The August 31st waiver trade deadline passed nearly two weeks ago, and there were no major moves. One the major deals discussed involved the Dodgers and Brewers, and involved both Ryan Braun and Yasiel Puig potentially changing addresses. The deal (obviously) didn’t happen, but just how close was it?
MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reported that the two teams worked until the last possible minute, and that both sides earnestly wanted to get something done.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network was first to report that the Brewers had claimed Puig on revocable trade waivers and engaged the Dodgers in trade talks. According to a source, one scenario would have netted the Brewers Puig and two prospects along with pitcher Brandon McCarthy, whose departing contract would have helped offset the Dodgers’ luxury tax hit for adding Braun. The source said Braun remained at Miller Park with some teammates after the Brewers’ Aug. 31 game against the Pirates while the Brewers and Dodgers continued talks up to 11:59 p.m. ET — a minute before the Trade Deadline to acquire players and have them eligible for the postseason. In the end, they simply ran out of time.
That would have been quite a haul for the Brewers, even without knowing the identity of the two prospects that would’ve been heading to Milwaukee. Puig is still just 25, and is signed through 2018 at just $14 million. Braun, on the other hand, is signed through 2020, and will make $76 million over those four years. That’s a huge chunk of money for a small market club like the Brewers, even when you consider they’d also be taking on the remaining $20 million owed to McCarthy over the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
It’s obviously a tiny sample, but Puig has mashed since being recalled by the Dodgers when rosters expanded – he’s hitting .308/.444/.769 with two homers, four walks, and just two strikeouts in six games.
I have a nagging feeling that one, or perhaps both, of Puig or Braun will have a new home for the 2017 season. There’s simply been too much chatter about both players getting dealt for them to remain with the Dodgers and Brewers, respectively, past the end of 2016.