The wait has gone on long enough. The San Francisco Giants need to begin negotiations with free-agent outfielder Yasiel Puig today!
2020 MLB Spring Training is officially underway! As the beginning of the regular season rapidly approaches fans in the Bay Area, like fans all over the world, are excitedly anticipating big things from their favorite teams.
The San Francisco Giants enter the new decade in the midst of a multi-year rebuild. While they have managed to acquire a few noteworthy players, their current roster consists mostly of former stars who are past their prime.
However, the Opening Day roster doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, there is still one available free agent who has the potential to be the Giants’ best player during the upcoming season — Yasiel Puig.
Here is why the San Francisco Giants should sign the former star today.
San Francisco’s depth chart is largely unexciting. The team’s biggest reason to have hope for the future comes in the form of center fielder Mike Yastrzemski.
While the 29-year-old is a bit older than many may realize, his breakout season gives the team a legitimate building block as they attempt to construct a future contender. Yaz is also the outfielder with a secure spot in the lineup.
While players like Mauricio Dubon and Steven Duggar are slowly beginning a youth movement, the roster still mostly consists of veteran players like Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, and Buster Posey.
Puig could make an immediate difference.
The former All-Star is entering his eighth season at the major league level. However, he, like Yastrzemski, is just 29 years old.
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He would provide an upgrade over a player like Alex Dickerson, while also being young enough to potentially make an impact in the future.
Just a few years ago, it seemed as though the sky was the limit for Puig. After bursting on to the scene with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the outfielder appeared to be a serious contender to post a .300+ batting average, 25+ home runs, and double-digit stolen bases every season.
Fast forward back to 2020 and most of these skills have seen notable regression. The once-great hitter has seen his average shrink to .260 range.
He has also struggled with plate discipline and consistency over the past several years. Additionally, he has long had a reputation for being a disruption in the clubhouse.
While the superstar version of Yasiel Puig is almost assuredly a thing of the past, the most recent incarnation of his game is still quite valuable. The slugger finished the 2019 season with a respectable .267 average, 24 homers, 84 RBI, and a career-high 19 stolen bases.
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If he were able to repeat these numbers this year, Puig would profile as the best offensive player on the Giants. It simply doesn’t make sense for San Francisco to allow a player like that to sit in free agency when he could fit an obvious need.
Puig’s prolonged stint in free agency is even more perplexing considering his price tag. The fact that Puig remains available at this point in the season is clear evidence that interest in him has cooled.
Forbes has even speculated that something as small as a one-year, $8 million offer could be enough to land the longtime Dodgers outfielder.
The San Francisco Giants’ front office should field a call to Puig’s agent today to begin negotiations. At the end of the day, it would take a miracle season for San Francisco to become a legitimate playoff contender in 2020.
So why not take a flyer on a low-risk, high-reward signing like Yasiel Puig?
If he were simply able to repeat his 2019 performance, he would lead the team in many key offensive categories. If he were able to re-capture a pinch of his early career success, he could even establish a home in the Bay Area for years to come.
Even in the worst-case scenario, the price tag would place no obligation on the Giants. It would be easy to cut ties if any form of distraction or major regression caused any negativity.
The team would also have the potential option of moving Puig at the trade deadline in order to acquire some mid-to-low level prospects to bolster their farm system.
Don’t wait for another team to capitalize on the value. Sign Yasiel Puig today!