The Los Angeles Dodgers orchestrated their first blockbuster trade of the offseason on Friday, sending outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, pitcher Alex Wood and catcher Kyle Farmer to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the salary of Homer Bailey and two well-regarded prospects, Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray.
In one fell swoop, the Dodgers simultaneously added to their already impressive farm system while trimming from an excess of outfielders and starting pitchers. The club also dipped further below the 2019 luxury tax threshold of $206 million.
The trade is being viewed as only the first stage of what’s expected to be an active winter for the Dodgers. Los Angeles now has an easier path to pursue free agent Bryce Harper, not to mention extra ammunition for potential pursuits of Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber and Miami Marlins backstop J.T. Realmuto.
While he was mum on specific names, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman reiterated that the catcher position is still something he needs to address this offseason, via Rowan Kavner of Dodger Insider:
As Friedman and the Dodgers consider other ways to bolster the roster before Spring Training, catcher will be at the forefront. Friedman called the position “obviously something that we still need to address.”
The Dodgers have been linked to Realmuto for much of the offseason, though nothing has come to fruition thus far. Other clubs remain in the mix to acquire him as well, including the Houston Astros, who also have a surplus of outfielders they can deal from.
A trade for Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber may be more feasible for the Dodgers, given the exorbitant asking price placed on Realmuto. The Marlins are seeking outfielder Cody Bellinger in any potential swap.
A recent report also indicated that the Dodgers could pivot back to Yasmani Grandal should he be willing to accept a one-year contract. Though, such a scenario seems doubtful as the switch-hitting backstop is rumored to be sitting on a four-year contract from an unknown team.