Tag: Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig-for-Ryan Braun Blockbuster Worth the Risk for Both Sides

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers couldn’t complete a Yasiel Puig-for-Ryan Braun trade in August. Nonetheless, they left a sense they could do so eventually.

Well, how ’bout now?

After all, the August proposal wasn’t just some preposterous idea the Dodgers and Brewers kicked around for only a minute or two. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Sept. 2 the two sides made a “legitimate attempt” to complete it, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Sept. 14 a deal was “about 20 minutes” from being finished before the Aug. 31 deadline passed.

Some things have changed since then. But according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times, among the things that haven’t is Puig‘s availability:

Meanwhile in Milwaukee, Braun and the Brewers haven’t pushed thoughts of a trade out of sight or out of mind. General manager David Stearns told the Associated Press (via ESPN.com) on Wednesday that he’s asked about it regularly. Braun, for his part, is getting tired of being in limbo.

“Not knowing 100 percent where [I’ll] be playing is hard. It definitely complicates things,” he said. “Obviously, things come up. It’s a part of the business. It’s a part of the profession. If something were to happen, we’d figure it out when we get there.”

Mind you, there are hurdles in the way for the Dodgers to trade their 25-year-old right fielder for the Brewers’ 33-year-old left fielder.

The big one is money. Braun’s contract still has four years and $76 million left on it. Puig‘s contract calls for only two years and $17.4 million, plus a year of arbitration in 2019.

Though the Dodgers have spared no expense in recent years, swapping the contracts would be problematic. As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday, they’re looking to cut payroll as they seek to satisfy a mandate from Major League Baseball to reduce their debt.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way. And both sides should still have the will to bring their earlier talks to completion.

For the Brewers, trading Braun would be the next step toward completing their rebuild.

They’ve already shed a lot of payroll, going from a mark of $104.2 million on Opening Day in 2015 to $63.9 million in 2016. If they move Braun’s contract, their guaranteed money will be down to Matt Garza’s $12.5 million salary for 2017.

All that payroll space would be needed soon enough. Through smart drafting and trading, Milwaukee has turned a barren farm system into one that MLB.com’s Jim Callis ranked No. 1 in early August. It shouldn’t be long before the Brewers have one of baseball’s best young cores. Not long after that, they’ll be looking to lock it up.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Freeing up payroll would be the main attraction for Milwaukee in a Braun deal. But if it’s going to take on a player in return, it may as well be a lottery ticket like Puig.

He certainly has issues. He went from a .925 OPS in 2013 to a .740 OPS in 2016. With a total of 183 games played over the last two seasons, his durability has trended in the same direction. And even with his worst incidents seemingly behind him, his character remains yet another question mark.

“They’re going to take the next two weeks to try to figure out whether Yasiel Puig can fit onto the team,” Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball wrote in mid-September. “Nobody has cited anything terrible Puig has done, but there’s no getting around the fact he’d annoyed an entire clubhouse.”

If nothing else, this makes Puig a perfect candidate for a change of scenery. Going from Los Angeles, one of MLB’s biggest media markets, to Milwaukee, one of its smallest, could be just the change of scenery he needs.

Puig‘s durability and production are different matters. But as far as reasons to be optimistic go, his youth is a darn good one. With his age-26 season due up in 2017, he shouldn’t be past his physical prime.

Besides, Puig‘s struggle hasn’t been a steady string of badness. He has shown flashes of the Rookie of the Year runner-up and All-Star that he was in 2013 and 2014. He began 2015 with an .816 OPS through his first 40 games, and he ended 2016 with an .857 OPS over his final 51 games.

If Puig stays on the field and maintains that form, he would be one of two things for the Brewers: one of many quality players on a young and exciting roster or valuable trade bait if it turns out the team needs more time to rebuild.

As for the other end of this trade, the fit between Braun and the Dodgers is more straightforward.

With a career .910 OPS and an .879 OPS with 55 home runs and 40 stolen bases over the last two seasons, Braun would be an upgrade for Los Angeles in either left or right field. Those two spots were the Dodgers’ worst for offense in 2016.

The fact that Braun is a right-handed hitter gives him extra appeal. With Justin Turner afloat on the free-agent waters, Los Angeles needs one of those to balance a lineup that skews left-handed with Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles and switch-hitter Yasmani Grandal.

The left-handedness of the Dodgers lineup contributed to its fatal flaw in 2016. With a .622 OPS, Los Angeles was the most inept team in the majors against left-handed pitching. It hit left-handers about as well as Erick Aybar hit everyone.

It so happens Braun is especially lethal against lefties. The 1.010 OPS he had against lefties in 2016 was in line with his career 1.028 OPS against them.

That, by the way, is the best mark of any hitter with at least 1,000 plate appearances against lefties since 2007, Braun’s rookie season.

How much longer Braun keeps this up is a good question. He’s not young, so his recent thumb and back surgeries and average of 136 games played over each of the last three seasons loom large. So does his history with performance-enhancing drugs, which got him suspended in 2013.

These concerns are why the Dodgers must try to send more than just Puig to Milwaukee. As Nightengale reported, they were also going to give up prospects and Brandon McCarthy, who would’ve helped even things out with his $23 million in guaranteed money over the next two seasons. That idea should remain on the table.

But one way or another, Braun offers enough potential reward to balance the risk.

For all his question marks, he’s been productive in the last two seasons despite being old and (for all we know) clean. If he ages well, there’s more where this came from. If he doesn’t, he could still be a useful player as he comes down from high heights.

Of course, the Dodgers must have worked this out months ago. The same goes for the Brewers with Puig. Two teams don’t get 20 minutes from a trade without convincing themselves it’s a good idea.

So, all the clubs have to do now is get back to talking.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked. Payroll and contract information courtesy of Cot’s Baseball  .

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Giants, Dodgers Benches Clear After Madison Bumgarner-Yasiel Puig Argument

The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers are archrivals, and tensions boiled over Monday during the first game of a three-game series.

Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig exchanged words before the teams’ benches and bullpens cleared after the end of the seventh inning. MLB shared video of Puig grounding out to Bumgarner and the ensuing scuffle:

Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times passed along the interaction between the two:

“I just ran,” Puig said, per MLB.com’s Jack Baer and Chris Haft. “He was looking in my direction. He asked me why I was looking in his direction, and I then asked him why he was looking at me. That’s it.”

“I didn’t hear what was going on. He tried to stare me down or something. That’s what it looked like to me,” Bumgarner said, according to Baer and Haft.

This is not the first time Bumgarner and Puig have gotten into an argument on the field. They exchanged pleasantries in 2014, after Puig hit a home run and celebrated with a bat flip:

On Monday, Puig notched the Dodgers’ only hit off Bumgarner, a two-out double in the second. The San Francisco ace tallied 10 strikeouts in seven innings before exiting, but the Giants bullpen surrendered two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 2-1 loss.

“All I know is Yasiel took a check swing, ran hard down the baseline and didn’t say a thing. He heard something from Bumgarner and he responded. I know our guy didn’t initiate,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, per Baer and Haft.

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Ryan Braun Was Reportedly Almost Traded to Dodgers for Yasiel Puig

A potential blockbuster trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers came just short of completion before the Aug. 31 waivers deadline.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Ryan Braun was almost swapped for Yasiel Puig and others before the clock simply ran out:

Braun and Puig were about 20 minutes from being traded for one another two weeks ago, according to several executives with direct knowledge of their trade talks, but the teams ran out of time at the Aug. 31 trade deadline. …

Braun was being traded to the Dodgers, who would pay the entire $76 million in his contract, for outfielder Yasiel Puig, injured veteran pitcher Brandon McCarthy and prospects.

Although the deal reportedly came down to the final prospect in consideration, the two sides couldn’t complete the deal. However, Nightengale adds that “officials vowed to revisit the talks again this winter.”

Braun was once one of the most feared hitters in baseball, winning the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player award and finishing as a runner-up in 2012. However, he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in 2013, and his play suffered shortly after.

The 32-year-old player has seen a resurgence in 2016, however, entering Tuesday with a .310 batting average, 27 home runs and 82 RBI. Adding his bat would have provided Los Angeles with a boost heading into the home stretch of the regular season and the playoffs.

Braun was at least intrigued by the possibility of the deal.

“Obviously, I live in Los Angeles in the offseason. I grew up a Dodger fan. When those conversations started, I think it was an interesting position for me to be in,” the outfielder said of the potential move, per Nightengale.

Meanwhile, Puig had been in hot water within the Dodgers organization. The team tried to trade him at the July 31 non-waivers deadline, per Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, but ended up sending him down to Triple-A. At the time, he had just a .260 batting average and seven home runs on the year.

Los Angeles placed him on waivers, where he was apparently claimed by the Brewers, as Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported, although no trade was completed.

Puig returned to the majors in September and has made a positive impact, hitting three home runs with a .357 batting average in his first seven games back. His improvements could change the terms of a deal with Milwaukee if he’s traded this winter.


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With LA Career on Life Support, Yasiel Puig Can Still Be a Factor for Dodgers

Yasiel Puig said what he needed to say upon his return to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was humble; he was contrite.

“I earned the demotion,” he acknowledged Friday after getting the call from Triple-A, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. “I feel like I am a better person, and I am here now to show it.”

In an admittedly brief stint back with the big club, here’s what Puig has shown: He can still hit a baseball.

In two games, Puig has gone 3-for-6 with two walks and three runs scored. On Sunday, he cracked his first MLB home run since July 4, a three-run shot in the third inning of the Dodgers’ 7-4 win over the San Diego Padres.

Here’s the strong-man swing, courtesy of the Dodgers’ official Twitter feed: 

It’s a small-sample flash. But Puig resembles the guy who took the league by storm in 2013, the preternaturally gifted orb of energy who played like he had the cheat codes scribbled under the brim of his cap.

That version of Puig, or something approximating it, would be an immeasurable boon for the Dodgers as they battle the San Francisco Giants for National League West supremacy. Entering play Monday, L.A. holds a three-game lead over its archrival. 

He’s still Puig. A few conciliatory quotes and a couple of solid games don’t erase the issues that landed him in the minors and made yours truly wonder if he’d ever again don Dodger blue.

There’s no need to recount the entire Puig saga. Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller summed it up succinctly in December 2015:

Tucked somewhere among the salacious stories of Greinke tossing Puig’s suitcase off the bus and onto a street in Chicago, ace Clayton Kershaw allegedly advising the Dodgers front office this winter to dump the outfielder and third baseman Justin Turner almost getting into a fight with Puig last spring looms one of the biggest questions facing the Dodgers for 2016:

Is the relationship between Puig and his teammates inside the Dodgers’ clubhouse irreparably broken?

That was before the season started. Clearly, things didn’t get better.

Puig wrestled with injuries and inconsistency. On Aug. 2, the Dodgers sent him down, as manager Dave Roberts phrased it, “to improve him as a player and a person,” per MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick.

Puig stirred up controversy with the Oklahoma City Dodgers as well, but he torched Pacific Coast League pitching to the tune of a .348 average and .994 OPS. 

The Dodgers lineup was struggling against southpaws. At a certain point, it just made too much sense to give the right-handed Puig another crack.

In both of his starts so far, he’s slotted into right field against southpaw starters in place of lefty-swinging trade acquisition Josh Reddick. Puig has logged MLB innings at all three outfield positions, however, which will allow Roberts to mix and match.

Puig’s return was unceremonious, as Shaikin detailed:

It was an awkward homecoming for Puig. He had conquered the minor leagues in the month since the Dodgers had banished him, but they did not treat him as a conquering hero. They tried to trade him before they sent him down, and they tried again before they called him back up. They had moved his locker clear across the clubhouse, and no longer did he enjoy a vacant locker next to his own.

This is a marriage of necessity. The Dodgers need Puig’s bat. Puig needs to cast aside the distractions and prove he deserves to stay in the Show.

He’s only 25 years old and two seasons removed from an All-Star campaign. A hot streak down the stretch and into the postseason could cement a role with Los Angeles next season. Or it could boost his trade stock if the Dodgers opt to dangle him this winter in a weak free-agent class. 

We already know there’ll be interest, based on reports that the Milwaukee Brewers claimed him off waivers prior to his call-up and engaged in “legitimate” talks involving outfielder Ryan Braun, per Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal

Either way, Puig can benefit himself and his employer by keeping his head down and his stick scalding. 

Add ace Clayton Kershaw’s impending return—he’s set to start Friday, per Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet Los Angeles—and the Dodgers may be getting the band back together at precisely the right time.

Is Puig a changed man? Did a month riding the MiLB bus show him the light? Those are questions for another day.

Can he help the Dodgers win games from here to late October? The early returns point toward yes.


All statistics current as of Sept. 4 and courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball-Reference.com.

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Yasiel Puig Recalled by Dodgers from Triple-A Oklahoma City

After spending a month in Triple-A, Yasiel Puig has returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times first broke the news on Thursday, which the Dodgers confirmed on Friday. Puig was placed in the starting lineup, will bat fifth and play right field against the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles sent the outfielder down to Triple-A at the start of August after a poor first four months of the season. He responded by hitting .348 with four home runs in 19 games for the Oklahoma City Dodgers.

Of course, his play on the field wasn’t the only reason for the demotion.

Per McCullough, Puig showed up late to meetings and was inconsistent with his work habits, and manager Dave Roberts wanted the 25-year-old to “be a better person and baseball player.”

The first couple of weeks in the Pacific Coast League didn’t seem to change his attitude, as he posted partying videos on Snapchat.

However, he appeared to have a change of heart in recent days. He told ESPN.com’s Marly Rivera that playing in the minors taught him humility and added his thoughts on his improved attitude:

I keep hitting. I’m behaving. I’m doing the work I have to do. What I did wrong before and I have been doing better the last two or three weeks that I’ve been here. [Being called up] does not depend on me. All I can do is try to improve what I did wrong, the things that got me sent me here. The rest does not depend on me, that’s [a decision for] the GM, the president. Only God knows where I will end up.

“Yasiel has done everything we asked of him,” Roberts said, per MLB Network Radio. “We felt ultimately that he makes us better, that was the deciding factor.” 

Roberts also noted he and team president Andrew Friedman brought veteran players in to discuss the move with them, per MLB Network Radio

The Dodgers were reportedly still undecided about Puig’s fate earlier in the week, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. They then placed him on waivers, where he was claimed by a team before the Dodgers decided to bring him back to the big league roster, per Today’s Knuckleball (h/t ESPN.com).

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports explained L.A. can still trade him in the winter:

Until then, he will likely be a part of the Dodgers and could play an important role down the stretch. With the squad involved in a tight division race with the San Francisco Giants in the NL West, L.A. will hope Puig not only plays well but also avoids being a distraction in the clubhouse.

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Yasiel Puig Reportedly Placed on Trade Waivers: Latest Details and Reaction

Yasiel Puig has had a rough season, and his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers could be coming to an end.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Los Angeles placed the 25-year-old outfielder on waivers Sunday, meaning he can be traded to whichever team claims him. However, Rosenthal also noted the talented player will more likely be traded in the offseason.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported one general manager believes it’s “likely” a team will claim the outfielder.

Puig hit just .260 with seven home runs in 81 games at the major league level this season before being sent down to Triple-A at the start of August.

On the plus side, the outfielder has looked better with the Oklahoma City Dodgers of the Pacific Coast League. In 17 games entering Sunday, he had a .375 batting average and a 1.061 OPS as well as four home runs. He also made headlines off the field in a NSFW Snapchat video with him and his teammates partying, via NESN.com on Aug. 9.

“He’s playing well, and he’s assimilated very nicely with his teammates in Oklahoma City,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

However, the team hasn’t decided the next move for the Cuban star.

On Aug. 20, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported the Dodgers were “trying to give away Puig,” who was “considered toxic at the moment.” Heyman argued Aug. 25 the organization isn’t desperate to unload the player and instead has turned down offers.

If a team does claim Puig on waivers, the Dodgers will have an opportunity to negotiate a deal exclusively with that club or pull him back for the year. If he clears waivers, Los Angeles could trade him to anyone in the big leagues.

Despite his recent struggles, the outfielder was an All-Star in 2014 while batting .296 with 16 home runs and excellent defense. He also finished second in Rookie of the Year voting behind Jose Fernandez in 2013.

Puig is under contract through the 2019 season.

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Dodgers President Andrew Friedman Comments on Yasiel Puig’s Snapchat Video

A series of Snapchat videos has gotten Yasiel Puig in trouble with the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“We are aware of what Yasiel posted on social media last night, and while we are disappointed in his and some of our players’ judgment, this is a matter we will address internally,” Dodgers president Andrew Friedman said, per the Southern California News Group’s J.P. Hoornstra.

Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan provided a link to the clips. (Warning: Link contains NSFW language):

Beyond some crude language and gestures, the video isn’t all that offensive. Puig and his Oklahoma City Dodgers teammates were partying during a road trip in Des Moines, Iowa.

But given his current situation, the Dodgers are likely expecting Puig to be on his best behavior. The 25-year-old hasn’t played well, and the Los Angeles TimesAndy McCullough reported off-field issues played a role in his demotion to the team’s Triple-A affiliate:

But [general manager Farhan Zaidi] acknowledged that Puig’s behavior was a factor. The organization did not portray Puig as an irreconcilable malcontent, crippling the club with his personality. The issues were smaller and subtler, a series of minor indiscretions that piled up.

Despite his ubiquitous Twitter hashtag, Puig sometimes showed up late to meetings. He displayed only intermittent interest in the work necessary to avoid injury. [Manager Dave Roberts] acknowledged Puig lacked consistency in his habits. “Yasiel has to continue to grow,” he said.

As Will Carroll of FanDuel argued, the Dodgers are in a tough place with Puig:

The non-waiver trade deadline has already passed, so that’s not an option if the team is to the point where it sees no future for Puig.

Los Angeles could potentially release the Cuban outfielder. He’s signed through the next two years for a combined $14 million.

Of course, should the Dodgers let him go outright, he’d have no trouble finding a new home. Another team would be more than willing to gamble on Puig in hopes he’d return to his 2013 or 2014 self.

Most likely, the Dodgers will call Puig back up to the majors within the next few weeks. If his behavior or his performance doesn’t drastically improve by the end of the season, Zaidi and Friedman will have the opportunity to shop him around to other teams in the winter and spring.

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Takeaways from MLB Week 18

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has largely been a mystery since he made his MLB debut in 2013.

He has flashed unbelievable talent and athleticism that suggests he could be among baseball’s best to play the game. But off-the-field drama, injuries and a questionable work ethic have gotten in the way of that.

This past week, the Dodgers decided he will have to figure it out elsewhere, at least for the time being.

The team demoted him to Triple-A.

But this week saw other players arrive back with MLB clubs and some choose to leave them on their own accord. Who might they be?

Begin Slideshow

Yasiel Puig’s Demotion May Mean He’ll Never Again Wear Dodgers Uniform

Yasiel Puig is a good baseball player.

With all the acrimony and controversy swirling around the Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder, it’s easy to lose sight of that fact. But it’s a fact, nonetheless.

And yet, it’s been a while since results were consistently there for Puig.

Now, the mercurial Cuban’s career in Dodger blue is on life support after the team optioned him to Triple-A on Tuesday, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

The move came after protracted trade speculation, as Gurnick outlined:

Puig’s demotion culminates two weeks of drama and intrigue, beginning with a reported tight hamstring, followed by more than a week of limited playing time and trade rumors. According to his agent, Puig was told that he would be traded Monday, and if he wasn’t and the Dodgers acquired an outfielder, Puig would be demoted.

The Dodgers acquired a right fielder at the trade deadline, landing Josh Reddick along with southpaw starter Rich Hill from the Oakland Athletics.

And sure enough, Puig was demoted.

It’s a steep, vertigo-inducing fall for a guy who was one of the game’s most exciting stars just a few seasons ago.

Puig arrived with a bang in 2013, posting a .925 OPS in 104 games and finishing second in National League Rookie of the Year voting. The following year, he was an All-Star and top-20 NL MVP finisher.

In 2015, however, Puig appeared in just 79 games while dealing with injuries and inconsistency, posting a career-low .758 OPS.

His problems extended beyond normal growing pains. In December 2015, Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller painted a picture of a player teetering on the brink:

Tucked somewhere among the salacious stories of [Zack] Greinke tossing Puig’s suitcase off the bus and onto a street in Chicago, ace Clayton Kershaw allegedly advising the Dodgers front office this winter to dump the outfielder and third baseman Justin Turner almost getting into a fight with Puig last spring looms one of the biggest questions facing the Dodgers for 2016:

Is the relationship between Puig and his teammates inside the Dodgers’ clubhouse irreparably broken?

Not everyone thought it was. Veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, for one, came to Puig’s defense at the time.

But one former Dodger didn’t mince words.

“He is the worst person I’ve ever seen in this game,” the unnamed player said, per Miller. “Ever.”

That may sound like hyperbole sparked by Puig’s brash, bat-flipping antics. The old school clashing with the new school, with predictably cantankerous results.

But the preponderance of evidence leans toward Puig being a polarizing clubhouse presence.

That’s fine when you’re producing. When you’re not? That’s a different story.

So as Puig struggled with career lows in on-base percentage (.320) and slugging percentage (.386) in 2016, the ill will apparently festered.

And then, a 25-year-old preternatural athlete with five-tool potential found himself ticketed for bus rides in the minor leagues.

Before that, the Dodgers put Puig on the trading block, per Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, but didn’t receive an acceptable offer.

So they sent him down, unceremoniously, despite the fact he hit .308 with an .830 OPS since returning from a hamstring injury in June.

Clearly, Los Angeles had reached the end of its rope with Puig.

Reddick is only a rental, yet the club seems prepared to cast aside a man who looked like a franchise building block a few short years ago—even, it’s worth noting, in the midst of a tight divisional race with the archrival San Francisco Giants, when a few hot weeks from Puig could make all the difference.


The next logical step is for the Dodgers to put Puig on waivers to see if they can move him before Aug. 31. Sports Illustrated‘s Jay Jaffe, among others, listed Puig as a leading waiver candidate. If that doesn’t happen, look for Los Angeles to aggressively shop him over the winter amid a weak free-agent class.

It’s easy to imagine a curious club taking a flier. Again, Puig is just 25. He’s only recently removed from results that teased superstar possibilities. And he’s locked into an affordable contract that pays him less than $20 million through 2018.

Plenty of players his age are figuring out the majors—forget lighting them on fire.

In a way, Puig is like a comet that burned fast and bright across the sky. The question is: Will he crash to Earth or streak across the heavens again?

Puig’s tenure with the Dodgers is likely coming to an end one way or another.

But he’s still a good baseball player. Surely that will be enough for someone, somewhere to give him a second chance.


All statistics accurate as of Aug. 2 and courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Yasiel Puig Doesn’t Travel with Dodgers for Series at Rockies

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig on Monday did not travel with the team to Denver for its three-game series against the Colorado Rockies, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The series is set to begin Tuesday.

Puig’s agent, Adam Katz, released the following statement to Rosenthal:

I’m told he was not at the park. The club informed me and the player understood clearly that they were making every effort to trade him and that if they were unable to come to terms with another club on a trade—and successful in acquiring another outfielder—that he likely would be demoted. My understanding is that transaction will happen tomorrow.

Rosenthal had previously reported Puig “stormed off” upon hearing the news, though he later noted Puig was told not to get on the plane.

Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman declined to comment on the situation, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.

Puig’s future with the Dodgers certainly seems to be in jeopardy after the team acquired outfielder Josh Reddick on Monday, as “club officials had maintained that they would trade Puig only if they added another outfielder, but they did not find a taker,” per Rosenthal.

On Sunday, Puig had a measured response to trade rumors.

“If they decide to trade me, then I’ll have to go to another team and work hard there,” he told Bill Shaikin of the Times. “I just came to this country to play baseball.

“I would like to stay here. But I also understand this is a business. You never know where you are going to end up.”

As Jon Morosi of MLB Network noted, there’s another possible outcome:

Mike Petriello of MLB.com thinks if Puig were put on waivers, he’d likely wind up in a new city:

It’s been a wild ride for Puig. He was one of baseball’s darlings during his rookie year, when he hit .319 with 19 home runs in just 104 games. But his numbers have mostly declined since.

Puig has also reportedly rubbed teammates the wrong way. His declining production, along with questions about his effort, focus and ability to coexist with his teammates, have long made him the subject of trade rumors.

But Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports doesn’t see Puig being dealt:

It’s just as possible that Puig’s reported storming off is the last straw for the Dodgers, who could place him on waivers. Depending on whether he is claimed, Puig could then be kept by Los Angeles, demoted, traded, released or scooped up by another team, which would take on his contract.


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