It’s comeback season for Yasiel Puig. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, several teams are interested in seeing what the outfielder has to offer, including the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles…
Chris Carlson/Associated Press
It’s comeback season for Yasiel Puig.
According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, several teams are interested in seeing what the outfielder has to offer, including the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles.
After sitting out the 2020 season, the 30-year-old Puig, nicknamed “The Wild Horse” by legendary former Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, played in the Dominican winter league while attempting to show he can be an asset to a team next season. He has a new agent, Rachel Luba, and what appears to be a new outlook.
Last month, the Cienfuegos, Cuba, native held a conference call organized by his team, Toros del Este, and told reporters he was ready to change after criticism of his maturity. Puig said he would listen to coaches who asked him to change his outfield positioning.
He has an unbelievably strong arm in right field, but he was never as good of a defender as many thought he could be, often taking strange routes to fly balls, getting late jumps and missing cutoff men.
He ran the basepaths with reckless abandon, often running into outs. His strike zone expanded and his swing stiffened. Puig was good enough that he didn’t have to try hard, despite the Dodgers’ best efforts to get him to stop coasting on raw talent.
There were also feuds with other players, including his involvement in a full-blown brawl moments after he was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Cleveland baseball team.
Off the field, he was charged with reckless driving twice and dropped by his agency, Wasserman, in 2018. MLB also investigated him for allegations of domestic violence in 2016.
Character aside, we know who Puig is as a player. He’s hit more than 20 home runs in a season every year since 2017, save for last season, when he did not reach an agreement with a team. He has a career OPS of .823 and an OPS+ of 122.
Puig had down seasons in 2015 and 2016, but he was a key player in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ runs to the World Series in 2017 and 2018.
There is always a risk in taking a player like Puig, but there’s no doubt he can help a team and set himself up for future contracts in the process.
Here are the best fits for him, ranked.