Trade #1: Freeing up space in right field
The first trade is about much more than freeing up space in right field. As much as Dodger fans love Yasiel Puig, the front office cannot pass on an opportunity to get Corey Kluber for a package that includes Puig.
This has been the biggest rumor surrounding the Dodgers, even more so than the Harper rumors. With the Dodgers always in the market for starting pitching and the Indians’ need for outfielders, the two sides have been connected.
The Dodgers’ interest lies in either Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Both would be great pickups and would give the Dodgers a scary good rotation. If I had to pick, I would go with Kluber.
This would give the Dodgers arguably the best 1-2-3 punch in baseball with Clayton Kershaw, Kluber and Walker Buehler. Throw in a healthy Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu as the fourth and fifth arms and this is a starting rotation that could put up historic numbers.
As for the pieces being traded away, trading away Puig would open the door in right field for Harper. Puig is in his last year of arbitration anyways and is free to go wherever he wants next offseason. If the Dodgers trade him, it is nothing more than a one-year loss of Puig.
Also included is Alex Wood, who is in the same contract situation as Puig, to give the Indians a big league arm in return. Top pitching prospect Dustin May and the eighth-best catching prospect in baseball (per MLB Pipeline), Will Smith, are nice prospect pieces.
Throw in another top-30 prospect in Ronny Brito and the Indians would be getting a nice mix of big league and minor league talent without the Dodgers having to sell the farm.