What was expected to be a light workout for a Cuban defector today turned into international pandemonium, sending scouts scrambling and frustrated amidst the chaos.
Yasiel Puig, a 21-year-old Cuban outfielder, was supposed to have his first open workout today for scouts in Mexico. Jaime Torres, who says he is the agent for Puig, informed teams that Puig’s workout would begin today at 10 a.m. at the home stadium of the Mexico City Red Devils.
When it was time for the workout to begin, Puig was nowhere to be found.
On Wednesday, Baseball America had heard from multiple sources that Puig had left Torres and gone to Cancun, where he was supposedly now going to be represented by Rudy Santin, the former director of Latin American operations for Tampa Bay. Santin, according to club officials, had told them that he was now representing Puig and that the outfielder would be holding workouts in Cancun over the next week.
Puig had in fact been in Cancun with Santin, and eventually word spread among scouts at the Mexico City workout. Many of those scouts left, some of them to catch a plane to Cancun to follow Puig.
As it turned out, while those scouts were leaving, Puig was in the midst of departing Cancun to show up to Mexico City. He finally showed up in Mexico City with Torres and at noon began his workout, which consisted of just a batting practice session for whatever scouts were still in attendance. There were some teams this evening who hadn’t even realized that Puig had returned to Mexico City for his workout.
“This is a circus,” said one scout. “An absolute circus.”