Puig Close to Joining Braves
One of baseball's biggest personalities is on the verge of joining the Atlanta Braves: free-agent outfielder Yasiel Puig. The 29-year-old Cuban outfielder still needs to complete a physical, but all signs point to the former Los Angeles Dodgers slugger suiting up for Atlanta, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal notes.
The union seems like solid fit for both parties. The Braves were looking to replace Nick Markakis in their lineup after the right fielder opted out of the pandemic-impacted, 60-game 2020 season. Puig, meanwhile, had been on the market since his contract with the Cleveland Indians expired at the end of last season. He also joins a lineup that looks mighty potent:
There are skeptics about the deal, however, with Puig’s intense personality being characterized as abrasive to some – including his own teammates. His history with the Dodgers from 2013-18 was rocky, and eventually the Dodgers shipped Puig to the Cincinnati Reds in December 2018. The Reds then traded Puig to the Indians in July 2019. On the flip side, the Dodgers managed to find success despite Puig’s antics, as baseball writer Jon Weisman points out.
Nicknamed “The Wild Horse,” Puig brings an unpredictability that makes him tough to ignore. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Mark Bradley puts it, “He can still run a mile to make a fabulous catch and then miss the cutoff man by 20 feet.”
And we’d be remiss not to mention his penchant for finding himself not only at the center of bases-clearing brawls, but then having the event turned into a work of art.
Simply put, Puig will attract eyeballs. There isn’t anything traditional about him. In fact, in pure Puig fashion, there’s a twist in the breaking news of his signing with the Braves. MLB Network Insider Mark Feinsand officially “broke” the story, but it was Twitter user (and Braves fan) Brian Chandler who got the scoop.
With the Braves' season set to start on July 24, it’s fitting that one of the most unconventional players, ahead of the most unconventional season, has news broken of his signing in an unconventional manner.