If Ryan Braun is traded anywhere this winter, the Dodgers have the best chance to acquire him.But for the moment, Miller Park remains Braun's most likely Opening Day whereabouts.By the terms of Braun's no-trade protection, the Brewers can move him to only six teams without his approval: the Dodgers, Giants,
If Ryan Braun is traded anywhere this winter, the Dodgers have the best chance to acquire him.
But for the moment, Miller Park remains Braun's most likely Opening Day whereabouts.
By the terms of Braun's no-trade protection, the Brewers can move him to only six teams without his approval: the Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Padres, D-backs and Marlins, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Based on need and payroll, the Dodgers and Giants are the most plausible fits among those six clubs. And the Giants aren't actively pursuing Braun, sources say, having resolved to distribute their left-field at-bats among Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson and perhaps non-roster invitees.
That leaves the Dodgers.
The Dodgers, though, are busy with a number of other pursuits. First, they must formally announce Kenley Jansen's five-year, $80 million free-agent contract, on which they reached agreement last month. They remain in talks with the Twins on a possible trade involving slugging second baseman James Dozier. And they're looking for a right-handed setup man to help form the bridge to Jansen; free agents Joe Blanton and Neftali Feliz are among the candidates.
It's unclear if the Dodgers have enough payroll flexibility to afford Dozier and Braun, who has four years and $76 million left on his contract. The Dodgers already have surpassed $200 million in commitments for 2017 -- the most in the Major Leagues, according to Spotrac.com -- and are mindful of incurring excessive luxury tax penalties.
But if Dozier winds up with the Braves or Cardinals, then Braun's return home to Southern California -- which nearly happened at last year's non-waiver Trade Deadline -- becomes slightly more realistic. Whether it's Dozier or Braun, the Dodgers realize they must add right-handed power -- even after re-signing popular third baseman Justin Turner.
Friday news roundup
• The Rangers, who are on the periphery of the Jose Quintana marketplace, would like to upgrade their rotation and have had preliminary dialogue with free agent Jason Hammel's new representatives at ACES. Hammel, who switched agents earlier this offseason, went 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 30 starts for the Cubs in 2016 but did not appear in the postseason.
The Rangers' farm system has thinned through several significant trades in recent years, making free agency preferable to meeting the White Sox high price for Quintana.
• The Orioles may not be done adding left-handed-hitting platoon options, even after acquiring Seth Smith from the Mariners on Friday. They've shown some interest in free agent Brandon Moss, who hit 28 home runs for the Cardinals in 2016 but lost playing time due to a late-season slump.
Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com