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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Dodgers trade Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp to Reds in massive deal

Yasiel Puig

The Los Angeles Dodgers were looking to clear some payroll this offseason and accomplished that goal in a major trade with the Cincinnati Reds.

The Dodgers are trading Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, $7 million, and prospect Kyle Farmer to the Reds. Homer Bailey, Josiah Gray, and Jeter Downs are among the players going back to Los Angeles, according to reports.

You’re probably thinking to yourself: Puig and Kemp were very good last season, why would the Dodgers want to trade them? The answer has to do with money and roster space.

The Dodgers had a surplus of outfielders and were unable to play all of them at the same time. They often had Kemp or another slugger like Joc Pederson on the bench during the postseason when everyone was healthy. Because Kemp ($21.75 million) and Puig (due to make around $11 million in arbitration) are making the most money, it made the most sense to trade those two and keep the much cheaper Chris Taylor, Pederson, Enrique Hernandez and Cody Bellinger, who combine to make less than Puig. All four are under team control, with only Pederson and Hernandez in their second year of arbitration.

Wood is entering the final year of arbitration and expected to make $9 million.

The deal makes some sense for Cincinnati in the short-term. They get out of the money owed to Homer Bailey (around $28 million) and for around the same amount, they get a productive outfielder in Kemp. Plus they get Puig and Wood on essentially 1-year deals for a total expected to be around $20 million. This really helps add some pop to the lineup and protection for Joey Votto. But one has to wonder what their incentive is for getting rid of two prospects.

The Dodgers add quality prospects in Downs and Gray, who will help give them some future cost-controlled cheap options that have become so valuable these days.

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