Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, and Kyle Farmer have been traded to the Cincinnati Reds, league sources told Yahoo Sports. In return, the Reds sent pitcher Homer Bailey and prospects Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Los Angeles also shipped $7 million to Cincinnati as part of the deal. Dodgers president Andrew Friedman announced Friday afternoon that Bailey would be released.
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired minor league IF Jeter Downs, minor league RHP Josiah Gray and RHP Homer Bailey from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for C/IF Kyle Farmer, outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, LHP Alex Wood and cash considerations.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) December 21, 2018
Downs, 20, is a legitimate cusp-of-the-top 100 prospect. The second baseman slashed .257/.351/.402 last season for the Class A Dayton Dragons. Gray, 21, struck out 59 batters in 52 1/3 innings during 12 starts for the Greeneville Reds in the rookie-level Appalachian league.
The upshot for the Dodgers is clearing money under the luxury-tax threshold. Kemp is a $20 million hit this year and Puig and Wood somewhere from $20 million-$22 million. Even though Bailey and his buyout will cost $28 million, the tax hit is just $17.5 million.
The Dodgers’ luxury-tax payroll is still going to be more than $180 million, including the money they’re sending to Cincinnati. If they want to stay under, free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper signing with the Dodgers isn’t happening. If that’s not a concern, it’s a possibility.
Like with their players on the field, the Dodgers relish flexibility financially. This deal offers it.
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