Brewers slugger Ryan Braun has been the subject of a multitude of recent trade rumors, and the same goes for Dodgers five-tooler Yasiel Puig. That brings us to this scoop from Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
Braun and Puig were about 20 minutes from being traded for one another two weeks ago, according to several executives with direct knowledge of their trade talks, but the teams ran out of time at the Aug. 31 trade deadline.
Nightengale’s story includes much more, including the name of another Dodger who was almost sent to Milwaukee as part of the Braun-Puig swap. As well, Nightengale notes that the two teams intend to revisit these talks over the offseason.
Such a swap would make sense. Puig has long had a strained relationship with the Dodgers, and he could indeed benefit from a change of scenery and all that entails. As well, the Brewers are still coming out of their rebuilding phase, and Puig at age 25 still has upside. He’s also under team control through 2019, and he has proven he can thrive at the highest level. There’s risk, of course, as Puig’s numbers have been trending downward for a while, and he has also shown a penchant for injury.
On the other side, the Dodgers could use an impact right-handed outfield bat, and Braun is certainly that. Yes, he turns 33 in November, but the Dodgers are in win-now mode. Also, Braun, with his 140 OPS+ and 27 homers this season, has shown no signs of entering a deep decline phase.
As for the money, Braun is indeed owed at least $80 million through 2020. The Dodgers have nothing if not payroll flexibility, but some salary offsets may need to be involved. It’s also worth noting that the Dodgers are one of six teams to which Braun cannot block a trade.
Regardless of who else is involved, this one would certainly qualify as a blockbuster. It seems a good fit from both sides, so don’t be surprised if Braun is a Dodger before Opening Day 2017.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / A Ryan Braun-Yasiel Puig trade could reportedly still happen in the offseason