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Friday, December 21, 2018

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: REDS TO ACQUIRE YASIEL PUIG, MATT KEMP, ALEX WOOD FROM DODGERS

Wow.  Having hinted at a bit of a change in direction this offseason in an effort to finally break through in winning a prospective World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers are on the verge of trading outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp; plus starting pitcher Alex Wood to the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher Homer Bailey and prospects.  The move is a potentially big one for the Dodgers who could be clearing the outfield decks in order to make a run at Bryce Harper and thus, take that big stab at finally winning a World Series that has been so close the last few seasons.  As far as the Reds are concerned, they have made it no secret their desire to not only find an outfield bat this winter but also a decent starter and this deal more than addresses both needs.  Taking this from each player's perspective:

Matt Kemp:  More of a throw-in for the deal, the veteran Kemp comes off a 2018 where he hit 21 home runs, drove in 85, and batted .290 in his second go-round with the Dodgers.  Far from the super five-tool player he once was during his earlier stint with the Dodgers, Kemp has dropped down to just a three-category now (homers, RBI, average) and health has become a big issue of late for the 34-year-old.  Moving to the launching bad ballpark in Cincy is certainly a positive though and this will help keep Kemp as a top OF 3 for 2019 fantasy baseball.

Yasiel Puig:  Always very high on talent but short on maturity/health, Yasiel Puig has been an annual temptation for those in the fantasy baseball community.  Despite his earlier troubles, Puig's talent is undeniable and he was very good at times in 2018 as he batted. 267 with 23 home runs and 15 steals in just 405 at-bats.  The fact Puig hit 23 homers in so few at-bats is telling here and moving to the offensive haven in Cincy will only increase his success there.  Add in the 15-20 steal speed and Puig could finally be set to explode into the five-tool monster we all thought he could be.  While you still have to worry about his off-the-field issues, Puig is a guy who will be on bold letters on my personal draft sheet this spring.

Alex Wood:  The very solid but underappreciated Alex Wood now goes to Cincy which is not ideal for his fantasy baseball value but the talent remains here in a strong SP 3 sort of way.  Wood has put forth some very good strikeout rates in the past and his ratios usually are solid as well.  Health has been an annual problem though and Wood has also struggled to pitch deep into games which takes away some of his win potential.  Despite all of this, Wood looks like an SP 3 talent who can be had at a nice SP 4 price this spring. 


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