• Kris Cartelle

Free Agent Target: Yasiel Puig

It is no secret that the Marlins are in the market for another bat to add to their roster. A team that was one of the worst offensive teams last year in all of baseball, is looking to drastically improve in 2020. Miami has already added hitters like Jesus Aguilar and Jonathan Villar to add an experienced and powerful presence in the lineup. Nevertheless, the Marlins are not done and they are looking for one more corner outfielder.

One name lately that has been mentioned a lot is Cuban standout Yasiel Puig. Puig, a former Dodger, and one who played for Don Mattingly, in my eyes is a perfect fit for the Marlins.

Puig hit a combined .267 with 24 HR and 84 RBI’s with the Reds and the Indians last season. Puig also slugged .468 and posted an OPS of .785. Puig was signed to a 7-year $42 million deal as an international free agent by the Dodgers in 2012. Since then, Puig has been a productive MLB player. Although he did get off to a slow start last season, Puig picked it up at the halfway point and ended well with a 1.3 WAR. Baseball reference projects Puig to hit 25 home runs while driving in 75 next year. Puig is not a speedster but he can also run and give you from 12-15 steals a year. Puig has stolen 79 bases in his 7-year career. Puig is also known for his very strong arm. The few runners who have tested Puig, did not have much success in advancing bases and/or scoring. Puig has a career .981 fielding percentage and a career 40 defensive runs saved.

According to Craig Mish, he is very positive that Miami will add a left-handed hitting outfielder, due to the heavy right handed lineup the Marlins are set to feature next season. However, Puig has hit right-handed pitching better than the options they’re looking at from the other side of the plate. The team has shown interest in outfielders Corey Dickerson, Eddie Rosario, and Kole Calhoun. Our friends over at Fish Stripes were able to put these summaries together.

Over the last 3 seasons vs. right-handed pitching:

1. Yasiel Puig, 125 wRC+

2. Corey Dickerson 121 wRC+

3. Eddie Rosario 121 wRC

4. Kole Calhoun 99 wRC+

Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill was asked the question about getting a left-handed bat, and his response was: “Ultimately we want the best players.” Those stats clearly show who is the best player. According to Jon Heyman, from MLB Network, Puig met with the Marlins during the winter Meetings in San Diego. Puig said he’d like to play again for Don Mattingly and wants to play for Derek Jeter. He’d also like to play near his Miami home.

Puig is known for his energy, humor, and just overall having an enjoyable time while playing the game. Puig would bring a fire to the Marlins roster that can ignite the young players. In addition, being that Puig is from Cuban decent, many believe that a potential signing can elevate attendance in the ballpark just as Jose Fernandez did every time he would take the mound. “The people in Miami will come to see Puig play...He is fun to watch.” That is something I have heard from many fans and people around the industry.

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