This past Friday the Los Angeles Dodgers traded Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and Alex Wood to the Cincinnati Reds for Homer Bailey (who was released), and prospects Jeter Downs (Reds #7 prospect) and Josiah Gray (#20 prospect). Backup catcher Kyle Farmer also goes to Cincinnati in a part of the deal.
Obviously the trade sent shockwaves. Kemp, Puig, and Wood were key contributors for the Dodgers last year in their World Series run and the latter two a key run in 2017. And they get, a couple of prospects. But the story is, the Dodgers unloaded a lot of money in order to spend on key free agents remaining. Obviously, the key free agent that everybody is pointing to is Nationals star Bryce Harper, who lives in nearby Las Vegas and right now there isn’t much in the way of a market who can spend for what Harper wants. So it’s somewhat feeling like this was a move to bring in Harper for sure. I don’t think any Dodger fan minds ending up with Harper. So from that perspective you see what the Dodgers are doing. And they hope with Harper in the fold, they can get over the hump in the World Series.
For the Reds, well it is very interesting. Nobody really knew what way they were going after they non-tendered Billy Hamilton, a defensive stud but an offensive liability. But the NL Central is a fight right now with Milwaukee, Chicago, and St. Louis and Cincinnati felt like it was time to throw their hat back in the fold. Kemp (in his 4th team in 4 years) and Puig (who probably needs a fresh start elsewhere) obviously add more pop to a lineup with Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, and Scooter Gennett. So it makes the Reds lineup just as stacked as the Brewers and Cubs. Of course where the Reds really lag is pitching, and they hope to answer some of that issue with Wood. Wood is probably not an “Ace” material pitcher but he upgrades that rotation that was pretty rough last year. He is a strong #2 or #3 pitcher who can get the job done and keep his team in games. If he continues to develop as a star pitcher, this could be the biggest piece for the Reds.
Overall this trade will be looked on as a trade similar to what we see in the NBA now as teams are moving players for the sake of money. I’m not personally fond of it, but I get why the Dodgers did it. If they get in Bryce Harper and with a healthy Corey Seager the Dodgers have to be considered favorites once more. The Reds will try to figure into things in the NL Central and the NL Wild Card assuming Kemp continues his upward trend and Puig can stay healthy. So time will tell on how this goes.
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat