Dodgers Rumors: White Sox Inquired On Yasiel Puig Trade
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after getting hired as president of baseball operations by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Andrew Friedman acknowledged the club would benefit from trading an outfielder.

Matt Kemp was sent to the San Diego Padres one month later, but the Dodgers’ glut of outfielders persisted with Joc Pederson’s arrival.

The surplus benefited Los Angeles as hamstring injuries limited Yasiel Puig to 79 games, and Carl Crawford missed 78 games due to a torn oblique muscle.

Offseason chatter has again linked the Dodgers to parting with an outfielder, though there’s yet to be any serious traction gained.

On Monday, it was reported the Chicago White Sox were exploring a trade for soon-to-be-34-year-old Andre Ethier.

While other teams are presumed to have interest in Ethier as well, it’s believed Los Angeles prefers to trade Crawford. As for a potential deal between the Dodgers and White Sox, Chicago first called to inquire on Puig, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:

Friedman declined to say whether he was in trade discussions with the Chicago White Sox, but a person familiar with the matter said there was little traction in talks between the teams. The White Sox approached the Dodgers about Yasiel Puig — apparently in the hope that fellow Cuban Jose Abreu might bring out the best in Puig — and the Dodgers instead tried to interest the White Sox in Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford.

It was previously reported on Thursday that teams calling on Puig were being turned away. Amid trade rumors last December, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the club is in better position to succeed a healthy Puig in their lineup.

The 25-year-old polarizing talent is coming off a down year and has spent the offseason shedding weight at Friedman’s behest.

Puig will earn $5.5 million in 2016 and the earliest he can become a free agent is after the 2020 season, unless he were to be released. Puig will likely qualify for salary arbitration from 2017-19.

Crawford is owed $20.75 million this season and $21 million in 2017. His contract includes a clause that permits him to block a trade to two clubs.

Ethier is owed $18 million this season and $17.5 million in 2017. His deal includes a $17.5 million club option for 2018 with a $2.5 million buyout. If Los Angeles is to trade Ethier, they would be inclined to do so prior to April 21.

At that point, Ethier will reach 10 years of Major-League service time, including the last five with the same team, and thus earn the right to refuse any trade as a 10-and-5 player.