Similar to December 2014, the Los Angeles Dodgers saw a significant roster shakeup through a seven-player trade with the Cincinnati Reds. As recent weeks of speculation suggested, Yasiel Puig was among those included in the deal.
He was mentioned in trade rumors on countless occasions over the past few years but this winter brought about a bit of a different feeling. Puig is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time in his career and due to reach free agency a year from now.
He was projected to earn $11.3 million next season, the highest figure of any Dodgers player who is arbitration-eligible. Right behind Puig was Alex Wood at $9 million, and he too was traded to the Reds, along with Kyle Farmer and Matt Kemp.
Puig’s tenure with the Dodgers comes to an end after six seasons. He signed with the team in 2012 following a defection from Cuba.
Puig shared a thoughtful message for the Dodgers organization, his former teammates and fans:
Thanks to all Dodgers’ fans for the love and support, I’m really going to miss you guys and I’ll see you at spring training but this time with different team!!!!! 👍😊😆🤪👊🏾👌🙌🏼💪🏾🙏👅👀 pic.twitter.com/rgNLUBZ4IP
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) December 22, 2018
Puig hit .279/.353/.478 with 129 doubles, 19 triples, 108 home runs and 331 RBI in 712 games over six seasons with the Dodgers. He finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2013, was named an All-Star in 2014, and won the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award for right field in 2017.
Despite some reported rocky times in the clubhouse, Puig was generally accepted by teammates and revered by fans. His enthusiasm and antics irked opponents but earned him the adoration of the Dodger faithful.
Dodger Stadium will get its first look at Puig in a Reds uniform when they visit for a three-game series April 15-17.