The Yankees, somehow, are still interested in Yasiel Puig.
Fans are aware the Yankees are in search of another outfielder as the situation with Brett Gardner remains unsettled and trade speculation continues to surround Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman until the team officially clears two roster spots or gets their hands on another capable starting pitcher.
While Marcell Ozuna has somehow remained a distant rumored option for the Bombers, a more realistic and cost-effective one in Puig has also kept his name in the mix. Right now, according to MLB insider Jim Bowden, the Yankees are one of three teams that still remain a possibility for the Cuban slugger.
Puig got some offseason work in while playing for Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League, but he appeared in jus five games and went 3-for-13 with seven walks. At this point, he profiles as a fourth outfield option on a contender or a starter on a bottom-feeder.
Though his 2019 stats weren’t bad at all, teams are still likely concerned about his consistency as well as his “character” issues, though the 31-year-old did say he’s changing his ways and is ready to put all the distracting behavior in the rearview.
He’s no doubt a fit with the Yankees in the event the outfield becomes a bit more thin due to forthcoming transactions, but with the way things stand right now, some heavy lifting will have to be done to make room for Puig.
The Yankees currently have a full 40-man roster and still have to clear two spots for DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber. Once they do that, they’ll have to clear more space for any incoming players via free agency or trade. We don’t know who that will be, but we have a fairly solid idea.
And let’s put it this way: Puig, given his alleged “change in behavior,” might be more willing to be a depth piece on a World Series contender instead of a starter on a team like the Royals or Marlins. We’d like to think he’ll hold out for as long as it takes if it means getting the chance to play for a ring. But that’s just our feeling.