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Reds, Dodgers finalize massive seven-player trade

Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp go to Cincinnati while two talented prospects head to LA.

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a massive six-player trade ahead of the weekend. On Friday afternoon, the two sides agreed to the deal sending outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, catcher/infielder Kyle Farmer, and pitcher Alex Wood to Cincinnati, while pitchers Homer Bailey and Josiah Gray and infielder Jeter Downs go to Los Angeles. According to a major-league source, the Reds will also receive cash considerations.

Yahoo’s Jeff Passan first reported the trade was in the works, while Greenville Reds play-by-play announcer Justin Rocke was first to mention the players involved. FanCred’s Jon Heyman first mentioned Farmer’s name.

The Dodgers and Reds had been discussing a trade involving Kemp and Puig since the start of the Winter Meetings nearly two weeks ago, and they finally completed it just days before Christmas.

Puig, 28, is arbitration eligible this offseason, and becomes a free agent next offseason. Through 125 games in 2018, he 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 in 2019 before becoming an unrestricted free agent following the season. 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.

Wood, almost 28, is arbitration eligible this offseason before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next offseason. The 2017 All-Star went 9-7 in 2018 with a 3.68 ERA through 33 games. Over 151.2 innings, he allowed 70 runs on 143 hits, including 14 homers, while walking 40 batters and striking out 135.

Farmer, 28, spent 39 games in the majors in 2018, slashing .235/.312/.324 while knocking in nine runs on 16 hits.

Bailey, 32, is set to make $23 million in 2019 before the mutual option in his contract kicks in for the 2020 season. The option allows him to either make $25 million in 2020 or receive a $5 million buyout. Although he’s never been an All-Star or Cy Young winner, the righty has posted solid career stats. However, he struggled in 2018, going 1-14 with a 6.09 ERA over 20 games. Through 106.1 innings, he allowed 82 runs on 141 hits, allowing 33 walks while picking up 75 strikeouts.

Downs, a 2017 first-round pick, spent all of 2018 in Single-A where he played in 120 games, knocking in 147 runs on 117 hits, including 13 homers, while walking 52 times and striking out 103. He also stole a whopping 37 bases while getting caught just 10 times.

Gray, who turns 21 today, spent all of 2018 in the Rookie League, pitching in 12 games. The 2018 second-round pick went 2-2 with a 2.58 ERA. Through 52.1 innings, he allowed 17 runs on 29 hits.

To make everything more dramatic, Mark Feinsand of reports that the Dodgers will release Bailey immediately following the trade, which has already been made official by both teams.

The Dodgers get a proven veteran pitcher plus two dominant prospects, plus more flexibility to pursue free agent Bryce Harper, who they have been targeting for a while. Meanwhile, the Reds get four MLB-ready players, plus cash, as they prepare to compete with their division-mates after a disappointing 2018 season.