Dodgers trade Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig in blockbuster deal with Reds

Jeff PassanMLB columnist

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.


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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.

If the Dodgers pursued J.T. Realmuto, Corey Kluber, A.J. Pollock, Craig Kimbrel or pretty much anyone else, they remain safely under the luxury-tax threshold.

Like with their players on the field, the Dodgers relish flexibility financially. This deal offers it.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have traded Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood to the Cincinnati Reds. (Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Dodgers have traded Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood to the Cincinnati Reds. (Getty Images)

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