Four-pack sent to Reds buys Dodgers payroll freedom

Yasiel Puig will now have to bust out in his last season before free agency in Cincinnati. Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off a modern blockbuster, one in which some bad contracts changed hands along with useful major leaguers and prospects. The Reds got a little bit better, but perhaps not as much as they need to, and those plucky Dodgers added some prospects to help them rebuild, while perhaps clearing salary space for an even bigger acquisition.

The Reds have been signaling for weeks they would trade from their substantial prospect depth, largely accumulated through the draft, to upgrade their major league roster and try to contend in 2019-20. This trade gives the superficial appearance of doing so, and yet might not actually put them that much closer to a playoff berth.