MLB

MLB Weekly Digest December 24th Edition

Image Credit: Yahoo Sports

The last week in MLB was about a major trade in the National League, a pair of starting pitchers and relievers sign deals and an infielder moves west.

Los Angeles Dodgers Trade Outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig in Huge Deal with Cincinnati Reds

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds completed a huge trade a couple of days ago.

The Dodgers sent outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, infielder Kyle Farmer, left-handed pitcher Alex Wood, and cash to the Reds in exchange for right-handed pitcher Homer Bailey, minor league players infielder Jeter Downs and right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray.

The amount of money the Reds will receive in this deal is $7 million, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

The surprising part about this deal is the Dodgers were able to move both Kemp and Puig. They were trying to move Kemp as he was owed $20 million this upcoming season, and Puig was unhappy last season about his playing time.

The two outfielders had solid seasons for the Dodgers in 2018 as Puig posted a .267 batting average with 23 home runs and 63 RBIs, while Kemp accumulated a .290 average with 21 home runs and 85 RBIs.

Wood was stellar for the club as he compiled a 3.68 ERA in 33 games (27 starts) with 135 strikeouts in 151 2/3 innings pitched and a 1.21 WHIP.

Bailey has been dreadful on the mound over the last four seasons, as indicated by him tallying an ERA over five in each year over that time frame.

However, injuries have played a role in the declining performance as he was limited to 46 starts within that period.

The Dodgers will release Bailey once the trade is official, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

The deal was interesting for both teams as the Dodgers free up salary to stay under the luxury-tax threshold and acquire talented prospects, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

The Reds wanted to add athleticism, experience, and power in the outfield while addressing a need for a catcher in acquiring Farmer.

The team also has a solid member of the rotation in Wood, and they wanted to move on from Homer Bailey, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

The logical conclusion is the Dodgers made this move to go after free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper.

However, in talks with Harper, the Dodgers want a shorter deal in the four to a five-year range with a large average annual value, and they will be adamant about that even after the deal, per Sherman.

The other major aspect about the trade is the Dodgers’ luxury-tax payroll is over $180 million, including the money they’re sending to the Reds.

If they want to stay under, Harper won’t be signed by them, notes Passan.

Washington Nationals Sign Starter Anibal Sanchez to Two-Year Deal

The Washington Nationals have signed starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez to a two-year, $19 million contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The deal includes a third-year option worth $12 million and another $4 million in additional incentives, per Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports.

Sanchez was stellar for the Atlanta Braves inn2018 as he posted 2.83 ERA in 136 2/3 innings pitched (24 starts), striking out 135 batters, yielding 42 walks, allowing 15 home runs, and posting a 3.62 FIP.

The right-hander for the first time since 2013 with the Detroit Tigers had a sub-three ERA. Sanchez is a steady option at the back-end of a starting rotation for a team.

The Nationals probably had the same idea; the club already fortified the top of their rotation by signing Patrick Corbin earlier in the offseason.

The club quietly has had a strong offseason to build a contender for the National East crown in 2019.

St. Louis Cardinals Ink Reliever Andrew Miller to Two-Year Pact

The St. Louis Cardinals have upgraded their bullpen in a major way by signing reliever Andrew Miller to a two-year contract.

The deal for Miller is worth $25 million, including a vesting option worth $12 million in 2021 if he appears in 110 games over the next two seasons and a full no-trade clause, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The normally dominant southpaw reliever had a disappointing 2018 season with the Cleveland Indians as he posted a 4.24 ERA in just 34 innings pitched (37 games) with 45 strikeouts, 16 walks surrendered, three home runs allowed, a 3.51 FIP, a 1.38 WHIP and a 104 ERA+.

Miller dealt with injuries to his shoulder, knee, and hamstring which impacted his performance on the mound.

Miller struggling on the mound was an odd occurrence because, from 2014-17, he compiled a 1.72 ERA, a 248 ERA+, and a 0.78 WHIP over 261 innings pitched while averaging 65 appearances within the time frame.

The Cardinals have been looking for a top-end reliever over the last couple of seasons and currently, have it with the addition of Miller.

Colorado Rockies Sign Infielder Daniel Murphy to Two-Year Deal

The Colorado Rockies have signed infielder Daniel Murphy to a two-year deal, and it includes a mutual option for a third year.

The contract is worth $24 million, and the mutual option is worth $12 million, including a $6 million buyout, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Murphy accumulated a .299 batting average and .790 OPS with 15 doubles, 12 home runs, and 42 RBIs in 91 games as he split time between the Nationals and the Chicago Cubs last season.

Murphy didn’t play until early June as he was dealing with a knee injury.

The infielder has spent most of his career at second base, but the Rockies will probably have him play most games in 2019 at first base to minimize injury.

The addition of Murphy to the Rockies is great as he’s a fantastic hitter who utilizes the entire field and coupling this with him playing 81 games at Coors Field, this is a formula for success.

In Murphy’s career, he has compiled a .330 batting average and .894 OPS in 26 games at Coors Field. Murphy is a tremendous hitter, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he has a great 2019 season with the Rockies.

Oakland Athletics Sign Reliever Joakim Soria To Two-Year Deal

The Oakland Athletics have signed reliever Joakim Soria to a two-year deal, per Melissa Lockard of The Athletic.

The deal is worth $15 million, per Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports.

Soria compiled a 3.12 ERA in 60 2/3 innings pitched (66 games) last season with 75 strikeouts, 16 walks allowed, four home runs yielded, a 2.43 FIP and 1.13 WHIP as he split time between the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.

The right-hander has been a solid reliever in the majors as indicated by his 220 saves and 2.88 ERA over 11 seasons.

The Athletics will use Soria in late-inning situations, and it’s possible he might occupy the set-up role for A’s closer Blake Treinen.

The Athletics signing Soria was a solid move as it gives them another steady arm in their bullpen.

Los Angeles Angels Sign Matt Harvey to One-Year Deal

The Los Angeles Angels have signed starting pitcher Matt Harvey to a one-year, $11 million deal, and the contract includes incentives worth $3 million per Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports.

Harvey had an up-and-down 2018 season.

He posted a 7.00 ERA in 27 innings pitched for the New York Mets (four starts) with 20 strikeouts, nine walks issued, six home runs allowed, a 5.68 FIP and a 1.55 WHIP.

The right-hander was traded to the Cincinnati Reds and had better success, by compiling a 4.50 ERA in 128 innings pitched (24 starts) with 111 strikeouts, 28 walks, 21 home runs surrendered, a 4.33 FIP and a 1.25 WHIP.

Harvey proved after being dealt to the Reds he could get major-league hitters out consistently, which wasn’t the case earlier in the year for the Mets.

Harvey regaining his ace form from several years ago is probably unlikely, but if he can replicate what happened with the Reds over a full season for an Angels’ club which lacks starting rotation depth, this deal will be a success.

Author Profile

Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]
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