While the Los Angeles Dodgers were still trailing in the National League West division, Yasiel Puig once again found himself in the midst of trade speculation.
As the Dodgers attempted to upgrade their bullpen, it was with the intention of remaining under the luxury tax threshold. With less than $5 million to play with, there was some thought the club would look to further slash payroll by trading a player from the Major League roster.
Puig was considered by some a potential odd man out, considering the Dodgers’ glut in the outfield as well as his salary for the 2018 season. He earned just under $3 million for the remainder of the year and in theory could have been packaged in a trade that not only netted a reliever, but helps keep the club beneath the luxury tax threshold as well.
The month of July ultimately came to a close and August also passed, with Puig remaining part of the Dodgers. He nonetheless revealed there was some difficulty to tuning out the trade talk that frequently surround him, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“No. But you can’t do anything about that,” he said. “The only thing you can do is keep working hard every day, play the game right and show the people what you can do on this team or on a different team. … If a trade comes true, you need to go there and show the new team and the new city.”
While Puig found it difficult to avoid trade speculation, he also revealed that he has learned to ignore rampant speculation better than he once could. Puig ultimately emerged as one of the Dodgers’ better hitters down the stretch and into the postseason.
Barring a trade this winter, Puig will remain with the Dodgers as he’s eligible for salary arbitration for the first time in his career.