Hours after announcing the signing the Joe Kelly to a three-year contract, the Los Angeles Dodgers made another splash by packaging Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig in a seven-player trade with the Cincinnati Reds.
The outfielders were mentioned as potential trade chips prior to and during the Winter Meetings, as it’s a position of strength for the Dodgers. There is also the added layer of the club potentially pursuing Bryce Harper in free agency.
In trading Kemp, the Dodgers lose a power right-handed bat who helped carry the offense through the first half of this season. Puig owned the best arm in the Dodgers outfield and was another who could change the complexion of a game with one swing of the bat.
Despite losing the duo, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman remains confident in the team’s outfield depth, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
"Still think we have depth in that area," Friedman said of the outfield.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) December 21, 2018
As it stands, the Dodgers have dedicated outfielders Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo on their 40-man roster. Of course, Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor all saw regular time in the outfield as well.
Bellinger essentially became a full-time center fielder to make room for Max Muncy at first base. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he envisions Bellinger and Muncy being in the lineup on a daily basis in 2019.