseman to allow Muncy to play every day at 2B, keep Muncy at first, and give Taylor a shot at every day 2B. Like Puig, CT3 needs a chance to play every day. His hitting suffers when he is in and out of the lineup, constantly. CT3 and Muncy’s offensive production should improve with more playing time.

    Even the thought of 32 yr old Homer Bailey coming to the pitching staff blows my mind… might as well be Homer Simpson. I am tired of these washed up, tired arms crowding the pitching staff. They have enough walking wounded. Even the addition of 31 yr old Kelley, and his history of shoulder impingment, scares me. Sometimes I see these worn out pitchers using Los Angeles Dodgers as the MLB’s “MAS*H” unit, since they are closest to Kerlan-Jobe. Dodger spend time and money rehabbing them, then they pack up and leave.

    As far as Catcher, bring up one of the prospects as back-up, and start the season with Barnes. If Barnes fails to show up, let the Kid play. I am tired of the FO always saying, “The Kid is one or two years away from coming up to the big show”, then these guys waste away in the minors and they lose them to Rule 5.

  6. I too believe trading Puig is a mistake. But I am prejudiced, I have always liked Yasiel. As for Matt, in a lot of ways I wish they had never traded for the guy. He comes into spring in the best shape of his life, works his butt off and makes the roster. He carry’s the team for most of the 1st half, makes the all-star team, has a slump afterwards, which happens to a lot of players, gets benched for most of the 2nd half when he still leads the team in BA with RISP. And when all the stats say he hits RHP better than he does LHP, he gets benched most of the playoffs against RHP. Hits their 1st WS HR and sits most of the series. He was disrespected, used as a back up when he earned the starting job, and none of the guys who played in his place did any better than he did. But trading him and his salary is not that easy. My guess is that unless they take some salary back, vis a vis the trade proposition with the Reds that had Bailey in it, they will be hard pressed to move him. They are trying to dump some salary, not take it on. I also do not think that they are in any way going to give Harper 10 years. All I have read points to them waiting to see if that request goes down a little. Wood is probably the most movable pitcher, and sorry Blue, Hill was part of the talk with the Reds. I think them trading for Cervelli, on the condition that the price is not to high is more likely than signing Ramos. As far as pitching, they will add a starter if they move one. But a lot of fringe players could be on the move.

  7. You are on point with Kemp, Michael. Total disrespect.

    Over all, Kemp’s, Pederson’s, Puig’s, Barnes’, and Taylor’s slumps were also a result of excessive platooning and playing the dredded rightie/leftie card. These Players were glued to the bench, while they and the fans watched the leftie lineup struggle.

    Hill and Maeda were about the most consistant pitchers, yet they too were disrespected. Maeda stripped from starting rotation at the end of the season, and now Hill is on the chopping block.

    I hope the exit of FZ has opened up AF’s eyes, and finally giving DR a little more respect and AF will take DR’s insight more seriously, such as roster and lineup decisions.

    1. Kemp, Hill, Maeda disrespected.
      Kemp, Pederson, Puig, Barnes and Taylor done in by platoon’s.
      DR’s insight ignored.

      It’s no wonder this team couldn’t get to the World Series.

      Oh wait.

      1. Bluto
        Surely you jest.. You think DR has insight? What a joke. Don’t tell me you think that the players are all in for platooning? People are not going to buy in to BS. Don’t you see the Dodgers did nothing in the Winter meetings? They never get anyone worth a Sh49. He lies so it looks like he is doing something when he is not but hey, I don’t expect anything from you.

  8. Mission accomplished for the front office. No luxury tax payment.

    To show you how much a charade that excuse is:

    The AP reports the great Red Sox paid $11.9 million in luxury tax. To put that in some perspective, they paid $47.5 million to have Pablo Sandoval go away and a $30 million penalty to sign Yoan Moncada. The tax is hardly some big deal.

    1. It is when you pay it four straight years like the Dodgers did. They were headed for a place where the tax would have gone up over 50 million. Not chump change there my friend. But the fact remains that the FO wants to stay below the tax for the next few seasons.

  9. “Over all, Kemp’s, Pederson’s, Puig’s, Barnes’, and Taylor’s slumps were also a result of excessive platooning and playing the dredded rightie/leftie card. These Players were glued to the bench, while they and the fans watched the leftie lineup struggle.”
    I can only add to Bluwfan4Life’s comments above with the fact that once Machado was obtained last year, ONLY he and Turner escaped this obsessive platooning and many including me have felt that those players became only marginal players as a result. Do any of you here feel as I do, that a BIG reason Freidman sort of struck out at the Winter meetings was because NO FA or a player mentioned in any trades really want to come to Dodgers because of them being made to be platoon players?

  10. I agree Paul.

    Not only do players not want to come to LA and become platoon players, the roster the Doyers have is so full of platoon players with mediocre stats, which nobody in their right mind would trade for.

  11. I agree Paul.

    Not only do players not want to come to LA and become platoon players, the roster the Doyers have is so full of platoon players with mediocre stats, which nobody in their right mind would trade for.

    The few regulars they had suffered, because they could not get in sync with the ever changing elevator lineup. All hitters, 1-9, need to establish roles, and the platooning did not allow this to happen.

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