According to MLB Insider Mark Feinsand, the Atlanta Braves and Yasiel Puig are close to a deal.
Feinsand cites anonymous sources as a reference point. Other media contributors confirmed the close arrangement posthaste, including Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic. Both writers state that any signing is pending a physical, and ultimately a COVID-19 test.
Puig is a 7-year veteran who has played for three different teams. His most notable year was in 2014 when he became an All-Star in just his second year of major league competition. The Cuba native also leads all outfielders with 15 assists that year.
Puig has a career total of 132 home runs and 79 stolen bases. His career WAR of 18.9 proves valuable to a potential suitor that just lost a veteran right fielder for the year. The absence of Nick Markakis and indefinite status of the first baseman Freddie Freeman reveals a need for a spark. The implementation of a designated hitter across the league opens the door for an enticing addition, such as Puig.
The outfielder is another flexible option the Braves could have at their disposal. Puig can play all three outfield positions but is best suited in right. According to Fangraphs, he tallied 14 defensive runs saved in 2017 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There may not be a better group of complementary pieces for the Latin sensation to pair with. The personalities of Ronald Acuna, Jr., and Ozzie Albies should help Puig get on a fast track to comfort. Whether it’s the bat flips, high-fives, or dugout antics, Puig should merge just fine with Atlanta’s fiery passion. Let’s just hope he saves the bat licks for contact at the plate.