X

Yasiel Puig Rumors: Red Sox, Yankees, Astros, Marlins, Orioles Linked to FA

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2021

FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, file photo, Cleveland Indians' Yasiel Puig walks out of the dugout after a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, in Washington. For the first time since 2015, baseball’s postseason will go on without the Indians. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Outfielder Yasiel Puig did not play during the shortened 2020 season, but that reportedly has not stopped interest in his availability as a free agent this offseason. 

On Monday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles "appear to have varying levels of interest" in Puig.

Ryan Morik of SNY noted Puig nearly played in 2020 and was going to join the Atlanta Braves heading into summer camp until a positive COVID-19 test ended those developments.

Puig played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2013 through 2018 and was a reliable source of power in their lineup. He was an All-Star in his second season with a .296/.382/.480 slash line, 16 home runs, 69 RBI and 11 stolen bases and hit double-digit long balls in each of his six seasons with the team.

He played for the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland during the 2019 campaign and slashed .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI and 19 stolen bases.

It marked the third straight year he hit at least 23 home runs while providing speed on the base paths and a strong arm in the outfield. He is also just 30 years old and would theoretically still be in his prime for the 2021 campaign, although there are fair questions about whether his numbers would carry over after sitting out the 2020 season.

Of the teams reportedly interested in Puig, the Red Sox, Orioles, Astros and Marlins finished a middling 12th, 15th, 19th and 25th, respectively, in home runs last year. He could provide an additional power bat as they all look for more production from their lineups.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

As for the Yankees, who finished fifth in home runs, he could provide injury insurance for Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Both sluggers missed time over the past two seasons with various ailments.