It’s been three years since Yasiel Puig was a rookie sensation with the Dodgers, almost made the All-Star team, and led Los Angeles to the playoffs. Now, in 2016, Puig has been struggling batting .260 with seven home runs, leaving many to wonder if his time with the Dodgers is up for good. On the trade deadline of August 1st, the Dodgers guaranteed Puig that he would be either traded or demoted, and the latter came true after the recent acquisition of Josh Reddick to bolster an already crowded outfield with Joc Pederson, Howie Kendrick and Andre Ethier who is scheduled to come back in early August. There was simply no room for an underperforming Puig, and while it is certain that Los Angeles would have loved to move him, they were forced to demote him. But after this year, nobody is certain what will happen to Puig, and where he will go.
If he doesn’t stay in Los Angeles with the Dodgers, there are definitely more than a few teams with outfield struggles willing to take him. Some great fits would be the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees, who both just traded their star corner outfielders at the trade deadline. Plugging Puig into the middle of either of those orders would be an instant upgrade, and it is likely that he could put up even better numbers in those systems than in LA. Also, the St. Louis Cardinals could be a good fit because Matt Holliday may end up leaving, and they will be in need of some outfield help. However, it is still likely that he could even stay with the Dodgers, as Reddick will be a free agent, while Howie Kendrick and Andre Ethier are aging very quickly so they will need to have a replacement in mind, and the easiest choice is the one who is already in the organization.
Even though he is not what he once was, Yasiel Puig is very talented and likely will not be in the minors for very long. He is due to be back with an MLB team soon, whether it’s the Dodgers or another team that trades for him. He is still young, only 25, and can make a positive impact on the field for any team, and while he may have been disappointing this season, he has shown that he can put up big numbers in the pros. While sometimes his off-the-field issues overshadow what he can produce for a team, it would still be worth it for teams to take a gamble on him. The Dodgers have a loaded outfield, so he may not have much more time in Los Angeles, but his time in the big leagues are far from over.