San Francisco Giants: Building a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 12: Sam Dyson #49 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 12, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 12: Sam Dyson #49 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 12, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 08: Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in relief during the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on May 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 08: Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in relief during the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on May 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Tony Watson’s contract could present one complication in this potential trade package.

To avoid the luxury tax, Watson has significant escalators built into his contract that could bring his salary for next year close to $10 million.

I have a creative way for the Dodgers to clear some roster space and payroll, while simultaneously setting the Giants up for a better prospect return.

The Dodgers signed free agent Joe Kelly to a three-year, $25 million deal during the offseason to serve as the primary setup man to closer Kenley Jansen.

The early returns have been brutal. In 19 appearances, the hard-throwing Kelly has posted an 8.35 ERA and 1.91 WHIP with 27 hits allowed in 18.1 innings. While his 3.90 xFIP suggests he has endured some bad luck, the Dodgers don’t have time to be patient.

The Giants, on the other hand, have all the time in the world.

Kelly posted a 4.39 ERA and 9.3 K/9 with 21 holds in 73 appearances for the Boston Red Sox last season, before turning in a dominant postseason run. There are worse bounce-back candidates to take a chance on.

With Kelly included, the deal would give the Dodgers a pair of relievers for their run in 2019 and 2020, while also freeing up some payroll in 2021.

The San Francisco Giants motivation will be a better prospect return, which we’ll get into on the next slide.