Yasiel Puig‘s time with the Atlanta Braves might already be over. Puig, labeled a can’t miss prospect when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Braves last week. His deal was pending a physical and a coronaviris (COVID-19) test. Puig announced Friday he had tested positive and the deal, at the very least, is put on hold.
Yasiel Puig’s baseball career
Yasiel Puig made his much-hyped Major League Baseball debut as a 22-year-old hot prospect with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound outfielder was brought up in June that season and wound up playing in 66 games that year. In his debut, he went 2-for-4 and wowed the fans that season by smacking 19 home runs in his 66 games.
After finishing second in the Rooke-of-the-Year voting, Puig had a strong second season as he was named a National League All-Star. He hit .296 with 16 home runs and drove in 69 runs. He also scored 92 runs. Puig played six seasons with the Dodgers and had his best power year in 2017 when he smacked 28 home runs.
After the 2018 season, Puig was traded by the Dodgers to the Cincinnati Reds, where he played 100 games before being dealt again. He was traded midseason to the Cleveland Indians in a deal involving pitcher Trevor Bauer. He was a free agent after the 2019 season and just agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves last week.
Puig has reputation for being a hothead
Yasiel Puig came up with the reputation of being a can’t-miss prosepct who had both speed and power. He has certainly held his own during his MLB career, but never lived up to the hype he generated. As his career has progressed, Puig has also developed a reputation of being a hothead.
In the last two seasons alone, Puig has been involved in three different on-the-field brawls. According to spotrac.com, Puig has been suspended seven games and fined a total of $289,249. In 2017, he was also suspended for a game for making an obscene gesture to fans during a game, according to cleveland.com. He appealed the suspension and it was rescinded.
On July 31, 2019, Puig was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Cleveland Indians for another player with a reputation for being a hothead, Trevor Bauer. Bauer had earlier that week just shown why he deserved that label when he fired the ball over the center field fence during a game in which be blew a big lead.
Puig agrees to deal with Braves then fails COVID-19 test
Yasiel Puig was one of the top free agents on the market this offseason. He recently agreed to a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves, pending a physical and a COVID-19 test. On Friday, he announced he tested positive for the virus and the deal, for now, was off.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the deal is on hold at the moment one week before the abbreviated 60-game MLB schedule is set to begin. Puig announced on Twitter that he is asymptomatic but will continue quarantining until he gets two negative tests.
“I am sad that this has happened,” Puig wrote, “but I believe that everything is in God’s timing and that my return to MLB will happen in His perfect plan and timing for me. When I return to the field, I will do so knowing I have one less hurdle to overcome.”