Yasiel Puig will make his first trip to Dodger Stadium since being traded on Monday, and it’s fair to say he’s feeling motivated.
Puig didn’t hide his desire to get a measure of revenge on his former team as the Cincinnati Reds visit the Los Angeles Dodgers for their series this week.
“We’re going to Los Angeles, and we need to be prepared to beat my old teammates,” Puig said, via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “It’s going to be a lot of people there [who have] been waiting for Puig, Matt Kemp, [Kyle] Farmer, and Alex Wood is not here, but everybody expects a lot and been waiting for us to go back. We’re excited to go back.”
Puig puts his ambitions right at the top. He thinks the Dodgers will end up missing him, and he’s certainly intent on proving that. The reception he gets from Dodgers fans after an up-and-down tenure filled with promise and unfulfilled potential will be intriguing.
The first brawl of the Major League Baseball season took place on Sunday, and Yasiel Puig was very much involved.
Things started after Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Chris Archer threw behind Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich, who admired a home run he hit earlier in the game. The benches cleared, but it was generally a lot of milling around.
That was the case until Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig broke away from those restraining him and tried to seek out Archer.
Temps are rising in Pittsburgh after a behind the back pitch on Derek Dietrich who homered earlier in the game. pic.twitter.com/y3dIDCV7Gj
Puig has been involved in his fair share of skirmishes before. It will be interesting to see if any further league discipline comes his way for escalating the incident. It will also be intriguing to see if this is the end of it in Sunday’s game, as the incident took place fairly early on in the contest.
It may only be spring training, but Yasiel Puig appears to have his defensive alignment exactly where it needs to be for Opening Day.
During Tuesday’s exhibition game between the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals, Puig made one of the most casual catches you will ever see in the outfield. He happened to be positioned perfectly on a fly ball to right, and he literally didn’t move a muscle until just before the ball was in his glove.
Puig had some forgettable moments in the outfield over the years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and some will say his catch on Tuesday was another example of his lack of focus and nonchalant attitude. We say if you’re standing in exactly the right spot, why bother moving? Sometimes things just work out perfectly.
The Los Angeles Dodgers may not have signed Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, but they were still active over the offseason. In fact, one of their trades was among the most notable of the winter.
The Dodgers traded Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, Kyle Farmer and cash to the Cincinnati Reds for Homer Bailey, Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs back in December. The move was designed to free up some payroll for the Dodgers and clear up their surplus of outfielders. For Cincinnati, the trade brought them a few legitimate bats to put around Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, and Eugenio Suarez.
Puig also believes the Dodgers haven’t added anyone who can do what he can.
“It’s their problem,” Puig says of the Dodgers’ decision to move him. “I don’t know what they did with that trade, because they didn’t get anyone who could help them the way I could. But that’s business.”
I agree with him. Though he’s mostly only batted in the .260s the past few seasons, he has a history of performing in the postseason against the toughest competition. He’s a career .280 hitter with a .780 OPS and 23 RBIs in 58 playoff games. When many players shrink in that spotlight and against the tough pitchers, he often lives up to the moment. The Dodgers will likely miss that, just as he says, especially since he thinks he will be working harder finally.
Yasiel Puig may be ready to take his game to a new level in 2019.
Puig was traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Cincinnati Reds in a multi-player trade in December and is now settling in with his new team. Puig will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and is working towards cashing in.
“The last couple of years, I didn’t work hard because I still have a contract to go,” Puig said. “Now, I think work harder than any year of my life.”
Not only will those comments be disappointing to Dodgers fans and their front office, but they should also serve as a “buyer beware” warning to potential suitors. If Puig admits he works harder when motivated by money, the team that signs him has to be concerned about him not working as hard once he’s got his deal.
A fan-favorite in LA, Puig is a career .279 hitter with an .831 OPS.
Many cities in the Midwest are experiencing record-low temperatures due to the polar vortex conditions hitting the areas. The cold didn’t stop Yasiel Puig from visiting his new home in Cincinnati though, and it sure didn’t keep him from enjoying himself.
Puig shared video on his Instagram story Wednesday that showed him arriving in Cincinnati, checking out Great American Ballpark and his new home. He even went out for sushi after visiting the park and showed how undaunted he was by the cold.
They’re going to love them some Yasiel Puig in Cincinnati.
Puig was traded to the Reds on Friday as part of a massive 7-player deal. Upon the trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers being announced, the Cincinnati Zoo sent a funny tweet involving a previous visit by Puig to the zoo. The photo shows Puig squirming with a snake around his shoulders.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were looking to clear some payroll this offseason and accomplished that goal in a major trade with the Cincinnati Reds.
The Dodgers are trading Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, $7 million, and prospect Kyle Farmer to the Reds. Homer Bailey, Josiah Gray, and Jeter Downs are among the players going back to Los Angeles, according to reports.
You’re probably thinking to yourself: Puig and Kemp were very good last season, why would the Dodgers want to trade them? The answer has to do with money and roster space.
The Dodgers had a surplus of outfielders and were unable to play all of them at the same time. They often had Kemp or another slugger like Joc Pederson on the bench during the postseason when everyone was healthy. Because Kemp ($21.75 million) and Puig (due to make around $11 million in arbitration) are making the most money, it made the most sense to trade those two and keep the much cheaper Chris Taylor, Pederson, Enrique Hernandez and Cody Bellinger, who combine to make less than Puig. All four are under team control, with only Pederson and Hernandez in their second year of arbitration.
The deal makes some sense for Cincinnati in the short-term. They get out of the money owed to Homer Bailey (around $28 million) and for around the same amount, they get a productive outfielder in Kemp. Plus they get Puig and Wood on essentially 1-year deals for a total expected to be around $20 million. This really helps add some pop to the lineup and protection for Joey Votto. But one has to wonder what their incentive is for getting rid of two prospects.
The Dodgers add quality prospects in Downs and Gray, who will help give them some future cost-controlled cheap options that have become so valuable these days.
Dodgers fans better get used to the idea of not seeing Matt Kemp and/or Yasiel Puig in Dodger Blue next season.
Los Angeles has a surplus of outfield options and is looking to stay under the luxury tax, which has led them to explore trades for both Puig and Kemp. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand says the Dodgers are even “actively trying to trade” the players.
According to a source, the Dodgers are actively trying to trade Yasiel Puig and/or Matt Kemp.
Kemp is due $21.5 million next season, so he would be tough to move unless the Dodgers throw in a significant amount of money. Though he batted .290 with an .818 OPS last season, an acquiring team could be wary of how he will play for a new team considering how much he likes Los Angeles.
The MLB Winter Meetings are just around the corner, and the expectation is that they’ll be busy. In addition to the obvious — both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are free agents who could sign during the meetings — there are also likely to be a whole host of names potentially available via trade. In the past, the Winter Meetings have been the site of some real blockbuster deals, and 2018 may be no different.
But who may move? Here are ten names who could change teams during the Winter Meetings.
10) Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
Puig remains a good player, flaws and all, but a rather expensive one. He’s also not exactly a vital piece to the Dodgers at this point — he has a lot of use, but the team has a lot of outfielders hanging around. Ultimately, there are a lot of reasons Puig makes sense as a trade chip, potentially for a bigger piece. While it’s pure speculation, there has been a lot of conjecture over how much sense a potential swap of Puig for Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer would make.