Once a renowned commodity and potential franchise face, Yasiel Puig remains unsigned into July amidst a global pandemic.
Why is that? The player is productive when on the field, though sometimes erratic and can be a loose cannon with his personality. It could be possible that teams wonder about his physical state, having also adopted a reputation of getting lazy.
The Red Sox, White Sox, and the Rockies have all been linked to Puig at many points over the offseason, though nothing materialized from those reports.
Now, there are a few suitors that may be looking to add insurance amidst the pandemic and attempted restart: the Red Sox, Giants, and Mets have been rumored to have interest in Puig’s services. The Giants and Red Sox seem most logical, as they have questions in their outfield, while the Mets have a logjam between the DH spot and the outfield.
The Red Sox lost Mookie Betts this offseason and have added Kevin Pillar and Alex Verdugo, and still have Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr patrolling center and left. Puig would just create more depth and allow for more matchups to be played. The Giants employ a 37-year-old Hunter Pence, Mike Yastrzemski, Austin Slater, Chris Shaw, Alex Dickerson, and Steven Duggar. Puig would be an improvement over almost all of them and enable them to develop the younger players better. The Mets have J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Jake Marisnick, Dom Smith, and potentially Yoenis Cespedes in the outfield so they seem more like just checking in the situation.
Puig has been working extremely hard this offseason to get in the best shape of his life, but there still is a small hurdle: his attitude. There is this stigma that surrounds Puig due to his involvement when benches clear, specifically during his time with Cincinnati last year. Teams rightfully may be worried about adding a personality like that despite his playing ability. However, there is also a good side of Puig. He’s always been a good role model in the community, that just rarely gets publicized over how he is on the field.