Yasiel Puig trade rumors are drawing attention for the LA Dodgers again. The Dodgers could trade Puig during the MLB offseason if the latest rumors and predictions from a report on CBS Sports come true. This type of chatter is nothing new for Puig and the Dodgers, as he has been linked to quite a few teams over the past two years. Reasons included not playing as well as the front office in Los Angeles had expected as well as a fractured relationship with former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
Mattingly was fired already this offseason, possibly clearing the air for Puig to enjoy himself more in the 2016 MLB season. MLB writer Mike Axisa feels that Puig has already worn out his welcome, though, putting him on the trade block as soon as teams can start making deals again.
“I get the feeling Puig has worn out his welcome in Los Angeles. He’s not necessarily a malcontent, but he is a bit of a headache and can be a distraction with his occasionally late arrivals to the ballpark and whatnot. I think the new Andrew Friedman-led regime is ready to move on.”
This is where the Yasiel Puig trade rumors start to get really interesting because there are a lot of teams that could use another outfielder. In a down year, Puig hit .255 with 26 extra base hits and 38 RBIs during the 2015 MLB season. He played in only 79 games due to injuries, but still showed glimpses of why he was an All-Star in 2014. For the 2016 MLB season, he is projected to post a .288 batting average, .361 on-base percentage, and 39 extra base hits. Those numbers are projected across 420 plate appearances.
Teams that have already been mentioned as possible suitors in a Puig trade are the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, and Chicago Cubs. The Seattle Mariners could also use another outfielder, but the team hasn’t been linked to the Dodgers in any trade discussions yet. Adding Puig to a lineup that already includes Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton would certainly be exciting to watch, but the Marlins did also just sign Don Mattingly as the new long-term manager.
What might become the most intriguing part of the latest Yasiel Puig trade rumors will be how other teams value the Cuban outfielder. He hasn’t even turned 25 yet, suggesting that he could get even better as his Major League career continues. His contract calls for Puig to be paid about $7.2 million for the 2016 MLB season, about $8.2 million for 2017, and about $9.2 million in 2018. He will then have one final arbitration year before becoming a free agent in the 2020 offseason. That gives a new team a lot of control over him should a deal be struck.
During the month of August, the Los Angeles Dodgers placed Puig on waivers. Puig was claimed by another team and the Dodgers ended up pulling him back. It proved that the team was certainly willing to deal its All-Star outfielder if the right offer was made. It could have possibly created some ill feelings for Puig as well. At the time, it was reasoned that he was striking out too often and that the team was ready to improve in different areas.
Now that the World Series has come to an end, the trade discussions (and rumors) are going to start up all across baseball. New manager and general managers are getting hired, setting the stage for one of them to want to make a big splash. This is where even more Yasiel Puig trade rumors could come up, not just because he would be an interesting acquisition, but also because the LA Dodgers still have too many outfielders on the active roster. Will the Dodgers finally pull the trigger on a deal?
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