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.
According to a source, the Reds and Dodgers have discussed deals involving Yasiel Puig and/or Alex Wood, though it’s one of many scenarios out there. “Nothing serious at this point,” the source said.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 12, 2018
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.