Do the Astros really want this guy?
Considering the Astros have three huge voids to fill in their outfield —after George Springer, Michael Brantley, and Josh Reddick’s departures— maybe so. They need help; affordable/productive players that don't require rich or large deals don’t grow on trees.
The Astros have been linked to Springer and Jackie Bradley Jr., a free agent of the Boston Red Sox. But even though we obviously would love Springer to be back at H-Town, it is still unclear if the Astros have enough money to re-sign him and beat his other possible suitors. Having said that, a name comes to my mind: Yasiel Puig.
Should the Astros at least consider Puig before the 2021 spring training kicks off? Can they afford the Public Relations hit of another low-cost star player with an alleged sexual assault history?
That’s something GM James Click will have to think about. Puig’s present is not good at all. Despite helping the Miami community, having his own foundation, and apparently being in good shape, his off-the-field problems keep hurting him.
Back in October, a woman named Jane Roe sued Puig alleging that the “Wild Horse” sexually assaulted her at Staples Center in 2018. And as if that wasn’t enough, the same Puig admitted he didn’t work hard after he signed his seven-year, $42M deal with the Dodgers. So you can’t say Puig has left his problems behind, but the positive thing is he’s always played through them.
But if the Astros do want to consider the Cuban native and put all his trouble aside, there are reasons why it’d be good for them to at least think about adding him on a short deal for maybe less than $10 million.
First of all, Puig is a good offensive contributor. He may not be the kind of hitter that sends 35 balls over the yard and drives in 100 runs every year, but from 2017 to 2019 he averaged 25 doubles, 25 home runs, and 74 runs batted in. Add those numbers to 16 steals, a .811 OPS, and a rocket from right field. That’s quite a good balance.
Second, he has EXPERIENCE. That’s added value to any ballplayer, especially if the team we’re talking about is the Houston Astros. Since 2013, Puig ranks seventh in games played in the postseason (58). Plus, he has delivered in the biggest stage: .280/.351/.429, 14 XBHs, 23 RBIs. All of this despite being only 29 years old (will turn 30 on December 7).
Third, signing him would probably not break the bank. Yeah, he didn’t play at all this year. When he finally got a contract, he tested positive for COVID-19 and couldn’t sign with the Braves. He was last seen on the field in September 2019, when he and the Indians failed to make it to the postseason. His agreement with Atlanta was known to be a one-year contract (undisclosed financial terms), so it’s good to know he’s open to signing a short, affordable deal.
Fourth, Puig would be comfortable in Houston along with his Cuban countrymen Yuli Gurriel, Aledmys Díaz, Yordan Álvarez, and Cionel Pérez. It seems he gets along well with the Gurriel family, as they even spent New Year’s Eve together in 2016. In fact, Puig joined Yunieski’s —Yuli’s younger brother— training camp back in July.
As I’ve said before, there aren’t many players to replace guys like Springer, Brantley, and Reddick. But I think Puig —even without playing in a year and considering his behavior— could be someone Houston should, at least, consider as an option, even though his signing may have a negative PR impact for a franchise that is already the most hated in all baseball..
If the price were right, should the Astros sign Yasiel Puig if he is willing.
This poll is closed