Before the spread of the novel coronavirus delayed the start of Major League Baseball’s regular season until some indeterminable future date, there was essentially one notable free agent left on the market: outfielder Yasiel Puig, who split last year between the two Ohio-based teams.
Puig recently did an interview with Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald, during which he acknowledged that the Miami Marlins were one of several teams to make him offers. Puig rejected Miami’s advances, in part because he wanted a bigger contract — especially if it meant playing in front of a Cuban-heavy audience, who, he felt, might have unrealistic expectations for him.
While Puig didn’t elaborate on which other teams inquired about his services, he did reveal that he doesn’t believe there will be a MLB season in 2020. “We hope to play in 2021. I don’t think there will be baseball in 2020, but if there is, we will be in some team,” he said. “I have to stay positive. If the coronavirus has not made me negative, nothing will make me negative.”
Puig, 29, is coming off an uneven season. He hit .252/.302/.475 (95 OPS+) with the Cincinnati Reds before being shipped to Cleveland at the trade deadline. From that point on, he hit .297/.377/.423 (109 OPS+). Remarkably, 22 of Puig’s 24 home runs came before the trade, as he shifted his approach to be more contact-heavy after being sent across the state as part of a three-team deal that also saw Trevor Bauer and Franmil Reyes change teams.
Earlier in the offseason, league sources told CBS Sports their concerns with Puig had more to do with his maturity rather than his power outage. Puig, of course, was involved in a number of antics during his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers.