Yasiel Puig Reportedly Signs Contract to Play with Veracruz in Mexican League

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2021

Cleveland Indians' Yasiel Puig watches his RBI single during the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Outfielder Yasiel Puig has agreed to a deal with El Aguila de Veracruz of the Mexican League, per ESPN's Enrique Rojas.

Puig did not play in Major League Baseball last season after testing positive for COVID-19.

It was initially reported last July 14 that Puig had agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves, but the contract was never finalized since it was reportedly contingent on him testing negative for the coronavirus.

Puig released a statement three days later and officially announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

At the time, Puig wrote that he was asymptomatic and felt "absolutely fine."

Last October, a woman sued Puig, saying he sexually assaulted her at Staples Center in Los Angeles on the night of Oct. 31, 2018, following a Lakers game against the Dallas Mavericks.

ESPN's John Barr provided more information: "The woman, identified in federal court documents as only Jane Roe, sued Puig last October, saying the former Dodgers outfielder followed her into a Staples Center bathroom after a Lakers game on Oct. 31, 2018, 'pinned her with one arm' to prevent her from leaving, groped her and masturbated in front of her."

Puig released a statement through his legal representation stating that he had consensual sex with the woman but did not sexually assault her.

Yasiel Puig @YasielPuig

I released a statement along with my attorneys today. I am encouraging you all to please read. Thank you. https://t.co/agTMeQ3Onz

The 30-year-old Cuban spent his first six campaigns with the Los Angeles Dodgers before splitting the 2019 season between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland.

Puig made an instant impact in Major League Baseball as a 22-year-old rookie in 2013, as he hit .319 with 19 home runs and 42 RBI en route to finishing second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. He was then named an All-Star for the first and only time in 2014 when he hit .296 with 16 homers and 69 RBI and scored a career-high 92 runs.

The Dodgers traded Puig to the Reds prior to the start of the 2019 season, and Puig was then dealt from Cincinnati to Cleveland during the season. 2019 was one of Puig's best statistical seasons, as he hit .267 with 24 homers and a career-high 84 RBI and 19 stolen bases.