We are now just two weeks from Opening Day of MLB's shortened 2020 season, and somehow Yasiel Puig is still a free agent. The All-Star rightfielder got traded to the Reds last offseason, then to the Indians at the deadline, and has been without a team since the end of the 2019 season.
We went through the entire offseason and into the first Spring Training without Puig getting signed. Now we're over a week into summer camp and no team has inked him to a deal yet.
It's not that everyone around the game of baseball has just forgotten about Puig. Google "Yasiel Puig" and you'll see the headlines.
"Red Sox Rumors: Yasiel Puig would be a quality addition"
"San Diego Padres reportedly interested in Yasiel Puig"
"Former Dodger Yasiel Puig to be pursued by Giants"
So if there's so much interest in him, why has no one picked him up yet?
Puig would be an especially good sign for this season, which features a designated hitter in the National League. NL teams that weren't planning on having a DH now find themselves needing to fill another spot in the lineup. If only there were a talented free agent out there who could provide a quality bat to a team in need.
Puig started out promising when he came up with the Dodgers in 2013. His personality and on-field antics have garnered some criticism, and his play has declined a bit, but he's still an above-average hitter with power.
Just last year Puig batted .267 with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs. Not the greatest season ever but you can't tell me there's not a team out there that could use his bat to fill a DH spot in the lineup.
Even the Braves could benefit from adding Puig to the roster. With the DH coming to the National League this season and rightfielder Nick Markakis opting out of the 2020 season, Atlanta could use an extra bat, or another rightfielder to replace Markakis.
Sure they have some young bats that they could promote from the Minor Leagues like Cristian Pache and Drew Waters, but those guys weren't MLB-ready prior to the season. Puig is a veteran MLB outfielder and would be a great addition to not just the Braves, but any team looking for an extra bat.
Matthew Atkins, Journalist and Baseball fan.