The Red Sox are among the teams who could possibly sign free-agent outfielder Yasiel Puig, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Per Heyman, who appeared on Thursday night’s edition of MLB Tonight, the Red Sox are one of four clubs “who have been mentioned as possibilities” for the 29-year-old outfielder. The others being the Giants, Padres, and Rays.
Arguably the best free agent remaining ahead of the start of the 2020 season, Puig did have major-league offers on the table prior the coronavirus-induced, league-wide shutdown. The Marlins, for instance, were one of those teams who had offered the Cuba national a one-year deal.
But, as Heyman noted, Puig wanted to hold out in the hopes of playing in front of bigger crowds.
That component to his decision is off the table now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it would appear that guaranteed money and/or playing time would be most prevalent in Puig’s pursuit to find a new club.
Splitting time between the Reds and Indians last season, the one-time All-Star slashed .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs and 84 RBI over 149 games played primarily as a right fielder.
The Red Sox, as currently constructed, are a team that has a solid amount of outfield depth at the major-league level. Between Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., Alex Verdugo, Kevin Pillar, and J.D. Martinez, it’s somewhat difficult to see how Puig would fit in that crowded outfield picture in 2020.
Of course, as noted quality Twitter follow @RedSoxStats brings up, “If the Sox know they have any room below the tax threshold, they should gobble up any talent [at] any position.”
It’s definitely surprising that Puig is still on the open market six days after MLB’s freeze on roster moves was lifted. On a personal note, I don’t view Boston as favorites to sign the former Dodgers star, but it will certainly be fascinating to watch how things unfold regarding Puig and other free agents in the coming days.