It's still 3 1/2 months until MLB's non-waiver trade deadline, but rumors are bubbling all the time. Case in pointthis weekend: one involving a seven-time All-Star and former NL Rookie of the Year (2007) and MVP (2011).
The rumor: The Dodgers and Brewers have discussed a deal that would bring outfielder Ryan Braun to Los Angeles.
The source:The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo, who writes:
"We’ve confirmed through major league sources that the Dodgers and Brewers have kept in touch on a potential Braun deal. The Dodgers’ weak link is their outfield, and they have not been swinging the bats very well, hitting just .238 through Thursday."
The contractfactors: Braun, 33, has a limited no-trade clause in his contract, but the Dodgers are one of six teams to which he can be dealt without his permission. A complicating factor, MLB.com noted: Come May 24, the no-trade clause becomes moot when Braun attains 10-and-5 status (10 years in the majors, 5 years with the same team), which gives him veto power over any trade.
What's the deal? The Dodgers have an excess of outfielders, though the ones not named Yasiel Puig aren't producing thus far (LF: .208/.269/.438, CF: .154/.292/.256). CBS Sports describeda potential Braun-to-LA tradeas the Dodgers going for quality over quantity, but if the Brewers are wanting Yasiel Puig, 26, then the timing could be off considering his hot start (.326/.426/.674) and short- and long-term value (the clubhouse and off-field baggage could be a mitigating factor, though). Braun, whose career slash line is.304/.367/.544 with289 homers and 945 RBIs, is a reliable power hitter when healthy. His contract runs through 2020 and has $76 million remaining, counting this season, plus a $15 million mutual option for 2021. That's a lot of cash if the Brewers are looking for a young, valuable package in return, almost assuring that they would have to eat some of the contract. Given the May 24 date that's looming, it will become clear relatively quickly whether the sides can agree.