The Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers have been linked in trade talks throughout most of the Winter Meetings. The latest Reds rumors have Matt Kemp’s name now being mentioned.
More Reds rumors are coming out of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas as trade talks continue to heat up between the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers. The latest name to be linked to this potential blockbuster is Dodgers’ outfielder Matt Kemp.
There have been ongoing rumors for what seems like the entire Winter Meetings regarding a potential trade between between the Reds and Dodgers. It was first reported that the Reds were looking to add outfielder Yasiel Puig and starter Alex Wood.
It now appears that the talks have shifted from Puig to Matt Kemp. Puig is in the final year of arbitration eligibility and will likely take home roughly $11 million next season. Kemp is in the final year of an eight-year deal that will pay him $21.5 million next season.
Whew, that’s a lot of money for a 34-year-old outfielder who’s best days are behind him. In saying that, Kemp had a bounce back year in 2018, slashing .290/.338/.481 with 21 homers. That number could be a lot higher if Kemp was hitting at Great American Ball Park.
But still, why would the Cincinnati Reds want to take on Kemp’s massive salary? If I told you that in return the Dodgers would take on Homer Bailey‘s massive salary would you be excited? I thought you might.
Bailey is owed $23 million next season and has a $5 million buyout for the 2020 season. With only a 1-14 record last season, it’s no wonder the Reds want that contract off the books. Even more, the Reds seem to want his attitude gone as well. Bailey essentially refused to pitch out of the bullpen last season for Reds’ interim skipper Jim Riggleman.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post breaks down the reasoning for this trade for both sides. Basically, the Dodgers would receive luxury tax relief in the form of $2.5 million and the Reds would acquire a veteran arm for their rotation and a replacement in the outfield for Billy Hamilton.
This is as close to a win-win as both teams may get. The Reds get the pitching they want while ridding themselves of Homer Bailey. The salary for Cincinnati is essentially a wash, since Wood is projected to make about $9 million next season. The Dodgers clear some space in the outfield for a possible pursuit of Bryce Harper as well.
The Reds rumors have been fast and furious at the Winter Meetings. This one seems to have legs and while it may not get completed before the GMs leave Las Vegas, the groundwork has been laid for a potential deal in the future.