The Los Angeles Dodgers are actively shopping outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
According to a source, the Dodgers are actively trying to trade Yasiel Puig and/or Matt Kemp.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 12, 2018
This comes after Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters at the Winter Meetings that they were trying to thin out their “plethora of outfielders.”
Los Angeles’s bountiful outfield includes Puig, Kemp, Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Enrique Hernandez, Max Muncy, Andrew Toles, Alex Verdugo and Chris Taylor. Although some of those players also have roles in the infield, the Dodgers still have plenty more outfielders than they need, and are looking to trade Puig and Kemp.
Roberts also mentioned yesterday that the team also had a surplus of major-league pitchers, and will look into trading some of them, too.
Puig, 28, is arbitration eligible this offseason, and becomes a free agent next offseason. It would make sense for the Dodgers to trade Puig so they can get something for him, rather than keeping him in Los Angeles and losing him to free agency next offseason.
Through 125 games in 2018, Puig slashed .267/.327/.494, picking up his highest batting average since his all-star season in 2014 and his highest slugging percentage since his rookie year in 2013. This past season, Puig knocked in 63 runs on 108 hits, including 23 home runs. He struck out 87 times and walked 36 while also stealing 15 bases on 20 attempts.
Meanwhile, Kemp is entering the final season of the massive eight-year, $160 million deal he signed in 2012. He’s on pace to make more than $21 million this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent, which makes him a strong trade candidate, too.
Kemp, 34, still has a few good years left in him. He was an All-Star this past season after having not received that honor since 2012. Through 146 games this past season with the National League champion Dodgers, Kemp slashed .290/.338/.481, posting his best batting average since 2012. He knocked in 85 runs on 134 hits, including 21 homers, while striking out 115 times and walking just 36.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported last night that the Dodgers are looking to trade for slugger Jose Martinez of the St. Louis Cardinals. Although the Dodgers likely wouldn’t send Puig, and definitely wouldn’t send Kemp, to the Cardinals, it’s reassuring for Dodgers fans to see that there is definitely things going on that should be monitored.
It would certainly take a lot of work for the Dodgers to pull off a trade to move Puig or Kemp (or both), but anything can happen. Especially at the winter meetings.