According to a source, the Dodgers are actively trying to trade Yasiel Puig and/or Matt Kemp.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 12, 2018
A Look at Puig’s Career
Puig should be much easier for the Dodgers to move, as he is younger and on a cheaper one year deal. He figures to make a very affordable $11.3 million as he enters his final year of arbitration in 2019.
Puig of course comes with some baggage. He has had is fair share of injuries, and is a bit of a head case on and off the field. However, he could certainly be very valuable for a team looking for a rental outfielder. Puig is stellar defensively, and has a cannon of an arm in right.
Offensively, he is still producing at the plate. In 444 plate appearances last season, he hit. 267/.327/.494 with 23 home runs and 15 stolen bases. However, he had his fair share of struggles against left handed pitching.
As Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic noted, the Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds have spoken multiple times about a potential deal involving Puig.
A Look at Kemp’s Career
It’ll likely be much harder for the Dodgers to find a trade partner for Kemp. He is now 34 years old, and is due $21.5 million in 2019. The Dodgers would likely have to eat a large chuck of that remaining salary.
Kemp enjoyed a bounce back 2018 season in his return to LA. In 146 games, he hit .290/.338/.481 with 25 doubles and 21 home runs. However, he faltered during the second half of the season. In 54 games post All Star Break, he hit just .255 with 41 strikeouts and 13 XBH’s.
Over his 13-year career, Kemp is a .286/.338/.481 hitter with 333 doubles, 280 home runs, 1005 RBI, an average 122 OPS+, and a .826 OPS. If the Dodgers eat some of the remaining salary, he could be a nice veteran presence for a contending team.
Why a Trade Makes Sense?
The Dodgers current outfield is pretty crowded with talent. They have to distribute playing time between Kemp, Puig, Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez, and Andrew Toles. LA also figures to be a potential landing spot for prized free agent outfielder Bryce Harper. It is certainly in their best interest to move the expiring contracts of Puig and Kemp if the right deal is presented.