Ken Rosenthal got us started yesterday:
The Dodgers are looking to add, not add and subtract, sources say. The rumor I heard — Puig and two top prospects for Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto and closer Aroldis Chapman — would have amounted to addition and subtraction.
Yet, the Dodgers would never do such a thing, even if it had been brought to their attention.
Cueto is a two-month rental. Chapman is a free agent after next season. Puig, meanwhile, is under club control through 2019. The two top prospects would be under control for six years each once they reach the majors.
Do the math: We’re talking one year and four months of the two Reds pitchers for 16-plus years of Puig and the two prospects.
Jon Heyman continues today:
Dodgers star outfielder Yasiel Puig has been assured by Dodgers higher-ups he will not be dealt this trading season, sources close to the team said.
Puig, the mercurial and occasionally controversial talent, was reassured within the last couple days in New York after hearing rumors he could be dealt to the Reds or elsewhere for needed pitching, according to those sources. Puig took the extra step of inquiring about his status after hearing the rumors.
Both writers did a pretty good job of taking a measured angle on all of this, which is welcomed considering that very few things Puig-related don’t end up being extreme in one direction or the other. (MAXIMUM PUIG, and all.)
It should also probably be remembered that rumors are always just rumors, but they’re especially that in the final week of July. Yes, the Dodgers are looking for pitchers. Yes, they’ve talked to the Reds. They’ve probably talked to 25 other teams. This isn’t news. It’s due diligence.
In Puig’s case, it’s not at all surprising that his name has come up. Why wouldn’t it? There’s literally no player in baseball who should be “untouchable,” because there’s always some kind of insane deal that could be constructed that would make you think, “well, Clayton Kershaw is great, but…” If you’re on the other side, of course you at least make the phone call. There’s no reason not to.
Puig isn’t one of those untouchables, in my opinion. He’s young and cheap and insanely talented, but he’s also been worth about 2 WAR in the last calendar year. Obviously, you keep him around because he is young and cheap and insanely talented and you expect so much more still to come. But it’d take a monster deal to make it happen, which no team is going to come up with. (The wisdom of having Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier as your new starting corner outfielders around a struggling Joc Pederson aside.)
Anyway, if Heyman’s report is true, then that would about settle it. Not that a front office has to be held to their word should the right deal arise, but no one wants the reputation of having lied to a player’s face. Puig is here now. He’ll be here next week. So, presumably, will at least one pitcher acquired for someone who isn’t him.