Where will Puig be in 2016?
Is it possible Puig could be in a different uniform other than Dodger Blue? Depending on how Puig starts the year off will determine what options the Dodgers brass has. With the Dodgers having question marks in the starting rotation, management may be willing to trade Puig and some prospects for a proven starter. With plenty of options available to fill Puig’s spot in right field, Dodgers may be willing to move Puig for the right price. Trayce Thompson could fill the void in right field, or if Carl Crawford is healthy and not dealt, Ethier could make the move back to right field. All this has a big “IF” around it though. Either way, if the Dodgers want to move Puig, they will need to pick up most of his remaining contract… if not all of it.
Now if the Dodgers were able to move Puig, who could they get in return? Mets have a surplus of young starting pitchers. With Wheeler coming back sometime mid year, the Mets have the option of trading a starter to replace a need in the lineup. A deal that would include trading Puig for Noah Syndergaard has been talked about in the past. I don’t see that deal being done unless the Dodgers were to throw in another prospect or two. A deal that highlights Steven Matz in return for Puig seems more advantageous for both teams.
Another enticing trade destination for Puig is the Miami Marlins. Early on in the off-season, I thought this was a good scenario and had about a 50/50 shot of happening. The one thing that may hinder this trade from happening now is that Don Mattingly is at the helm of the Marlins. If Puig is really an issue in the clubhouse, Mattingly may not want to risk bringing Puig to Miami.
One final option is the Baltimore Orioles. Puig could help Adam Jones out in right field, turning a weak outfield into a pretty decent one. The Orioles have Kevin Gausman they can send to LA. Depending on how the starting pitching is holding up for the Dodgers after Ryu and Brett Anderson return to the rotation, Dodgers may be willing to send Puig to Baltimore in return for Zach Britton services. This would drastically help with the back end of the bullpen.
At any rate, Puig is in control of his own fate. Puig’s start to the season will determine if the Dodgers have an opportunity to trade him.