Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw have both made headlines this offseason in ways (however indirectly) they’d probably prefer stayed away from the news cycle.
Now, though, they’ll have an opportunity to get on the same page while spreading MLB’s image into Cuba, Puig’s native homeland. More on that in a bit.
First, it was Kershaw reportedly throwing Puig under the bus through Scott Van Slyke’s dad, Andy. According to the elder Van Slyke, Kershaw (while not explicitly named) wanted Puig traded. Kershaw would deny the report, but from Puig’s perspective, it couldn’t have been pleasant to hear such things said about him, especially from so high on the roster.
Then, in a more directly controversial sequence of events, Puig was involved in an incident in a Miami nightclub that ranged in description from “brawl” to “pushing match” and wound up putting Puig under MLB’s microscope as part of the new domestic violence policy. Allegedly, Puig shoved his sister as part of the eventful night.
He’ll be allowed to travel while MLB investigates his case.
ESPN reports that Cuba has promised Cuban players going on the trip will be allowed to depart the country safely after the trip is completed. We’ve all heard about how hard it was for Puig to make it out here and having to be promised he won’t be arrest on-sight just further shows how complicated that issue is.
For Puig and Kershaw, meanwhile, they’ll have the opportunity to work through any issues they have without daily, Dodgers-centric competition at the forefront of everyone’s priorities.
You could make the argument they’re the team’s two most-talented players (the case of Kershaw is obviously much easier to make, being the best pitcher on planet earth and all), so if the trip has any positive effect on that relationship, everyone within the organization stands to benefit.