The Los Angeles Dodgers front office made a difficult decision this past offseason, trading long-time fan favorite Yasiel Puig along with Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer to the Cincinnati Reds in a deal that the main purpose for was to shed salary.
Since being traded, Puig has taken some shots at his former team, with the biggest one being him saying he did not work his hardest while he was with the Dodgers because he was never in a contract year.
As Puig gets set to make his return to Dodger Stadium on Monday, manager Dave Roberts addressed those comments Puig made and admitted that he was disappointed to hear them, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
“I was disappointed to read that he said now that he’s a free agent, he’s going to work harder and practice and be the best he can be,” Roberts said. “That’s what everyone around him here was doing. For him to come out and say he didn’t give his best effort for us, it’s very disappointing. And it just shows that this probably wasn’t the right place for him.”
“I have such a great relationship with Yasiel,” Roberts said. “To watch him grow over the years has been a lot of fun. But I think [playing for the Reds] is going to be a great opportunity for him.”
The Dodgers won the National League West in all of Puig’s six seasons with the team and advanced to the World Series each of the last two years. They were never able to capture that elusive championship though, so Roberts’ reaction to hearing Puig wasn’t working his hardest to reach that goal is definitely warranted.
Considering the ovation that Dodgers fans recently gave to Yasmani Grandal when he returned for the first time as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, Puig will likely get a warm reception when he steps into the batter’s box for the first time on Monday night.