Trading Yasiel Puig feels like a touchy subject within the Dodger community. He, as Vin Scully puts it, is the wild horse. He is only 25 years old, and still has a boatload of potential.

Dodgers fans like myself fell in love with them when he first joined the team in June of 2013, when the San Diego Padres didn’t know what to do with him and threw him easy pitches that went for home runs. Puig also proved he can be a 5 tool player, showing off his speed and his ability to get guys out from the outfield. He showed he’s one of a kind, and he’s ours.

Fast forward to today, and Puig is not the same guy. Teams have figured out to pitch to Puig, which basically is trying to get him to chase pitches. Puig is still in love with swinging at the first pitches, which can put him in a quick 0-1 hole in the pitch count. He also has lapses in the field, sometimes overrunning bases only to get out, or throwing the ball home allowing a runner to reach the next base. We know all of this. But then he does this.

Whether you like Puig or not, we all have an emotional attachment to the guy, and those who still defend him are attached to his potential. He’s the girlfriend you are struggling with and debating whether you should break up with her or not, but you want it to work. He may end up like a Tim Tebow or a Vince Young, never living up to his potential. People were enamored with Tebow’s athleticism and Young’s speed, but they never stuck in the NFL. Another example that comes to mind is Michelle Wie (shoutout to women’s golf!). Wie came into the sport as a 16 year old and was supposed to be the face of the sport. But she flamed out.

AJ Ellis and Yasiel Puig – Do Intangibles Matter?

On the flip side, Puig can come back and be the next Jimmy Butler or an Andrew McCutchen, two athletes that didn’t figure it out right away but are now stars. Puig can even stay flashy and still be good, like a Terrell Owens or a Dennis Rodman kind of player. The sky is the limit for that guy. But as of right now, he isn’t there, most recently shown by him partying in OKC with his teammates.

Puig is currently on trade waivers, and if Puig is traded by Wednesday, that player is eligible to make the playoff roster. This doesn’t give a lot of time, but if the Milwaukee Brewers ask for Puig and offer Ryan Braun, the Dodgers have to listen.

Braun isn’t exactly a fan favorite to Dodgers fans, as some of us are still salty that Braun robbed Matt Kemp of the 2011 MVP, just to get caught for taking steroids. Regardless of this, Braun can still rake. At age 33, Braun has a .314 average with 24 home runs, showing that he still has power despite him being over 30. Also, Braun is a right-hander, which would help the Dodgers woes on hitting left handed pitching, because the Dodgers are a left hand dominant lineup. If the Dodgers trade for Braun, they would put him in right field, keep Joc Pederson in center, and have a major platoon in left field with Kendrick, Reddick, and Ethier if/when he comes back.

The Dodgers are primed to win now. Adrian Gonzalez is 34 and isn’t going to stay this good forever. Justin Turner is 31 and is in the prime of his career, and will soon get a big pay raise. Starting second baseman Chase Utley is 37 and in the twilight of his career. Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen are 28, the age considered to be a player’s peak. Kenta Maeda, although a rookie, is 28, and the bullpen arms like Adam Libertore and Pedro Baez are 29 and 28, respectively. There are obvious exceptions like Corey Seager and Pederson, but the majority of the team isn’t 25 and under. The Dodgers aren’t getting any younger, and trading Puig for Braun might bring that extra edge the Dodgers desperately need to win now. Braun is proven talent, and Puig is the opposite.

Like I said before, the Dodgers wouldn’t have a lot of time to make this deal, but if this deal is dangled in front of Andrew Friedman, he should strongly consider it.

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About The Author

As well as being a Journalism student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I am a passionate Dodgers fan who represents L.A. through and through (minus the Clippers). Side note: I also want nothing more than the San Francisco Giants' "even year" mantra to end.

12 Responses

  1. battleon

    As a ’58 lifetime Dodger fan, I was enamored with Puig at first, but after the polish wore off and his “it’s all about me” attitude, I have all but zero interest in him….except. After seeing the Dodgers for years, waste great talent by giving up early on guys…Pedro, Beltre, Werth etc. (add your own), I don’t believe that Braun is an answer. He’s may have a couple of years left in him, but like you said he’ll never sit well with the fans and he’s old like a lot of this team. I think the sometimes brain-dead braintrust, is hoping a little time in OKC may a give a little attitude adjustment to Puig and after staying down till the call up (if they do call), change his “about me” attitude. I don’t feel he’ll be worth any less next year if the FO keeps him and see’s how this plays out. But he could be worth a lot more if they wait till Spring ’17 to see. This team has plenty of guys that can play RF and Dre’s on his way back. Look, this team probably won’t get past the first round again this year cuz of pitching, so why not wait another year to see if “the 666” will come around?

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  2. bobthehop

    It is so past time for a NEW world series championship in LA, so tired of seeing all the old accomplishments and our counter part up North willing 3 of last few years. It’s time for Dodger baseball to be winners and have Vinny on TV and call a championship and his final year in the booth…..what a ride, huh!! Win it 4 Vinny!!

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  3. Robert Hamilton

    This FO has loaded up with left handed hitters. Now here comes Andre. Knowing that he would eventually return, and what do they do? Go out and get a lefty with three holes in his bat. Just know that whatever this FO do with Puig, it won’t make any sense. A Leopard can’t change his stripes.

    Reply
  4. sdunn

    I would trade Puig for Braun but I do not just trade Puig for nothing.  I am a Puig fan.  I would be a fan of keeping him and getting him back in left field asap if the trade deadline passes.

    Reply
  5. Smokachu

    sdunn The trade deadline passed almost a month ago. Puig is on waivers the only way this deal would come up is if Milwaukee made the offer, but I don’t see Milwaukee taking Puig for Braun straight up.

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  6. sdunn

    Smokachu sdunn Trade/waiver it would still be a trade.  I know the difference thanks.  They may make the deal straight up because of the money owed to Braun and they want to rebuild.  They will probably ask for more but Puig only and salary dump may get it done.

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  7. BigDonD

    I’m constantly amazed at how soon in baseball we want to give up on talent, especially the 5-tool kind like Puig has shown. These kind don’t fall off the tree, although some take time to ripen up to their potential. From the AS break on Puig has shown the player we all came to love and yet the media pundits love to point to the overall yearly average of .260 to make their case to trade him. Of course we need to remember that these voices that get in our heads are out for ratings and nothing attracts our sponge minds more that a little “dirty laundry”. Just look at how long the Ryan Lochte saga was played for. We’ve also been fed all these 2nd or third hand stories about Puig being a bad teammate. Since when has that stopped some of the best teams in history for having these guys help them win. The A’s of the early seventies was ripe with egos and non-comradery, but they won nonetheless. Did the Yankees send don Babe Ruth for his antics (he was suspended for a brief time, but not long enough to keep the team from winning) and by all accounts Ty Cobb was a real tool. We’re not asking that these guys come to dinner with the family, but to WIN, because despite all the moralistic sentiment, winning is what it is about, for good or bad, in sports. So let’s not give up on the Wild Horse for a past the pasture player we all don’t like anyway. If you’re going to do a trade, please get some starting pitching for someone whose middle initials should be “DL” We’ve got some very good outfielders like Toles with Ethier perhaps on the way back and Alex Verdugo and Yusniel Diaz in the wings, so if you’re going to throw Puig to the wind and hope he doesn’t burn you down the stretch then get something you need, maybe like Ervin Santana who has also cleared for the revocable and who is pitching some of the best innings of his life and could be a difference maker for the rest of this season and beyond. Personally, I want to see Yasiel return and have a great career with the Blue, but if not, then get more in return than an old pair of cleats.

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  8. Smokachu

    sdunn Smokachu then I have no clue why you mentioned the trade deadline passing. As much as Milwaukee might like the salary dump, Puig’s “attitude problems” and his 5 mil a year don’t really make him much better by way of alternatives. Especially when they could get 3-4 prospects for him. If they were looking to rebuild behind Puig, seems like the wrong guy to do that with.

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  9. Smokachu

    BigDonD What 5 tools? I’d be quick to point out how many “5 took players” turned into Raul Mondesi. Even when Puig hit for average it was inconsistent. He’s got an arm but that means nothing if you can’t hit the cutoff man. You could have all the power in the world if you have no accuracy, it ain’t helping anyone. His fielding abilities and base-running are sub-par, both marred by the one thing that’s holding him back the most. His head. He doesn’t get good a good read off the bat, he doesn’t get good jumps off the pitcher, he makes terrible decisions. He can have all the speed in the world if he’s using it to make up for his bad jump, he’s still not gonna get there any quicker then the next guy. Ryan Lotke? How long HAS the Olympics have barely ended, the case is still open. Meanwhile you talk of Puig’s bad laundry, how does a person get such a bad reputation? I loved his attitude when he first got sent to the minors, but he reported late, and now he’s tweeting how he’s not having fun and he’s actually UPSET that the Dodgers are in first place because they’re doing it without him… I’ve defending him all along on the “dirty laundry” stating how much people like to overblow things, but Puig really does make questionable decisions at time that put himself ahead of his team. Going in to the world series, we need a team more then we need any singular talented player. When’s the last time you saw a me-first guy win anyway? After watching San Fran suffer through Barry Bonds’s career I would think we’d know better then to want that on our team. As for Ruth and Cobb, you’re talking about an entirely different game back then. A time when you took the bus to your next game, where it was difficult to find players willing to make the sacrifice of being away from home and their families to play the game professionally, and a time when players made peanuts compared to today. Babe Ruth’s 80,000 salary would equate to a little over 1 million dollars by today’s standards, and that was the ceiling. How many players today would play knowing that if they’re the most talented player in the league, they might make 1 million dollars?

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