Grading the First Blockbuster Trade of the MLB Offseason

usa-bryce-harper-puig.jpgPhoto Credit: NBC Sports

The Winter Meetings came and went without much noise. Today marks the first blockbuster trade of the offseason. The Dodgers are sending Alex Wood, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Homer Bailey and prospects Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs. Time to take a look at the trade from each team’s perspective.

Cincinnati Reds: After being extremely active at the Winter Meetings, it was clear that the Reds were serious about dealing some of their youth for more established players. Puig and Kemp are veteran players that will help bolster the outfield. Puig, though he has never quite lived up to the hype his rookie season, is a solid hitter with gold-glove type defensive abilities. Kemp had a nice bounce-back year last year in which he hit .290 with 85 RBIs and was named an All-Star. Wood is a 27-year-old lefty who will be front of the line rotation guy for the Reds. All three are on expiring contracts though so it will be interesting to see if the Reds have long-term plans for any of the three. Getting off of Bailey’s contract is nice, and they didn’t have to part with any top 5 prospects.

Grade: A-

Los Angeles Dodgers: This move clearly signifies LA believes it has a great shot to land Bryce Harper. The deal knocks off 15 million dollars in luxury tax for the team and allows them to offer Harper a deal in the range of 30 million a year. Puig had been circulating in trade rumors the past couple seasons so it is not a surprise to see him go, and while Kemp was productive last year he is still well past his prime. Dealing Wood leaves a gap in the rotation that needs to be filled. Aside from freeing up some space to land Harper, they received a couple intriguing prospects in Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray, both of whom are top 20 prospects in the Reds’ system.

Grade: B+

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