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Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Marlins are talking to Yasiel Puig

A few years ago the notion of Yasiel Puig‘s free agency seemed kinda fun and exciting. You could picture people arguing about whether giving him big bucks was a good idea. Whether the great production was worth the circus.

These days he’s nowhere near a first-tier free agent, his 2019 season was — with the exception of one early-season bit of chaos — kind of quiet, and his lack of production has rendered this offseason almost completely devoid of Puig chatter.

Jon Heyman breaks that silence today by reporting that the Miami Marlins met with Puig this week. Heyman says the club has also talked to Avisaíl García, Corey Dickerson and Kole Calhoun. Again, not the kind of company you would’ve figured Puig would be keeping in his eventual free agent market, but a lot has happened over the years.

Will he take any of us along as he slides on down?

 

QLE Posted: December 14, 2019 at 12:30 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agency, marlins, yasiel puig

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   1. puck Posted: December 14, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5908701)
I suppose he is far enough along in his career to say it was a waste of his baseball gifts? Is that fair to say of someone with a career OPS+ of 122 to this point? It's 109 the last 5 seasons. He's managed to have a negative Rbaser in 5 of his 7 seasons. His ISO (.198 career) is a lot lower than one would expect from his highlight moments, physique, violent swing, etc.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: December 14, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5908708)
This has worked out quite close, Puig vs Cespedes:

YP 3376 PA, 122 OPS+, 20 WAR
YC 3456 PA, 126 OPS+, 22 WAR

On Puig, it depends a lot on how much weight you put on this year -- although it least it was a full season which is encouraging. Last year was the first time he was below-average, has 7.8 WAR, 2.6 WAA, over the last 3 years (on a 3.2 per 650 pace) -- that's a good bit better than anybody the Cubs could roll out there right now. And he's still only 29.

Is my memory correct that the Puig "circus" is primarily bad baserunning and inattention as opposed to domestic violence? If so, he seems a pretty good gamble on a 3/$30-40 contract. But I'm willing to temper my enthusiasm if there are reasons to believe 2019 is the new Puig.
   3. Captain Supporter Posted: December 15, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5908768)
I can't imagine why you would ever give someone with Puig's history more than a one year contract. Particularly if you are a team like the Marlins that is trying to build for the future.
   4. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: December 15, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5908772)
What are Puig’s offenses against baseball? He’s not the superstar he looked like when he first came up but looking at this article other than the flipping off of the fans in Cleveland I don’t see a guy I’d worry about having around. The base running certainly seems to be an issue but other than that he’s fairly flamboyant which rubs people the wrong way and if you don’t like that fair enough but situations like Bumgarner screaming at him for the bat flip seems more about Bumgarner than Puig. It takes a pretty significant leap to put Kole Calhoun (who I happen to like a lot) in the same class as Puig. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say there is a racism (in many cases inadvertent) at work here.

With all that said there is reason to be concerned. If you take away the first two seasons (yay selective endpoints!) he has an OPS+ of 109. For a corner outfielder whose value is entirely in his bat that is not good enough. I was thinking when I read this that he’s kind of a Manny Ramirez-lite. Some antics, some hitting, polarizing...but the shape of his career where he was great early then became fairly ordinary is very different from Manny. For all the criticisms of Manny it was a known fact that the dude absolutely worked his ass off when it came to hitting. I wonder if Puig does that work, his career looks like a guy who got figured out and hasn’t been able to adjust. Whether that’s skill or work ethic I won’t pretend to know.

This is a long way of saying I think he’s a reasonable risk. I kind of wonder if his best landing spot isn’t a place like Boston or Houston or New York where he would have some vets around him. I think if you put him in Miami and ask him to be a team leader I suspect it may not go well.
   5. Hot Wheeling American Posted: December 15, 2019 at 10:08 AM (#5908774)
Particularly if you are a team like the Marlins that is trying to build for the future.

What future is that exactly?
   6. PreservedFish Posted: December 15, 2019 at 10:13 AM (#5908775)
MLBTR predicts 1 year, $8M for Puig. That's a reasonable price for an averageish corner outfielder, and at that rate, nobody needs to have all these talks about Puig's long-term potential or whatever.
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 15, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5908809)
What are Puig’s offenses against baseball?


Supposedly he once dumped a bucket of water on Bill Plaschke, though as far as I know Plaschke has never confirmed that. However, one of the rules for being well liked, beyond just playing well, is to be nice to the local sportswriters. On a more serious note, Puig for a while had a habit of skipping practice. That may have been a reason that he hurt his hamstring so often- he wasn't properly warmed up. But after getting sent to the minors, I didn't hear anything about him missing practice again and he stopped pulling his hamstring.
   8. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: December 15, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5908819)
I can't imagine why you would ever give someone with Puig's history more than a one year contract. Particularly if you are a team like the Marlins that is trying to build for the future.
If the Marlins were a more normal team then a low money two year contract would make sense for them. If Puig turns it around then either they get a second year of him or they can trade him for more than they'd get in a midseason 2020 deal. If he sucks they can release him and still have the lowest non-Tampa payroll in MLB. And because they're not competing for anything, 300 disastrous Puig PAs wouldn't meaningfully alter the results of the team's season.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: December 15, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5908821)
I can't imagine why you would ever give someone with Puig's history more than a one year contract. Particularly if you are a team like the Marlins that is trying to build for the future.

Me, I don't understand this at all. Are the Marlins only supposed to play 24-year olds or something? A 29-year old Puig is at least as likely to contribute to "the next good Marlins team" - either as a player or as a trade asset - as some random young non-prospect outfielder.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: December 15, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5908841)
#4: You are under-rating him a bit. Even ignoring the first two years (fair enough, they were a long time ago now), he's had 10 WAR, 3 WAA over the last 5 years. He produces at a 3-WAR rate but never plays that full 650 PA season. That's not awesome obviously but it's a nice piece to have. In the last 3 years, he seems to have had only one 3-week trip to the IL. Missing in your summary is that he's been an above-average defender ... which is odd for a guy who supposedly doesn't hustle. 2019 was a bad year though so it's easy to see why teams would be wary ... but there's an excellent chance Puig will be better than anybody the Cubs roll out in the corners this year. He'd certainly seem worth at least a 1 plus an option type deal for reasonable money.
   11. flournoy Posted: December 15, 2019 at 05:36 PM (#5908856)
A 29-year old Puig is at least as likely to contribute to "the next good Marlins team" [...] as some random young non-prospect outfielder.


Sure. I mean, they'll both be long retired by then.
   12. Dock Ellis Posted: December 15, 2019 at 08:11 PM (#5908877)
Zack Greinke threw Puig's suitcase off a bus once.
   13. Zonk didn't order a hit on an ambassador Posted: December 16, 2019 at 10:04 AM (#5908922)
but there's an excellent chance Puig will be better than anybody the Cubs roll out in the corners this year.


Schwarbs was better than Puig last year and I think I'd gladly take even money he'll be better again this year...
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5908928)
Supposedly he once dumped a bucket of water on Bill Plaschke, though as far as I know Plaschke has never confirmed that.


If anything, that makes me like him more, not less.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: December 18, 2019 at 12:43 AM (#5909449)
Schwarbs was better than Puig last year and I think I'd gladly take even money he'll be better again this year...

That's putting a lot of weight on last year's results ... and maybe just the last half-season's results when Schwarber did hit like maybe he'd finally figured it out for good. Puig did put up just 1.4 WAR, -0.6 WAA last year but has 7.8 WAR, 2.6 WAA over the last 3; Schwarber was at 2.3/0.3 last year but just 3.7/-1.4 over the last 3. Schwarber is 2 years younger but worse on defense so it's not clear how big that age advantage really is. FWIW, Steamer has decided to buy in on Schwarber, projecting him to a career-best offense (which is a silly thing to do) and 3 WAR while putting Puig at just 1.9 WAR (while projecting him to worse defense than Schwarber ... note UZR really dislikes his defense the last two years). Steamer mainly comes down to Schwarber having a 115 wRC+ Marcel projection but Steamer projects him to 123 while Puig's Marcel projection is 111 and Steamer matches that. The rest is UZR and DRS disagreeing pretty strongly on Puig's defense (+24 vs -10 over the last 3 years).

So I'll certainly agree that if Schwarber is about a full win better on offense (as opposed to 3-4 runs per Marcel) and DRS is off by about 1 dWAR per year on Puig, then indeed, Schwarber will probably out-produce Puig.
   16. base ball chick Posted: December 18, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5909495)
Captain Supporter Posted: December 15, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5908768)

I can't imagine why you would ever give someone with Puig's history more than a one year contract. Particularly if you are a team like the Marlins that is trying to build for the future


- yup

because they'd have to pay him more than min wage and the future of the marlins is to keep payroll as low as possible, get as much $$$ as possible from cable and MLB money, and sign young guys to long term contracts and then dump them as soon as they get more than a mill in salary

we all know how it is
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: December 18, 2019 at 10:18 AM (#5909498)
I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say there is a racism (in many cases inadvertent) at work here.

is that reasonable?

I mean, it's easy - I'll grant you that.
   18. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: December 18, 2019 at 10:19 AM (#5909503)
the marlins are having a decent offseason so far*, including picking up villar for over 10m/yr.


* though i don't like the flier on matt kemp they announced today.
   19. base ball chick Posted: December 18, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5909555)
matt kemp is a minor league deal. so what

villar they can flip for cheaper players at the deadline
   20. Itchy Row Posted: December 18, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5909557)
Alex Wood and Homer Bailey are available, if the Marlins are trying to assemble all the pieces of last year's Reds-Dodgers trade. Maybe they can even get the Jeter Downs gift basket.
   21. RoyalFlush Posted: December 18, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5909586)
What are Puig’s offenses against baseball?


The narrative around him three/four years ago was that he was a bad teammate.

A former pitcher for the Dodgers was quoted in Bleacher Report saying "He is the worst person I've ever seen in this game - Ever."

There was the Greinke thing in Molly Knight's book, rumors about Kershaw going to management to demand Puig's trade, a supposed clubhouse incident with Justin Turner and a domestic violence investigation.

Not sure how much is smoke and how much is actual fire, but there were a lot of stories/conjecture.
   22. chisoxcollector Posted: December 18, 2019 at 06:40 PM (#5909757)
Zack Greinke threw Puig's suitcase off a bus once


Well, Greinke is one of the biggest punks of my baseball watching lifetime, so that's no surprise.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 18, 2019 at 09:08 PM (#5909778)
Well, Greinke is one of the biggest punks of my baseball watching lifetime, so that's no surprise.

Greinke? What did he ever do? Dude has social anxiety disorder, but that's far from being a "punk".

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