Much like years past, there has been speculation that the Los Angeles Dodgers could be considering trading Yasiel Puig for the right price. While there is a right price for everyone, Puig should be near untouchable this winter.
The current roster that the Los Angeles Dodgers boast right now is not going to be the same roster that the team carries into Opening Day.
First and foremost, the team needs to add another catcher to the roster, whether it be a star catcher or a platoon option for Austin Barnes. Right now, Barnes is the only catcher on the depth chart and Kyle Famer and Rocky Gale aren’t great backups. Will Smith is a possibility but might be a year away.
Second base is another questionable area for the Dodgers but can be solved in-house with several different possible platoons.
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Perhaps the biggest area of the roster that is going to be juggled around is the outfield. The Dodgers have a slew of different outfielders on the roster as well as the team’s top prospect, Alex Verdugo, who cannot be held back in the minor leagues for any longer.
Of course, there is also the massive elephant in the room, Bryce Harper. The Los Angeles Dodgers are not as favored as other teams in the Harper sweepstakes but were tied to the superstar as early as May 2017.
This naturally has led to multiple different trade routes that the team can take. Matt Kemp is a sore on the payroll and with only a season left under contract, can be dealt with the right valuable pieces around him.
Verdugo could be part of a big trade package to bring in someone like Realmuto or could even force Joc Pederson to be traded to open up a roster spot for a lead-off left-handed hitting bat.
One other guy that has been speculated in potential trades is Yasiel Puig. With the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians reportedly in discussions for starting pitching and/or catcher Yan Gomes, Puig has become a likely name to include.
Puig would give the Indians a talented outfielder this season that the team could either extend after this season or get off the books for financial reasons. Puig would not be the only one in the deal, as there would need to be prospects, but could be the big league piece that the Indians want.
Unless it is a deal for Corey Kluber and the Dodgers do not have to give up Verdugo, Puig should not be traded. I know he has only one more year left with the Dodgers, which is an arbitration year, and would be a smart piece to move because of it.
I also know that the Dodgers have Verdugo waiting, Cody Bellinger potentially being moved to the outfield to put Max Muncy at first and a slugging prospect, D.J. Peters, in the farm system as well. With only one year left under contract, Puig seemingly is a very smart trade chip.
However, Puig should not be moved just because it makes sense to move him. Unless the Dodgers are getting significantly better, which means someone like Kluber, I do not like the idea of moving him.
Heck, that means I would not even trade him if it meant getting J.T. Realmuto. The Miami Marlins should be interested in Puig, he is a massive Cuban star that the new ownership in Miami can market to the moon and back.
I am not sure that Realmuto is a massive upgrade to Puig and at some point, you have to be loyal to one of the few players to be a part of this six-year playoff run. The Dodgers current run of success started with the summer of Puig in 2013. It seems unfair to strip him of at least one more year of contending with the Dodgers.
Plus, there is always the possibility that the Los Angeles Dodgers look to extend Puig after this season.
Either way, I would only trade Puig for an elite player like Kluber, not someone who would provide only a slight upgrade.