Los Angeles Dodgers Make Blockbuster Trade with Cincinnati RedsBy David A.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have opened significant payroll space following their seven-player deal that moved salary commitments of close to $70 million, cleared surpluses from the roster and positioned the team to make big moves both through more trades and free agency.
Baseball operations president Andrew Friedman with the Dodgers said he was not sure where this led the team, but it has given the team flexibility.
Earlier on Friday, the Dodgers sent outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, starting pitcher Alex Wood and infielder/catcher Kyle Farmer plus $7 million to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitcher Homer Bailey, who is likely to be immediately released, and two prospects in right-hander Josiah Gray and infielder Jeter Downs.
The Dodgers through the deal are saving $17 million from luxury tax payroll starting in 2019 and make enough room on the roster to pursue outfielders A.J. Pollock and Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. However, signing Harper could push Los Angeles back above the threshold for luxury tax unless more salaries are moved.
The Reds and Dodgers have discussed a trade like this since the start of the offseason but talks picked up following last week’s winter meetings held in Las Vegas.
Bailey, who is due $23 million for 2019 and counts $17.5 million towards luxury tax, waived his right of 10-and-5 under the condition he became an immediate free agent. The right-hander, who is 32, was 1-14 for the Reds last season and has an ERA of 6.25 over 46 starts the last four years.
Wood, Kemp and Puig are all due to become free agents following the 2019 season.
Puig will make $11 million his last season of arbitration and will be reunited with former hitting coach of the Dodgers Turner Ward who the Reds hired in November.
Kemp, who is 34, saw his career take off again after returning in 2018 to the Dodgers. Wood, a lefthander who is 27, was 25-10 with an ERA of 3.20 over 304 innings with Los Angeles the last two seasons.