Should the LA Angels make a run for Yasiel Puig?

Jul 31, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson (31) celebrates his two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) during the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson (31) celebrates his two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) during the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

For LA Angels fans, I know what I’m about to say may ruffle your feathers a little bit or may even a lot. However, with the Angels great ‘Black Hole’ otherwise known as left field, the problem could be solved by two little words: Yasiel Puig.

Most baseball fans across the country including LA Angels fans, know the name of Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.  Puig is guy with massive talent, but has been deemed a head case by the Dodgers organization.  Yesterday before the trade deadline ended, reports came out of Los Angeles that Puig was told he would either be traded or demoted to Triple-A if a suitable replacement was acquired.  The Dodgers acquired outfielder Josh Reddick from Oakland: Step 1 Completed. So what about step 2: Trading Puig or sending him to the minors. So far neither has happened but ‘The day ain’t over yet’.

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With all this being said it was obvious that the Dodgers were attempting to trade Puig, but no one seemed to want the 25-year old who has been said to be a five-tool player, because of all the off field issues. According to, after Puig was told the ultimatum that he was being traded or demoted to the minors, he stormed out of the clubhouse and went home.  Reports also say that Puig was not on the Dodgers flight to Denver where they will play the Rockies tonight.

So where do the Angels come in to all of this?  That answer is simple, yet complex.  The Angels have had a revolving door in left field really since Garrett Anderson was let go after the 2008 season.  Juan Rivera filled in admirably for two seasons, but it went downhill from there. The Vernon Wells two-year stint and the Josh Hamilton experiment also went majorly awry. The  two seasons since have been even more chaotic as the Angels have 12 different players take the field in left and none of them have produced very well, with maybe the exception being David Murphy in the final two moths of the 2015 season.

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So yes I’m saying, what you think I am saying, the Angels should take a chance on Yasiel Puig to fill that black hole with some color (personality) and loads of talent.  When Puig burst on the scene in 2013 after defecting from Cuba, Dodgers fans thought he was the best thing since Manny Ramirez triumphant entrance in the late 2000’s.  Puig, could hit for average and power. He had tremendous speed and range in the outfield, and lastly a cannon for a right arm.

In only 104 games in 2013 Puig hit .319 with 19 homers and 42 RBI’s which was good enough to finish second the NL Rookie of the Year race.  He followed it up with an All-Star season in 2014 where he hit .296 with 16 homers and 69 RBI’s.  However, things started to unravel as he was constantly in former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly‘s dog house.  Then he started having injury issues that limited him to only 81 games last season and 79 of Dodgers 105 games this season. Puig’s production also suffered as well with all his numbers going down.

So again you might ask why the Angels should go after him? This where it gets complex.  The Angels need a steady every day left field who can produce decent numbers, Puig can provide that and possibly more when healthy.  Granted he is not a left fielder playing only two games there in his career, but it would not be a major transition for a player with Puig’s talent.  Imagine an outfield with Puig, Trout, and Calhoun.  The defense including the arms of Calhoun and Puig would be scary good.  Offensively as well a line-up that already has Escobar, Calhoun, Trout, Pujols, and hopefully back soon C.J. Cron would be pretty formidable.

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Now about the other issues, what would it take to get Puig and how would the Angels reel him in so he does not become a train wreck like he has been in Los Angeles.  The Dodgers are so willing to get rid of Puig they will take much less than face value, maybe a couple of mid-level prospects at most.  Puig’s contract is very friendly as well as he is owed 17 million over the next two seasons which is not a great deal of money nowadays in baseball standards.  I’m sure if the Angels pushed hard enough they could get the Dodgers to pay some of that contract maybe even 7 million or so over the next two years making the price down to 10 million dollars for two years. I hope you’re seeing where I’m going with this.

Now as far as Puig’s antics, I feel that Scioscia and his staff have done pretty well with tough player personalities and not letting them get out of hand.  Also with the veteran presence of Albert Pujols and Jered Weaver, and even Mike Trout I think Puig will have a bunch of class acts to follow and also have one of them (most likely Pujols) take him under their wing.  Not saying the Dodgers don’t have classy players or veteran leaders, but none with the clout of a Pujols or the fieriness of Weaver, or the talent of Trout.  I really think this is worth a shot especially to bring him in within the next few weeks for a two-month trial run when there is no pressure of the pennant race (sad, but true) and Puig can just work on finding his way back to health and respectability while not being under such a microscope.

A change of scenery has done wonders for many a player, and that could be the case with Puig.  With low cost over the next two seasons and the potential for high rewards Puig could provide, it is a risk worth taking.  The Angels took some risk with prospects they acquired yesterday in trades for Hector Santiago and Joe Smith, so why not take one more risk Mr. Eppler.  This is not Josh Hamilton who was already in his 30’s when the Angels signed him to a ridiculous 5-year $125 million dollar contract in 2013.  It is also not Vernon Wells who had an equally ridiculous contract when the Angels traded for the 32-year old Wells in 2011, and watched him flop.

Puig may not be the perfect fit for the Angels, but he is much better than what we have at the moment even with all the negative.  The Dodgers have still seemed to flourish with the Puig distraction and I think the Angels could as well and maybe harness the youngster’s energy a little better than Dodgers have.  Let’s see what happens.