Dodgers: The Next Few Months Will Determine Yasiel Puig’s Dodger Fate
The Dodgers will have a tough decision among many this offseason when it comes to the fate of Yasiel Puig. The next few months will go a long way in deciding Yasiel Puig’s Dodger fate.
Yasiel Puig is in the midst of another solid but not spectacular season. The one constant with Puig is that you are going to get gold glove caliber defense and a cannon arm that limits opposing hitters from taking the extra base. Puig’s arm will even keep most base runners from scoring from second base on a base hit.
The part of Puig’s game that is still questionable is his offense. Last season, Yasiel Puig hit 28 home runs to make himself the most powerful eight hitter in baseball. Other than last season, Puig’s seasons since his arrival have been mixed results after his initial splash in the majors. In 2015 and 2016 Puig hit just eleven home runs each season and he posted mediocre numbers at the plate.
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Even for someone that can play defense the way Yasiel Puig can, if he is going to post average numbers, the Dodgers won’t be afraid to make an upgrade. Puig has one more year of team control left through arbitration, so the Dodgers could cut ties after this season if Puig has a bad finish to the regular season and postseason.
Also working against Puig is the loaded free-agent class of 2018. This offseason there will be big outfielders available via free agency such as A.J. Pollock, Bryce Harper, and Adam Jones. With the Dodgers primary goal for this season being to reset the luxury tax penalties, they appear willing to splurge in this winter’s stellar free agency.
This season, Yasiel Puig has posted a .268 average to go along with fourteen home runs. Depending on how the next couple of months go, it could swing the pendulum towards Puig remaining in Dodger blue or this season potentially being his last season in Los Angeles. Puig has hit over .300 the last few weeks but the one thing that keeps holding him back is injuries.
Due to the all-out effort that Puig plays with on every play, he tends to crash into walls and injure himself running around the field. Puig is currently fighting an oblique strain and if he goes down again for an extended period of time, that will only complicate the decision the Dodgers make on Yasiel Puig this offseason.
There is no doubt that Puig is capable of being a star for the Dodgers but his bat doesn’t always perform to the lofty expectations he set in his debut season. How Puig hits down the stretch is going to decide whether or not this is the last season he dons the Dodger uniform. Loaded with outfield prospects and money to spend, the Dodgers won’t hesitate to cut Puig this winter if he has a disappointing end of the season.