There was a time when Ryan Braun looked likely to head to Los Angeles. Now? Not so much. Never say never, but the combination of his age, contract, and diminishing skills make him an unneeded piece to the Dodgers 2018 World Series puzzle.
He was limited to 104 games but was solid in those games. But if you are going to pay a guy possibly $71 million through 2021, you want more than solid. And injuries are going to get more likely each year.
However, with a young team that almost made the playoffs last year, Milwaukee may want to clear some payroll for the future. Combine this with a glut of young and talented outfielders in the majors and minors, Braun may ultimately be the odd man out. And whenever a Braun trade is in discussion, Los Angeles will always be in the discussion.
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This is a move that would almost rival adding Stanton. Cespedes is one of the premier hitters in baseball and is under contract through 2020. However, he is 32 and due $87.5 million over the next three seasons. And he’s dealt with injuries the last two seasons and played just 81 games last year so that that is something to keep an eye on.
However, his bat is terrific and putting him in a lineup where he doesn’t have to carry a bunch of “okay” hitters may help relieve him of some pressure. The New York Mets stink and may be looking to move players in hopes of another quick reload.
And Cespedes may be the most valuable piece that they may be willing to move. Their ace pitchers are off the market for now, as is outfielder Michael Conforto. But Cespedes may be the missing bat for a championship team and would instantly boost a dangerous Los Angeles lineup.
Imagine Chris Taylor-Corey Seager-Justin Turner-Cody Bellinger-Yoenis Cespedes-Yasiel Puig. And he’d fit in seamlessly on defense. While he has played center field for the Mets over the past few seasons, his best position is left field. He’s a below average center fielder at best but terrific in left.
He won’t require the farm, but the Dodgers have the excess pieces to get the Mets to eat some of the contract. Even if you don’t like this move, remember, it’s just an idea.
The Dodgers don’t have too many holes to fill but left field is one of the few. There are quality options available out there, and it’s up to the Dodgers to inquire about them. A move for one of these players is not a necessity but would be a massive boost to their World Series Aspirations.