The Los Angeles Dodgers made the biggest splash of the day so far, acquiring Josh Reddick and Rich Hill from the Oakland Athletics for a pile of prospects. That's nice, and it might finally kick the trade deadline season into high gear, but this is not a Dodgers blog and I don't care what the Dodgers do. What I do care about is the fact that Yasiel Puig suddenly looks very available and maybe not at a huge cost.
According to Paul Hoynes, the Cleveland Indians are "determined" to bring in a batter before the deadline ends. So far they have mostly only been tied publicly to Carlos Beltran, from what I can find, so there are presumably some hidden interests somewhere as we rapidly approach the deadline. One of them could be Yasiel Puig.
Heard Indians determined to get hitter by deadline. We shall see.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) August 1, 2016
Nothing has come out about the Indians officially being linked to Puig yet, but if they have also been digging around about Carlos Beltran and Jay Bruce, it would make even more sense to ask about a player who can actually play an outfield position.
Yasiel Puig is far from the same player he was two years ago, or even a year ago when I really wanted the Indians to go after him, but at least he should not require someone like Carlos Carrasco in return like he may have prior to 2015. So far in 2016 Puig is slashing .260/.320/.386 with seven home runs for the Dodgers. Projections have him getting better in second half, with the optimistic Steamer putting him at .283/.354/.478 over 42 more games.
Multiple reports have said that the Dodgers would only be willing to part with Puig if they acquired another outfielder, which they have done by snagging Josh Reddick. The most likely landing spot right now looks like the Chicago White Sox, as the team two teams are reportedly discussing trades already and, according to Buster Olney, the White Sox want him in "any" deal they make.
Addition of Reddick for the Dodgers gives FO a better position from which to trade Yasiel Puig. White Sox want him in any LAD deal.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 1, 2016
If those deals fall through, or if the White Sox are not interested to begin with, the 25-year-old would be a near-perfect fit on the Indians. Just like any outfielder the Indians have inquired about this season, the idea should be that someone can take over for Jose Ramirez in left field and allow Ramirez to bump Juan Uribe out of third base for everyday playing time.