Monday, April 15, 2024
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Have We Seen The Last of Yasiel Puig?

Yasiel Puig

The Yasiel Puig rumors are back on the grapevine again. This time the Dodgers are considering trading the Cuban outfielder before the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline. I think I’m more open to the Dodgers trading him this year more than in seasons past. Let’s discuss why.

Puig has played in 72 games this season. He’s spent time on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. Overall he’s posted a triple slash line of .256/.319/.386 with 7 home runs and 28 runs batted in while making 270 plate appearances. Puig has posted a .706 OPS and has a 91 OPS+. His production has been lackluster this year.

The problem with Puig is that he hasn’t hit in nearly two seasons. If you look at his numbers and what he did back in 2013-2014 you almost can’t believe you’re watching the same player. His average has dropped nearly 50 points. His OPS has dropped 200 points, and his OBP has plummeted as well. He’s been in a funk since the end of 2014 and it doesn’t look like he’s going to come out of it.

Granted in all fairness he’s hit much better since coming off of the disabled list, (.328) and his plate approaches have been generally better. However he’s still not producing. He doesn’t get on base and he isn’t driving in runs. The Dodgers have had to drop him to the bottom of the batting order for most of the season. He’s not hitting, and there’s no indication he’s ever going to find his groove at the plate again. At least not with the Dodgers.

I’ve always loved Puig and loved watching him play. He’s a very talented player. Sometimes the game can overwhelm even the most talented of players. Whether that is from injuries, underperformances or sometimes the league adjusts and the player never makes the proper adjustments back.

Puig is still very young and can have a great MLB career ahead of him. His off the field antics seem to have stopped. I can’t remember hearing of him having any behavioral issues this year. He’s just not hitting, and hasn’t hit since 2014.

Of course Puig has an incredible throwing arm and is normally a good outfielder. The Dodgers can’t just keep him around because of his arm. If he’s not hitting then the club may need to dump him while he still has some trade value. Perhaps they can get a good starting pitcher, or some top prospects back for him.

There is always the possibility that Puig catches on with another club and does great. At this point I would say I don’t care. The reasoning is because whatever he does with another club is meaningless to us if he can’t perform for the Dodgers. All I ask is two things if you’re going to deal Puig….

  1. Don’t trade him within the division.

Please don’t trade Puig to the Giants or Colorado. I don’t want to have to watch Puig bat .325 or hit 40 home runs for the Dbacks. If you’re going to move him just make sure it’s not to a division rival. Otherwise it could end up becoming really annoying.

  1. Make sure you get value back for him.

Most importantly get something in return. Don’t just dump him for low level double-A prospects or reclamation projects. Get major league caliber players back, or top prospects. Puig still is valuable and is worth something. He’s still young enough to turn his career around and regain his past form. With the right coaching, hard work and some health he could become that spark plug he was back in 2013.

Yasiel Puig exploded onto the scene in 2013 like an atomic bomb. His energy on the field was infectious to everyone around him. He helped the Dodgers reach the NLCS that season and we’ll never forget what he’s done for the Dodgers. Not to mention he’s been a huge marketing boon for the organization. He made watching the game fun, and I always enjoyed his bat flipping and passionate pay.

We also won’t forget his crazy antics, lateness, emotional outbursts and prolonged slumps. He’s battled injuries for two years, and has let us down on more than one occasion. His career really has been a rollercoaster.

I would put the odds of the Dodgers trading Puig at 50/50 right now. It all depends on how quickly Joc Pederson and Andre Ethier recover from injuries. The Dodgers can’t trade Puig right now, but at the end of the month they may be able to. We always knew Friedman would trade him eventually. He wants to cut ties with most or all of the players from the Ned Colletti era, with only a few exceptions. Puig was not acquired by Friedman or his administration.

It’s kind of sad to see this happen. Some players come on so strong in the beginning and then fade away into the distance, never to be heard from again. Is this Yasiel Puig’s fate? Would you trade Puig? Will this be the last time we see Puig bat flip in a Dodger uniform again? We’ll have to wait a few more weeks to find out.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

77 thoughts on “Have We Seen The Last of Yasiel Puig?

  1. I understand if we need to move Puig to make the overall team better, but not for Jay Bruce, as was ridiculously suggested in the last thread.

    1. Bobby, a lot of people who do not consider themselves to be “ridiculous” disagree with you. I disagree with you but don’t consider your opinion “ridiculous”.

      1. Trade plug and a good prospect pitcher for Teheran and francuer. We cannot seem to get any runs against lefties. Frenchy hits almost 300 versus lefties and is still a good defensive right fielder with a good arm. Braves are trying to cut his salary off the payroll, even sweeten the pot with another prospect or van slyke.

    2. Bobby
      I agree, and I don’t want the Dodgers to get Bruce.

      Bruce won’t help the Dodgers that much, if any.

      His power numbers won’t translate to Dodger stadium.

      Badger posted Bruce’s numbers at Dodger stadium earlier this year.

      And Bruce’s numbers were terrible at Dodger stadium.

      He is also a liability on defense.

      And the Dodgers don’t need another leftie bat, in the outfield.

      The Dodgers need a right hand power bat, and have needed one, since Kemp was traded.

  2. Not saying Puig is great but he doesn’t cost much and his value is at its nadir right now. And really Ethier isn’t a long term guy given his age and contract status. Pederson I’m still not completely sold on and then what? You’re going to acquire a free agent to be in Bruce or rely on Trayce Thompson? Puig’s ceiling is still too much to give up on.

          1. sometimes that is all you need…..sometimes not…… FAZ instead!

        1. Bruce is not a rental. His contract has a team option for next season, so the team who gets him will have control over his 2017 for only 13 million. The Dodgers won’t trade Puig for Bruce straight up (Bruce is older and has less team control than Puig). As a Reds fan, I would love that, but it won’t happen. I think the Reds would have to give up a little more.

  3. My concern is getting equal value for the guy. He has 2 years after this one at a reasonable salary. He has a ton of talent, and he has been hitting better. Maybe the few days off will renew his drive to get even better. I think his lack of production has more to do with where he is hitting in the lineup than his just not hitting in clutch situations. He has had some big hits this year. Is he the Puig of 2013? Obviously not. But his youth and talent makes him too young to give up on. If they do trade him, it should be for some one who has an equal upside. Not Jay Bruce. And if I traded the guy, I get him OUT of the NL. No way I want him coming back to haunt me in future years. A Pederson, Puig, Thompson OF is one of the best defensive OF’s in the majors. If anyone needs to improve his hitting right now, it is Thompson, who has shown flashes, then has a few games where he is totally lost at the plate.

    1. The worst part of trading Puig is that it is what the team will get in return. The past trades and pickups that FAZ has made were never best for the Dodgers. If Puig were to get traded it would probably be for prospects or an over the hill vet, none of which the Dodgers need and would probably make the team weaker.

  4. Well back at it tomorrow in Az. Lets start the last 71 off with a win. Going out to Fontana to see a friend do his Johnny Cash tribute. Gonna sit in with him and do a little classic country…….talk to Y’ALL later!

  5. I would consider a Puig trade. But not for Bruce. He is a lefty in an unbalanced lineup (Gonzalez, Pederson, Seager, Ethier if he returns are all lefties). He is a poor defender. He just doesn’t add much that the Dodgers need. And his career numbers aren’t all that good.

    They do need to improve the OF, but preferably a righty. Ethier is no sure thing to return; Pederson could be out for a while too give the type of injury he has suffered. Van Slyke seems to have regressed; Kike can’t crack the roster and Thompson has turned into a pumpkin and is hitting .227. And no to Howie Kendrick as an OF.

    Actually, these are all reasons to hang on to Puig for a while.

    So if we are going to improve the OF, don’t trade Puig. Trade someone else. Who? Don’t know.

    1. And there doesn’t seem to be a lot of good players available for the trade deadline this year, like last year.

      1. And that’s the truth! After resisting our cries to sign or trade for an impact player when they were available, I’d hate to see FAZ buy some donkey that’s no better than what we have already….

  6. There is value to a Puig trade, no matter whom we get in return. Addition by subtraction. The guy is incapable of adjusting to big league pitching. And he shows little power. He’s a ground ball hitter. Period. The giants won’t have him. The Rockies don’t need him. Trade him to the AL. Get a 150 inning pitcher, if possible. We don’t need a hundredth versatile infielder. Getting rid of him will settle down this lineup even if Ethier turns out to be lousy again. The last of the failed Cuban experiments for this team. I hope. If he turns out to be a Cespedes, the suits can buy him back then. Don’t hold your breath.

  7. Let me clear this up. I asked on the last blog– who here would trade Puig for Bruce? You see, on a slow news day, Puig trade talk creates headlines. And today there was more coverage of Bruce coming to the Dodgers floating around. So, in my mind I wondered how the two would compare since theoretically Puig was going away and Bruce was coming in. I wasn’t thinking cash, length of contract or any of that stuff. Simply, would Bruce significantly improve the team above and beyond the loss of Puig? Obviously, Bobby thinks ridiculously so if you eliminate the contract period issue. I guess I should have just simply asked which is the better player?
    I believe Puig is.

        1. Noooooo. I wasn’t offended. Sorry if I sounded like I was. I really wanted to know what people thought. I was surprised by your answer, but totally dispassionate. NEVER apologize to me for an honest opinion.

  8. Try to think like a FAZilian:

    with 270 plate appearances Puig has already earned his $7mm. Everything he does for the rest of the year is WAR gravy. What do reptiles from the planet FAZuria covet? They crave the young and they lust for the injured.

    Puig is both. So, they keep him.

    But………… IF…….

    They won’t trade him unless they get 1.5x the WAR he can put up and they will want that WAR to be put up from ’17 to ’22.

    Jay Bruce? Unlikely. A lh power hitter getting ready to exit his prime years, if not already on that bus. His prime years were age 22-26. He is a better fit on a team that is no doubt a WS contender – like SF or Chicago. Not sure who else needs an outfield bat, but by 7-31 we should know.

    1. Badger
      You were wondering about that HR derby.

      They are re playing it today on the MLB Channel, at noon.

      Take a look at the first round, that is the round that Cory was in, and it is at the very begining.

      It won’t be long, and you will see it is a lot different.

  9. Everyone is tradable. I would see it as very sad to see Puig leave, but that’s the business side of this game we love. I won’t miss his little league mistakes but I will miss his energy and speed. It’s exciting watching Puig run full speed.

    1. If we’re having this discussion about Puig, I can’t begin to imagine what it’ll be like when speculation about trading Kershaw starts next year….

  10. And I still think that the Braintrust may consider trading Jansen instead of letting him walk away after the season as a free agent and get nothing back.

    They won’t extend-resign him after the season is over – too much $$$ to spend on a reliever.

    1. Makes sense to me.( And the way we should have handled Zack last year. ) They should try to work out an extension with him before the trade deadline and let him know what they’re doing. The downside of course is that if they trade him they can’t offer him a Qualifying Offer. That’s an upside to him because whomever they traded him to can’t either.

  11. The Braintrust. Does anyone know the pecking order? I didn’t so I looked it up.

    “In Toronto, Bob Elliott notes Anthopoulos “officially became the 19th vice-president in the Dodgers organization.” He is “No. 2 when it comes to” the baseball operations department, as Josh Byrnes is Dodgers Senior VP/Baseball Operations. Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi, Freidman and Anthopoulos “became close friends over the past decade.” While Byrnes “oversees scouting from San Diego, Anthopoulos will work in the office every day with Friedman and Zaidi.”

    So Kasten is over Friedman. Friedman is over Byrnes. Byrnes is over Anthopoulos. Anthopoulos is over Zaidi. Got it?

  12. The big picture thing about trading Puig, and who would replace him, is that we have a very leftie heavy lineup now and coming up in the future. Agone, Utley, Seager, Joc, Ethier all could be starting by late August. That’s 5 lefties, not including the switch hitting Grandal.

    Looking at 2017 and especially Badger’s 2018, our best hitters that could be up are also leftie: Bellinger to replace Agone. Calhoun to replace Utley. Verdugo to replace Ethier. Toles is already up, and he’s a leftie. I believe Edwin Rios is a top 3b prospect for us, but he also bats left!

    We really need to look for a powerful right handed bat. Unless we give a shot to Segedin. Or Kyle Garlick proves he’s the real deal for a LF spot in a year or two. Or Jacob Scuvazzo. Or SVS gets a full time gig. Right now we may have to still hope we can get Puig to fulfill his potential.

  13. You know I have advocated trading Puig in the past, but that was then and this is now.

    #1: If the Dodgers trade Puig, it won’t be for a player like Bruce.
    #2: If they trade him, I suspect it would revolve around a #2 starter and that is tough to do.
    #3: If they trade him, it most likely hurts their outfield defense dramatically.

    I think the only logical course of action is to roll him out there and hope he get better with the bat. Other teams see what he is and most are not likely to offer much. I could see him going to TB in a package for Evan Longoria, but where would Longoria play – he has never played anywhere but 3B! Turner to LF… or traded? Gonzo traded?

    How about:
    1. Utley 2B
    2. Seager SS
    3. Longoria 3B
    4. Gonzo 1B
    5. Turner LF
    6. Grandal C
    7. Puig RF
    8. Pederson CF

  14. I think Toles will be adequate until Pederson returns and after that he should be considered for LF. Kendrick’s bat might keep him in LF though and I don’t see a platoon as Kendrick can hit righties.

    I have suggested Puig be traded but only if he is part of a package that gets an elite player. Preferably an innings eating #2 or 2.5.

    If Puig is traded for pitching I would want to include Grandal in a trade for Lucroy.


    1. I don’t know how you can say that Toles has proven himself adequate. I haven’t seen enough of him to prove anything either way. What, two hits in seven at bats, three fielding chances? And one poorly planned or executed throw, no error. Let’s wait awhile to anoint him.

      1. You are adding words to what I said to help you say I am wrong.

        I am perfectly capable of being wrong with only the words I actually used.

  15. Longoria?

    Tampa would LOVE that! Wrong side of 30, hasn’t been an All Star for a long time. You’re not thinking as a FAZillion.

    IF they decide to move Puig it won’t be for a guy who will be paid close to $100 million until he is 37. They will be looking for team controlled young players. I still don’t think they will be trading Puig. He’s put up 12.3 WAR for about $17 million. They don’t want to trade that, they want to find more of it.

      1. seems fair. Pomeranz is young too, so Boston keeps him for a while. The prospect is now ranked as the Padres top prospect, so works well for both teams.

        If we want Sonny Gray, or someone like him, then Jose DeLeon will be the one to go!

  16. I think Puig makes interesting discussion because he is an enigma in so many ways.
    Puig played a little more than 80 games of North American baseball before coming to the majors. I think in Cuba, they play differently–a lot more to the audience–a lot showmanship. He was called to the majors in an emergency situation. There were warnings that he wasn’t ready yet, and in a sense, he wasn’t. He came to the majors still playing what he knew–Cuban baseball. He was probably damned by his success. Vince fefl in love with him, and the fans reacted a little like Latin American fans. The fans’ expectations were raised. And Puig had every reason to think that MLB was very easy. Like the fans, he probably had very high expectations . But it is likely that his success stopped his development that he should have gotten in the minors–development he was called away from. He went into his second season, basically a kid with a multi-million dollar lawsuit against him and his teammates pissed off at him. His “success” probably had a bad effect on many of his teammates–they were disgusted by some of his habits and jealous because he was taking playing time away from their friends. He became the face of the team, along with Kershaw. And then, came the physical problems–and his physicality was pretty much his whole thing. That is a big batch of different stuff.
    This has taken a lot of time and everybody is tired of waiting. Everybody sees the good and everybody sees the bad. People pretty much disagree, not on the facts, but on how we measure each of the many Puigian aspects. I thought Roberts summed it up best–sometimes you love him and other times you have to scratch your head. To some it is a distraction from baseball, to others, like me, it is interesting texture.
    The consensus seems to be that he may need to be traded, but for something of sufficient value. While questioning his value, we are trying to figure what sufficient value would look like in another player. Whoever that turns out to be, I am going to miss the rollar coaster that the wild horse is.

    1. Great analysis…and every word true. I used to make the argument with people that he was from a different culture and did not get the same training in fundamentals American players get…

  17. Wow! Shelby Miller optioned to AAA! People said that was a bad trade even when Miller was good…

    One particular poster on here, who has since vanished, predicted the D-Bags would be better than the Dodgers this year. Sadly, he has not came back. He is sitting in his backyard smoking crack!

    Also, I said that there was no market for Guerrero or Crawfish – it still appears that no one wants them, even for free!

    1. Mark
      I read that the Dbacks either tried to to change Miller’s delivery, or they did change his delivery.

    2. He predicted that the Deebs would win 30 more games than they did last year, which would put them at 109 wins.

      There were a few folks here who were praising the Deebs for their gutsy signing of Greinke and trade for Miller. They were obviously doing a lot more than FAZ to build a winning club now. Preller and the Pods were the darlings the year before.

      1. I like gutsy moves. Some don’t.

        It would appear the model is SF. I’m waiting for the wheels to come off their cart, but, damn they look good. So far, they are the class of the NL. That could change. Their starters are due back any day. Maybe they will ef it up.

        1. Sometimes the line between gutsy and stupid is hard to distinguish unless in retrospect. More than a few were saying those moves were stupid…at the time.

  18. Stay the course.

    De Leon, Stewart, Cotton and others are at the ready.

    Toles is a wild card! Let’s see what he’s got!

    Unless someone wants to make a dope-fiend move our way, we hold ’em!

    As an example, if Milwaukee wants to pay $50 million of Braun’s salary in a trade for Puig, then we do it. [Never Happen]

    Trading for Crawfish and Gonzo was a dope-fiend move… we let someone else make them. Hopefully, we have learned from that. After the BoxSox swindled Kasten and Colletti they won it all the next year! It’s better to swindle than to be swindled… although one of the lawyers here will take me to task for it.

      1. Everyone keeps mentioning Deleon, who #1 is NOT on the 40 man and #2 has only pitched in 7 games. I doubt he is at the ready as Mark puts it. Stewart and Cotton already on the 40 man make sense. But I doubt we see any major changes prior to the deadline and Friedman’s proclamation that they were going after elite players…….I am skeptical…and doubt they will

    1. They were after Gonzo. That’s why they wanted the trade. As much for his talent they wanted a Hispanic drawing card and they got it. Nobody they traded to the Sox is still there…….

      1. Michael
        I was going to add to what you said, that the Dodgers won there division three years in a row, and if they were able to win the World Series one of those times, that they went to the playoffs, that trade would have been worth it.

        The Red Sox had a couple of years, coming in last during that time period too.

        And the Dodgers had three chances to try to win it all.

        I haven’t seen any players that have been linked to the Dodgers, worth trading for.

        So I wouldn’t trade any good young prospects, for any of these players, that have been linked to the Dodgers in the press lately.

        1. That has been explained, over and over, for years now. The reasons for that move were solid. The plan worked. The franchise got back on track and all but a chosen 1 know it.

          It resulted in butts in seats, an increase in franchise value, 3 straight Divisions – but alas, no championship. Now what? We get jiggy with Moneyball. Stand by. It might work.

  19. My final take on Puig is this, either trade him, or shut up about it. Esss or get off the pot. Talk is cheap,, and action talks a lot louder than the HOT air that continually comes from the Fazter. Do something or don’t. Tired of all the drama.

  20. I like the drama. It’s coming up on the deadline. We don’t really KNOW what our station will look like in the next two weeks. Ours is a team that as easily can go on a losing streak as win 5 in a row. Floating Puig is actually a smart thing to do. Since they didn’t negotiate with Jansen, I’d float his name too.

    Been reading a bit about Miller. I know the less informed in here (you know who you are) are laughing about what happened to him, the more serious are evaluating differently. Something is going on with his mechanics and it’s up to the coaches to figure it out. His finger is messed up and there is good reason why. While it is true the Dbacks gave up a lot, Enciarte has regressed and the other two were just prospects. Until they actually do something trading for a mid rotation 25 year old takes prospects. It can still work out for both clubs. The Dbacks problem is how poorly they’ve played at home. They are over .500 on the road. They are 15-32 at home. Inexplicable.

    I would like to know what is going on with De Leon. He went 6, threw 97 pitches, struck out 9 on the 6th. That was his last outing. Now what.

    I’ll believe Kershaw is healthy when he steps out there and throws 105 pitches.

    1. I will never again look at Kershaw the same way. Having that invisible shield of perfect health broken, he will ALWAYS be a threat to have it happen again. That is my expectation and I pray that I am wrong.

    2. Swanson is a pretty impressive prospect to be “just prospects.”

      Miller was signed based on that 15 season with the Braves. He didn’t show THAT much during his tenure with the Cards. A side by side, looking at age, contract, WAR and FIP, he’s really not much different from what Alex Wood showed with the Braves in 14 and before. They paid too much for him. It goes without saying they paid too much for Greinke.

      There’s also a fine and nebulous (for some in here…you know who you are) line between gutsy and just desperate.

      1. I agree. He looks like Brandon Crawford II. But, every team has seen can’t miss prospects miss. I’ve read all the FIP knocks on various websites. Not entirely sure I buy them. Last year, at age 24, he did better than did Wood at the same age, but I understand why you would lump them.

        It “goes without saying”, yet you just said it. Greinke might be one of those guys that continues to put up WAR until he is 40. He is unique. Personally I think having that second ace should have put us over the top – and it didn’t. Hard to explain exactly why. Now we do it with smoke and mirrors. It might work. I think a magician once made a bridge disappear. So, magic happens.

    3. Badger
      I read that they tried to change Miller’s mechanics when he came over to the Dbacks.

      I don’t know if that is true, because I just read comments about this.

    4. Yeah, some people do……and the anticipation of something big happening always generates excitement among the fans. Yet from this bunch I do not see that excitement being generated. Just more questions. If they trade Puig, who, or what do they get back? Is it a starting pitcher? A RH hitting OF with power? Or a bunch of prospects to give them more depth. Bruce? That would not excite anyone. Trading Jansen would be smart if they were out of the race by then. Because in all honesty, I do NOT BELIEVE they will pony up the money it is going to take to keep the guy. Qualifying offer, yes, but he is going to get a huge payday. A multiplayer-team trade like last years deal would only be good if they actually got some players who helped the team. Now maybe a 3 team trade involving the Brewers so they could get Lucroy, with out taking Braun, might be intriguing. But I am not holding my breath because I am absolutely sure that their idea of ELITE and mine are far apart.

  21. As Bill Plunkett said, Friedman’s idea of who is an elite player is probably not the same as your idea of an elite player. At the rate Dombrowski is going there won’t be anyone left by August 1.

    1. Snider
      I just wrote that I want to see what Friedman thinks is an elite player.

      Because he kept on using that description.

      1. I believe he thought Longoria was an elite player.

        Yeah Michael (you look and sound more like a Mike to me) I get what you’re saying about management. I’ve seen what they’ve done, looks like milquetoast to me, but I’m willing to give these guys some room – as in a few years. I think they know what they want to do, and I think they know when they want to do it. Signing high risk players is actually a solid plan, for the future. If it works now you look like a f’n genius. If it doesn’t, and obviously the odds are against you, oh well, the real plan is still in place, stack the system and sign young stars to team controlled contracts. What we are seeing now I would call a head fake. It’s an okie-doke on the fans and so far? …… hey, we are in it. That said, I’m not anticipating anything but “more of the same” out of these guys at the deadline. We’ll see. A 10 game win streak, combined with .500 out of the midgets, could change Act III.

        1. Most people call me by my nickname…..Bear….Got that while I was in the army. Few call me Michael, and some call me Mike. I read a article in the Daily Breeze today about just this subject. At the end, Friedman says they might stand pat. You never know. I think they also feel getting the guys back that are on the DL is like making a trade without losing anyone. No matter what they decide it is a crapshoot. Will the Midgets have a swoon? Will the Dodgers keep hitting>? Will the BP finally cave to all the innings? Lots of questions, and not many answers…

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