Yasiel Puig has been one of the most polarizing figures not only in Los Angeles, but also in the Major Leagues, since his debut in June of 2013.
Puig came into the league and immediately lifted a stuck-in-the-mud Dodgers team and helped them win the NL West and reach the NLCS. His arrival coincided with Hanley Ramirez’s complete hot streak down the stretch; however, the Dodgers fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in six games. Since then Puig has consistently shown his talent, but has put off some with his bat flips, antics and off-field issues.
Regardless of what others say about the eccentric outfielder, the Dodgers have embraced their superstar and he’s rewarded them with his play on the field. Rumors and stories of Puig being an issue in the clubhouse have swirled since that first year, yet his teammates have never mentioned anything that says they have issues with the 24-year-old.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, there is a teammate that believes getting rid of Puig wouldn’t be a bad thing:
We’ve talked about this,” one Dodgers player told Yahoo Sports. “At this point, it would be addition by subtraction.”
Passan goes deeper into possible issues involving Puig, some taken from Molly Knight’s upcoming book, The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse.
Puig was benched on Opening Day in 2014 after showing up late to Dodger Stadium, but he hasn’t been benched for tardiness since then. In the dugout, it appears that Puig is liked and he’s always one of the first players out to celebrate. The All-Star is now without Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe; however, it doesn’t seem to have changed much on the outside.
Players won’t ever publicly say that Puig is a problem, but the fact that one feels strongly enough to say that a trade would be a good thing isn’t exactly what the organization wants to see.