So, the Los Angeles Dodgers have dealt with inconsistency in right field. Take that back, the only consistency they’ve had in the outfield is inconsistency.
There’s a pretty good right fielder on the market in Jason Heyward, and one fairly major platform thinks the Dodgers could swing a deal.
Here is Jason Schoenfield of ESPN on where Heyward might land.
“My sleeper team is the Los Angeles Dodgers if they could trade Yasiel Puig, you know that’s a rumor that’s out there, maybe they then bring Heyward in to play right field.”
Couple things on this: First, it would absolutely amazing if the Dodgers somehow were able to swindle Heyward from the St. Louis Cardinals. His defensive metrics are out of this world and he learned to make contact more often last season, even if it was at the detriment of some of his power.
If he can combine his improvement in contact with some of his old power, while staying anywhere near as good as he’s been defensively, he’d easily become a top-five right fielder in the game. Any team or anyone who says they wouldn’t want that are absolutely insane.
All that said, here’s why I’m worried it wouldn’t work:
The title of that video is asking whether Heyward’s contract would top $200 million this offseason. If the Dodgers are serious about their desire to cut costs, which it seems like they are, trading away a right fielder who will make $5.5 million next season in order to sign someone for around quadruple that total doesn’t fall in line with their overriding goal.
Which brings me to my second point:
The Dodgers’ two main goals this offseason are to get younger and cheaper. Puig is both of those things. Trading him flies in the face of both of the Dodgers’ top two priorities at this time. Now, if Schoenfield (who didn’t do any actual reporting in this video — this was almost completely hypothetical) had mentioned trading Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford to make room for Heyward, then we could be getting somewhere.
Again, I don’t want to make this seem like I’m throwing a wet blanket on what would otherwise be an incredibly exciting rumor, but the logic here is somewhat lacking. If that can be sorted out, and Heyward is indeed manning right field next season, you wouldn’t hear a single complaint from me.