According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Milwaukee Brewers were awarded the revocable waiver claim on the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig. The embattled outfielder was demoted to AAA by the Dodgers earlier this season after batting .260/.320/.386 with 7 home runs in 81 games, a far cry from the All-Star level performances he put up earlier in his career. Rosenthal adds that trade talks involved former-MVP Ryan Braun. The Dodgers are one of the the six teams that Braun cannot veto a trade to under his no-trade clause. Obviously no deal was able to be consummated before the waiver claim expired and the Dodgers pulled him back, though talks were reportedly serious in nature.
I’ve already discussed how Puig could fit with the Brewers in this space, so needless to say I’m thrilled with the fact that the Brewers rolled the dice and attempted to bring Puig into the organization. You can read my thoughts on that subject here. Puig was excellent during his stint in AAA, hitting .348/.400/.594 with four home runs in 19 games while also drawing praise for his attitude. He was rewarded with a return to the big leagues as rosters expanded. Puig is owed about $14 mil over the next two seasons and is controllable for a third after that through arbitration.
I’m less thrilled with the fact that Braun seemed to be a big part of the trade talks, if for no other reason than I like him a lot. He is batting a robust .312/.374/.544 with 24 home runs and 14 steals this season while also accruing an impressive five Defensive Runs Saved in left field. Braun is 32, however, and is owed another $76 mil over the four seasons following 2016, so it does make some baseball sense for David Stearns to be willing to part with him. This winter may be the last chance for the club to deal Braun before his full 10-5 no trade rights vest next May.
This might have actually made some sense in my opinion, and I’m really trying hard not to let myself overvalue Braunie. The Brewers would be able to shed some significant payroll (although that reportedly hasn’t been a concern in any Braun trade scenario) while also bringing in a young, controllable player with a great track record into the organization. Puig’s stock is obviously down right now, but it wouldn’t be that surprising if he was able to return to something similar to his 2013-14 form given his youth and immense talent. We also have no idea what other pieces were involved, though I would hope that Milwaukee would have asked for at least another prospect in return, though not necessarily a blue chipper.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs