The Dodgers winter meeting rumor mill continued to churn on Tuesday as rumors of a possible Yasiel Puig-Turner Ward reunion surfaced as the Reds and Dodgers talk trades.
Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the busiest days of the winter meetings and while the Dodgers were not involved in any transactions yesterday, the rumor mill continued to spin. The biggest rumor involved the Reds and the Dodgers and LA’s surplus of starting pitchers and outfielders. Turner Ward is now the Reds’ hitting coach so it would be a reunion for the duo of Puig and Ward.
There were also whispers that the Dodgers could take on Homer Bailey’s contract which is 23 million in 2019 and 25 million in 2020. Bailey does have a buyout for 2020 which is five million so it could be a move to acquire prospects in return for taking on a bad contract. The Dodgers could expand the deal to involve the Indians and Corey Kluber but it’s not yet clear if that is the ultimate goal for Andrew Friedman.
Bellinger Available for Trade?
Buster Olney reported that the Dodgers were shopping their outfielders which is obvious by now, but he included that Cody Bellinger’s name has come up in trade talks. It’s known that the Marlins have asked for Bellinger in J.T. Realmuto trade talks but that is unfair for the Dodgers especially when they only need a one year stop gap at catcher. The Dodgers should not include Bellinger in any deal unless it’s for an elite player like Noah Syndergaard.
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Less Platoons in 2019?
Dave Roberts said the goal for Cody Bellinger in 2019 is to play every day including games against lefties. Muncy is also expected to be an every day player according to Roberts which means that Bellinger could be the Dodgers’ every day starter in centerfield next season unless he is moved to a corner outfield spot. This is good news for fans who hate the platoon lineups.
No Relief Role for Maeda or Urias
Dave Roberts also said that the plan is to limit Julio Urias’s innings next season but they are not going to move him into a relief role. That means the Dodgers have two options, start Urias in extended spring training and then bring him along after a month or two. Or the Dodgers could start Urias in Triple-A to begin the season and limit him to a few innings a start before working him into a higher pitch count. Kenta Maeda is also going to be a starter in 2019.
Jose Martinez in the Mix?
Last night there was a new slugger who entered the Dodgers’ rumor list. Ken Rosenthal reported that the Dodgers have interest in Jose Martinez of the St. Louis Cardinals. Martinez is a late bloomer who will turn 31 next year and has hit over .300 the past two seasons with 31 home runs. Martinez struggles defensively but can play first base and outfield. He is more expendable for the Cardinals since they acquired Paul Goldschmidt.