Legends On Deck

Dodgers Demote Yasiel Puig. What’s Next For The Latin Star?

Things are wild in Los Angeles. In the midst of an NL West race, the Dodgers acquired Rich Hill and Josh Reddick from the Athletics at the trade deadline. In order to make room for Reddick, the Dodgers’ have demoted Yasiel Puig to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The nickname “Wild Horse” can’t fit any better than it does now. The Dodgers seem to be giving up on Puig. Though Puig has off the field issues followed by on field antics, Los Angeles Dodgers seem to be forget that Puig is only 25 years old.

Demoting Puig was close to the last resort. Puig was on the trade block and no team called with serious interest. But from his rookie season to now, Puig’s game has heavily declined. His glove is the only aspect that has shown some improvements.

“The production from right field hasn’t been at the same level it has been in past years so that was a spot we were looking at in particular,” [General Manager] Farhan Zaidi said Tuesday in Colorado. “Once we were able to complete the trade with Reddick, we evaluated different options. We’re obviously still evaluating Yasiel’s health and whether he was a potential option to DL so we were talking through that. But ultimately we decided that move just made most sense with the roster we have and the way we plan to deploy our players and the lineups going forward.”

Dave Roberts, new Dodgers’ manager, has tired everything he can to mend all bridges between Puig and the Dodgers. The Dodgers have struggled to trust Puig with his off field issues. But now that Puig has struggled, the Dodgers would look else where. Puig and Reddick sharing right field time was considered but ultimately, Puig being demoted gives him a better chance at finding his game again.

“Our primary objective was really making the team better,” Zaidi said. “That’s why I talked about the production we got from right field. There are certainly things we think he can do better off the field, and those have been communicated to him. I don’t want to elaborate on that further. There isn’t really a point to that. But I believe he and his representation understand what we’re hoping happens moving forward.”

But can Puig find himself in Oklahoma City?

I truly believe Yasiel Puig can resurrect and can reestablish himself as a force to reckon with in this league. I don’t think the Dodgers should have given up on him– I completely agree that his on and off-field antics need to go, but he has too much talent to let go. Puig posted incredible number his rookie and sophomore season. In 2015, he slipped up and his numbers dropped but he was still an above-average hitter, and the fall-off has gotten worse this year. Over his 303 plate appearances this year, Puig owns a meager .260/.320/.386 slash. Since returning from the DL in late June, Puig’s game has definitely elevated. But as a whole, he’s worth a lot less than he once was– especially due to his reoccurring hamstring injuries.

I can’t really think of too many teams willing to trade for Puig right now or that would accept as apart of another trade. But here are a few destinations.

  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. New York Mets
  3. Chicago White Sox
  4. San Francisco Giants
  5. Tampa Bay Rays

Information from ESPN’s Doug Padilla was used in this report.

 

Steven Cardona

Steven Cardona

Steven is an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida who lives in Naples, Florida. At USF, he is studying Business Management. He has an immense love and passion for the game of baseball. He worked with the Fort Myers Miracle in 2014 as a Public Relations intern. In 2016, he continued his work experiences within America's pastime with the New York Mets as an American Culture Instructor at the Mets Academy in the Dominican Republic.
Steven Cardona