Yasiel Puig is an under-the-radar free agent this winter, and one team might be looking to capture the excitement he can bring to a game.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Puig met with the Miami Marlins during the Winter Meetings in San Diego to discuss potentially being reunited with manager Don Mattingly and moving closer to his Miami home.
Sources: under the radar Marlins met with free agent OF Yasiel Puig in San Diego. Looking for impact OF bat on relatively short term. Also met while there with agents on Avisail Garcia and Corey Dickerson (and possibly other outfielders)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 13, 2019
Puig suggested in meeting to Marlins he’d like to play again for Don Mattingly (and of course Derek Jeter). He’d also like to play near his Miami home. Was plus he trekked to San Diego for confab. Dickerson, Calhoun among others under consideration. Avisail might be a tad pricey.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 13, 2019
On paper, this makes a lot of sense. The Marlins need anything resembling a marquee name right now. Puig, meanwhile, would like to rebuild his value after a down year that saw him hit .267 with 24 home runs between Cincinnati and Cleveland.
As noted, Puig has history with Mattingly, the Marlins’ manager. It’s not all good history, but it sounds like a reunion would suit the outfielder just fine.
After four years apart, Yasiel Puig and Don Mattingly could find themselves back together again.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Thursday that the veteran outfielder Puig could be a fit for the Miami Marlins this winter. Heyman also notes Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna as other options they are considering as well as Avisail Garcia as another potential target along with Puig.
Of course, Puig, who hit .267 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs last season, is a noteworthy inclusion here. He played under Mattingly, the current Marlins manager, for three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2013 to 2015. Mattingly was let go by the Dodgers following the 2015 season and promptly became Miami’s manager. Puig, meanwhile, stuck around with the Dodgers for a bit before being traded away after the 2018 campaign.
Granted, the two did not have the best relationship during their Dodger days, but a lot can change in a few years, so you never know.
Yasiel Puig has been watching the Little League World Series, and has even taken some of it into game action with him.
Many viewers spotted the bizarre stance employed by Venezuelan youngster Deivis Ordonez, who essentially crouched into a near sitting position in the batter’s box in an effort to try to get the pitcher to throw a ball. The Cleveland Indians outfielder was one of them — and Sunday at Yankee Stadium, he gave it a go in the game before ultimately straightening up and taking the pitch at a more typical height.
Puig our imitator. pic.twitter.com/VKcVJK9HFb
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 18, 2019
First of all, this is awesome, especially for the youngster. Ordonez will probably flip out when he sees his strange approach adopted by a major leaguer, even if done as something of a joke. It’s probably not a surprise that it was Puig, one of the game’s most eccentric players, who decided to give it a shot.
Seven years after defecting from his home country of Cuba, Yasiel Puig has become an American citizen.
Puig shared the news on social media Wednesday that he had gained citizenship. He shared a photo of himself holding an American flag.
“Thank you God for this great opportunity to be an American citizen,” Puig wrote as his caption.
Thank you God for this great opportunity to be an American citizen pic.twitter.com/346P6g89LX
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) August 14, 2019
How did Puig have time to take a citizenship test even though his Cleveland Indians were playing on Wednesday? The outfielder was serving the final day of a 3-game suspension he received for his role in a brawl between his previous team, the Reds, and the Pirates.
According to Indians reporter Zach Meisel, Puig is the team’s fourth player to become an American citizen this year, joining Carlos Santana, Hanley Ramirez and Oliver Perez.
Puig, 28, was born in Cuba in 1990. He attempted to defect from the island multiple times but was always caught, either by Cuban authorities or the US Coast Guard, according to a tremendous story by LA Magazine’s Jesse Katz in 2014. Finally in 2012 Puig was smuggled out by a group in the pocket of a Mexican drug cartel and ended up in Mexico, where he was held ransom for more than 20 days. He ended up trying out for MLB teams a few days later. A year after that, he incredibly finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year race as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Puig spent six seasons with the Dodgers before being traded to the Reds in the offseason, who flipped him to Cleveland in July. Puig has made nearly $52 million in salary during his MLB career. According to Katz’s reporting, Puig signed a contract to give 20 percent of his career earnings to a man who bankrolled his escape from the island. Katz’s story on Puig’s escape is well worth your time.
- Yasiel Puig
Yasiel Puig didn’t really have time to update his wardrobe ahead of his move to the Cleveland Indians.
Puig was traded to Cleveland by the Cincinnati Reds a day before the trade deadline, and while there was a bit of a delay in Puig’s arrival in Cleveland, he still didn’t have enough time to swap his Cincinnati Reds flip-flops for a new pair when speaking to the media for the first time as an Indian.
Yasiel Puig has new red hair and old Reds flip flops pic.twitter.com/xQgHA2AtUG
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) August 1, 2019
It happens. The trade deadline is a chaotic time, and sometimes deals can catch players somewhat off-guard. That’s probably what happened to Puig. Either that, or he just wanted to keep showing love for his ex-teammates after his final move as a Red was to get in a fight on their behalf.
- Yasiel Puig
Major League Baseball on Thursday announced the fallout from the ugly brawl that took place between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates earlier in the week, and eight suspensions were handed down in total.
Both managers, Cincinnati’s David Bell and Pittsburgh’s Clint Hurdle, have been suspended. Bell got six games for coming back onto the field during the brawl after he had been ejected the inning before, while Hurdle got two games for “his Club’s conduct during the incident.” In addition to the managers, six players — Yasiel Puig, Keone Kela, Amir Garrett, Jose Osuna, Jared Hughes and Kyle Crick — have also been banned for multiple games.
Discipline announced for Reds-Pirates brawl: pic.twitter.com/yEAPhx1gyF
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) August 1, 2019
Kala got the heftiest suspension, which was 10 games for intentionally throwing at Derek Dietrich in the bottom of the seventh and then instigating when the benches cleared in the eighth. Kala admitted after the game that he went head-hunting. Garrett got eight games, which is no surprise after he sparked the brawl by charging at the Reds dugout and throwing haymakers.
Osuna has been suspended five games for his “aggressive and inappropriate actions” during the melee. Hughes got a three-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Sterling Marte in the ninth inning, and Puig and Crick got three games each for their involvement.
All of the players have already decided to appeal the suspensions, but MLB clearly tried to send a message after the ugliest incident of the season.
Information spreads so quickly in the social media era that players often find out they were traded or released before their teams have a chance to speak with them, which usually is not a good thing. However, it did make for a cool moment after the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds agreed to their blockbuster trade on Tuesday night.
The Indians and Reds swapped Trevor Bauer and Yasiel Puig in a three-team deal that also sent Taylor Trammel to the San Diego Padres. Cincinnati outfielder Jesse Winker had not yet heard the news during Tuesday night’s game when a fan sitting in the bleachers relayed it to him.
— Keegan Nickoson (@Knickoson42) July 31, 2019
A fan breaking trade news to a player about his own team in the middle of a game would have been unfathomable 10 or so years ago, but that was a pretty cool moment.
Again, we’ve seen plenty of situations where it would have been nice if teams got to players before the news spread on social media, but the fan who got to break the news about the Bauer-Puig trade to a Reds player is probably thankful for Twitter.