Yasiel Puig remains in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization despite the persistent trade rumors that date back to last offseason. They surfaced again prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline, but the Dodgers were unable to move Puig.
As a result, and in conjunction with the club acquiring Josh Reddick in a five-player trade with the Oakland Athletics, Puig was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He returned from the demotion roughly one month later and was improved in every facet.
Playing in right field as a platoon with Reddick, Puig earned his way onto the Dodgers’ playoff roster for National League Division Series and NL Championship Series.
But there remains a difference of opinion when Puig’s future with the Dodgers is discussed. According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, an NL scout believes the Dodgers are hesitant to trade Puig out of fear he’ll return to the level he once played at:
“I think they’re afraid of trading Puig and seeing him return to stardom,” an NL scout said. “They would never hear the end of it.”
In 104 games during his rookie year (2013), Puig hit .319/.391/.534 with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs. He’s yet to reach that level of production as pitchers made their adjustments and Puig struggled to remain healthy.
Multiple hamstring injuries limited him to a career-worst 79 games in 2015. This season Puig batted .263/.323/.416 with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs in 104 games. Prior to being sent down to Oklahoma City he hit .260/.320/.386, and improved to .281/.338/.561 after getting recalled.
Additionally, after being called back up, Puig did not cause any problems off the field as he was a good teammate, and in turn his teammates supported him during the altercation with San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
The Dodgers to this point have resisted trading Puig, instead valuing the impact he can have at the plate and in right field. However, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman isn’t one to shy away from selling high, and Puig has boosted value after it dropped.