So the rumors started yesterday that the Los Angeles Dodgers are seriously interested in trading Yasiel Puig. We heard these same rumors last season, but Puig is still with the Dodgers. Is this the season the Dodgers deal him? While it seems as though he’s been around longer this is just Puig’s 4th season in the majors and he is just 25 years old. Remember Puig came out of the gate like a sure fire superstar. Puig came in and played 104 games in 2013. He hit .319 with 19 home runs and 42 RBI’s and added 11 stolen bases. There are some people out there who have identified him as the Rookie of the Year, but he actually finished 2nd to Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins. Puig also picked up some MVP votes that season and finished 15th in that voting. In 2014 Puig played 148 games hitting .296 with 16 home runs and 69 RBI’s and making his first All-Star team. He also picked up some MVP votes after that season and finished 19th in the voting. Puig was injured for much of the 2015 season. He played in just 79 games. He hit .255 with 11 home runs and had 38 RBI’s. The Dodgers where hoping a healthy Puig would bounce back t numbers more like his first two seasons, but he hasn’t. In 76 games Puig is hitting .256 with 7 home runs and 32 RBI’s this season. If the Dodgers do find a taker for Puig; which player will they get? Let’s take a look at some landing spots for Puig.
How about the New York Yankees? Take it easy Yankees fans I don’t think you’ll be getting Aroldis Chapman for Puig, but there are some options for these teams to deal. A more likely trade that could happen between these two teams is Puig for Carlos Beltran. Beltran is 39 years old, but is having a good season. He’s hitting .301 with 19 home runs and 58 RBI’s. If Clayton Kershaw’s return is pushed back with his injury the Dodgers are going to have to find a way to stay in contention for a wild card spot and adding some offense might help. Beltran has been able to stay healthy this season and has appeared in 88 games this season for the Yankees. Another plus for the Dodgers is Beltran is in the last year of his contract and with the young outfielders they have in their system he won’t be in the way. Beltran is owed about $8 million for the rest of this season while Puig is under contract for two more years at $7 million apiece. It’s two teams with plenty of money; so swapping salaries shouldn’t be an issue. The Dodgers could get some offensive help to put between Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez while the Yankees can get a young outfielder they can build around.
Another possible landing spot for Puig could be the rebuilding Atlanta Braves. It might sound odd to some people as the Braves are on their way to losing 100 plus games this season and possibly next season as well. It would actually give the Braves a chance t look at Puig and decide if he could be part of their rebuilding as his contract was coming to an end after the 2018 season. If so they could try to resign him or if not they could just let him go into free agency. The tough part would be figuring out what the Braves could send back in return. I don’t think the Dodgers would be interested in Nick Markakis. With the Braves rebuilding they’d want to hang on to their young players. Could the Braves out together a package featuring someone like Chase D’Arnaud or Jace Peterson with a pitcher or two thrown in be enough to get the Dodgers to send them Puig. It’s a deal that the Braves need to look into the question will be can they find a player or players that would interest the Dodgers enough to trade them Puig.
Could another rebuilding team like the Milwaukee Brewers be a team that could step up and tried to add Puig. It could be an easy deal if the Dodgers where willing to accept Ryan Braun and what’s left of his contract for Puig. Braun is signed through 2020 with an option for 20121. He’ll receive $20 million next season and in 2018, $19 million in 2019, $17 million in 2020 with a $15 million dollar option for 2021. Braun is 32 years old and it seems as though his power has been in decline. While Braun is still a home run threat he’s not the same player who hit 41 home runs in 2012. In 77 games this season Braun is hitting .313 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI’s. If the Brewers are going to truly rebuild they need to find a way to move Braun’s contract and this could be the answer they’ve been looking for. The issue may be will the Dodgers who have some talented young outfielders be willing to tie themselves down with Braun until 2020. Don’t forget that the Dodgers are going to be paying off Carl Crawford’s contract for the next couple of seasons.
Let’s reach out for one more team here and add the Toronto Blue Jays to the list of teams that could be a good spot for Puig. Jose Batista is injured and in the last year of his contract. Don’t forget that Batista is looking for a big payday at the end of the season and adding Puig could allow the Blue Jays to let Batista walk. Edwin Encarnacion is also in the last year of his contract and has been recruited by David Ortiz to sing with the Boston Red Sox and take over his role with them next season. At 25 Puig along with Devon Travis would be the youngest player on the Blue Jays roster. The difficult part again here is finding someone to send back to Los Angeles in a deal. Ezequiel Carrera has had a solid season for the Blue Jays; so maybe they could add him into a deal with a young pitcher like Drew Hutchinson and a couple of bullpen pieces for Puig. This is the tough part about making a deal. While it looks as though Puig would be a good fit for the Blue Jays and their future it’s difficult to fin the right set of players to send back to the Dodgers to make a deal.
There are four interesting options for Yasiel Puig. Do the Dodgers finally go through with their plan to deal Puig or will he still be there at the end of the season? Remember this is a different front office talking about trading Puig this time; so maybe he ends up being dealt this time. Would you like to see your favorite team acquire Puig? Or do you have a better landing spot than the four I picked for him. If you do let me know.
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