Months ago, way before the Braves offered Yasiel Puig a contract that they voided when he tested positive for COVID-19, the Marlins attempted to ink the Cuban outfielder. It seemed like a perfect fit. That didn’t happen, though, as the Wild Horse said he wasn’t happy with what Miami offered. As it turned out, Puig didn’t play any official MLB games in 2020.
But he didn’t rest on his laurels. He kept training. To salvage something from this unusual year, he signed with Dominican Winter League club Toros del Este—becoming teammates with Marlins prospect Jesús Sámchez—and debuted for them on December 10.
Since then, Puig has only played in five games, suffered a minor leg injury (he’s fine now). He hit for a .231 average, but registered seven walks, contributing to a .500 OBP. The postseason awaits next week.
A couple of days ago, Momentum Youtube Channel uploaded a video called La Vida de Puig (English), where he says he only needs an opportunity and claims that he’s a new version of himself. According to Puig, MLB teams don’t have to be scared anymore about his behavior on and off the field.
The Marlins’ current outfield situation may not be ideal for Puig, especially with ongoing uncertainty about whether the DH will remain in the National League for 2021. They already have Corey Dickerson in left, Starling Marte in center, and a combination of Garrett Cooper, Lewis Brinson, Harold Ramirez, Monte Harrison and others worth considering in right.
But imagine if the Marlins brought in Puig as their primary right field option. We’re talking good, consistent production there—anything close to his .267/.327/.458 slash line from 2019 would be a massive upgrade over last season’s RFs (.186/.271/.263). He also brings athleticism, a good arm and good range. Besides, having a beloved Cuban like Puig might help the Fish in terms of attendance (if there is any in 2021).
As the 30-year-old outfielder mentioned in the video, he’s the one seeking, needing an opportunity. His salary expectations may be pretty diminished now, a fraction of the $15 million average annual value he previous sought. Maybe Marlins Park is the place for him to re-establish himself?