Are the Los Angeles Angels Interested in OF Yasiel Puig?
It’s been more than a month since we explored some of the top remaining MLB free agents. Since that time, two of our three inclusions (3B/OF Nicholas Castellanos and SP Taijuan Walker) have found new homes. However, one of the names on that list – OF Yasiel Puig – remains unsigned.
It sounds like the 29-year-old could have at least one suitor in the Angels. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times recently wrote that the organization has considered signing the veteran outfielder (although the writer cautions that the front office wasn’t pursuing Puig “too seriously”).
Furthermore, Shaikin wrote that there are some who believe that Puig turned down a one-year, $10M deal from a National League club. That seems like a modest payday for a player who remains unsigned in March, and we’d assume that Puig will regret his decision if he doesn’t find a new team anytime soon.
From an “insider’s” perspective, Puig would make some sense for the Angels. After all, the organization was prepared to acquire slugging outfielder Joc Pederson from their cross-town rivals, but that deal didn’t materialize as the Red Sox dragged their feet with a completely different (but somewhat related) trade.
From an outsider’s perspective, there doesn’t seem to be a great fit in Los Angeles. Mike Trout and Justin Upton occupy two of the three outfield spots, while Shohei Ohtani and Albert Pujols will likely get the bulk of at-bats at DH. That leaves one outfield spot, and the Angels sound content to temporarily roll with a platoon of Brian Goodwin and Michael Hermosillo.
We say “temporarily” because the Angels also have one of baseball’s top prospects, outfielder Jo Adell, preparing for his MLB debut. Assuming that the youngster eventually earns a promotion during the 2020 season, what would that do to Puig’s role?
Meanwhile, while Puig certainly wasn’t bad in 2019, he wasn’t great, either. His counting stats (24 homers, 84 RBIs) left some to be desired from a big-money slugger, and his declining on-base skills (.327 OBP with both the Reds and Indians) doesn’t leave him with a clear-cut role in any lineup.
So, in other words, while Puig might find a home eventually, it’s unlikely that his next contract will come from the Angels.