Yasiel Puig Rumors: Marlins Not Pursuing Former Cleveland OF in Free Agency

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 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

The Miami Marlins apparently are not interested in free-agent outfielder Yasiel Puig.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the National League East team that "offered him an incentive-heavy contract a year ago" will look elsewhere to fill its corner outfield need. Puig did not play during the 2020 season after a reported contract with the Atlanta Braves never materialized and he announced he tested positive for COVID-19.

There has been reported interest in Puig this offseason.

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported Jan. 4 that the Marlins, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles had "varying levels of interest."

It wasn't that long ago Puig was one of the more reliable power hitters in baseball.

He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2013-18 and the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland in 2019 and has never failed to hit double-digit home runs in a season. He drilled 23 or more long balls in three consecutive years from 2017-19 while providing speed on the basepaths and a strong arm in right field.

Puig was an All-Star in 2014 with a .296/.382/.480 slash line, 16 home runs, 69 RBI and 11 stolen bases and has 58 playoff games on his resume from his time with the Dodgers.

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Still, it is fair to wonder if his numbers would translate after a year away from the game. The Marlins will apparently look in a different direction as they hope to build on last year's playoff appearance, which was their first since 2003.