There is a lot to work out in this three-team deal but the Los Angeles Dodgers could utilize the Reds’ desire to free up Homer Bailey in order to get the team to send the Indians two prospects in return.
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Let’s start with what the Dodgers are receiving in this deal and what they are giving up. The main piece of this entire trade is obviously Corey Kluber, who would be joining an already great staff in Los Angeles and giving the Dodgers one of the best top-three arms in the league.
However, the Dodgers would also be playing the role of salary relief for the Reds by acquiring Bailey, who is owed $23 million this season with a mutual option worth $25 million next season. If the two sides don’t agree to the option (which the Dodgers obviously wouldn’t) then the team has to pay him a $5 million buyout.
But I thought the goal was to free up money for Bryce Harper? Well, it is, but let me explain.
Incoming is Kluber and Bailey, a combined $40 million. Not only would the Dodgers be freeing up money but the team would be opening a spot in the rotation for Kluber as well at the outfield for Harper.
Oh, and the team does not have to trade top prospect Alex Verdugo!
Meanwhile, the Reds get salary relief in dealing Bailey while taking on Kemp’s contract this year (the Dodgers could even pay some of that if they are fine with going over the luxury tax). They also get an arm to add to the big league rotation in Wood and a young arm in Dennis Santana that can be a part of the rotation for the coming years.
The Indians get established talent in Yasiel Puig and Rich Hill, a corner infield prospect to play third in Edwin Rios, and three top-30 prospects in Jeren Kendall (Dodgers), Jimmy Herget and Chris Okey (Reds).
It is a lot and it is probably much more complex than this (who pays what amount of salary). But at the end of the day, the Reds could be a needed partner for the Los Angeles Dodgers to land Corey Kluber.