The trade deadline has been crazy enough. The flurry of moves ended on Monday at 1 PM PST with the Dodgers acquiring three players and a minor leaguer. The next bit of news comes as even more of a surprise. We are learning that Yasiel Puig will be optioned to Oklahoma City on Tuesday. According to the reports he will arrive on time.
We’ve been hearing the trade rumors surrounding Puig all season long. However this is quite a shocking turn of events. The Dodgers were reportedly trying to move him but the deadline came and went with Puig staying put. Then Ken Rosenthal broke the news that the Dodgers had told Puig that he would be traded or demoted. The original report stated that he had “stormed off” and refused to board the team plane to Colorado.
Sources: Yasiel Puig was instructed not to report to stadium or plane today and did not. Told he would be demoted to minors or traded.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) August 1, 2016
Apparently that was false as Rosenthal later rescinded his original tweet and said that Puig was merely following directions by not boarding the flight to Denver. It would make sense that he didn’t fly with the club since he was told he was being traded or demoted. Would you have gotten on a plane when given specific directions otherwise?
I am adjusting my story to reflect Adam Katz’s statement. If Puig was not at the park, he obviously could not have stormed off.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 2, 2016
It seems that the front office has had enough of his disappointing offensive production. Puig’s hitting is nowhere near where it was back in 2013-2014. He also spent more time on the disabled list earlier in the season with hamstring problems. While he is a good defender with a great arm, he has not been a good hitter in nearly two years. There have been no reports of off the field incidents this season but perhaps his checkered history has played a part.
Nothing official yet, but the Dodgers are expected to option Puig tomorrow. And he is expected to report to the affiliate on time.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) August 2, 2016
When the Dodgers first announced the trade with Oakland to acquire Rich Hill and Josh Reddick, I figured Reddick could play left field allowing Puig to stay and Howie Kendrick to move back to second base. That was if the front office didn’t move him. However Reddick has seen most of his playing days in right field and has appeared in only 27 career games in left field.
So the Dodgers are sending Puig to the minors. It seems like a pointless move to me. The Cuban Right handed hitting outfielder had just gotten back into the lineup on Sunday afternoon and collected 3 hits in the Dodger’s 14-3 win over Arizona. Those 3 hits raised his average to .260. Overall Pug is slashing .260/.320/.386 with 7 home runs and 34 runs batted in and a .706 OPS in 303 plate appearances this season. He is also hitting .324 with runners in scoring position.
Puig’s production may have dipped but what does optioning him do? It does nothing because playing in Oklahoma City is not going to cure his hitting problems. They might as well just trade him now, or release him and eat the rest of his contract.
Why demote Puig and let Mendoza line players like Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Zach Walters remain with the club? Those guys are hitting much worse than Puig has. His production may have dropped but he still has incredible talent and the ability to do so much in the field. Why waste that in Oklahoma City?
This seems so ridiculous. The Dodgers will begin a three-game series at Denver against the Rockies on Tuesday night without Yasiel Puig. Do you guys think the Dodgers are making the right move? Or is this an unnecessary demotion that can hurt the club? It’s not like Puig destroys uniforms or anything like that.
What do you guys think?