Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig went through a lot during the 2016 season, with trade rumors and whispers of frustration hovering over him for much of the year.
Prior to the non-waiver trade deadline the Dodgers were aggressively shopping Puig, and the Milwaukee Brewers were named among the reported teams with interest. The Dodgers and Brewers were said to have discussed a trade that involved Puig, Brandon McCarthy, and All-Star Ryan Braun, among others.
The deal never came to fruition, and Puig wound up being sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he performed well. That helped him earn a spot on the big league roster in the month of September and in the playoffs, with Puig drawing rave reviews.
He now heads into the 2017 season hoping to secure and maintain a starting role in right field. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said he expects the 26-year-old to receive plenty of playing time.
While Roberts is optimistic Puig can be a factor for the Dodgers, the Brewers reportedly have a similar view of the dynamic outfielder, per Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:
The Brewers do seem to think Puig has a chance to get back to what he was, or get close.
While there’s implied interest on the Brewers’ end in Puig, a trade does not appear imminent. If a deal is to eventually be put together, it presumably would include Braun. One belief is the 33-year-old will either remain with the Brewers or be traded to the Dodgers.
In 104 games (81 starts) last season, Puig hit .263/.323/.416 with 14 doubles, 11 home runs, 45 RBIs and a 101 OPS+. He’s enjoyed success thus far in Cactus League play, and on Friday slugged a pair of two-run homers.
If Puig can prove he can consistently hit right- and left-handed pitching, it would cement himself in the Dodgers lineup and right field.