5) Los Angeles Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig
Puig is a great buy-low candidate. The whole baseball world knows Puig has talent. But, after Dodgers manager Dave Roberts benched Puig for admiring a shot off the wall that turned into a long single, it’s clear the Dodgers want to get rid of him.
Add in Puig’s response after the game and you have a rapidly deteriorating relationship:
The Kansas City Royals should consider accommodating them. Yes, the 25-year-old Puig is only slashing .246/.287/.380. But everyone knows he’s better than that. Puig has power, he boasts a strong arm, and can play good defense.
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He oozes strong tools that need to be harnessed. The first step is getting him out of what has become a toxic environment and put him in a lower-pressure city with a healthy clubhouse culture, preferably with a strong core of Latin players to make him feel welcome.
Hello, Kansas City looks like the perfect place.
Venezeulan Salvador Perez is a team leader and is the same age as Puig. Add in Alcides Escobar, Edinson Volquez, and Joakim Soria and the Kansas CIty boasts numerous Latin-American veterans who can show Puig the way.
Add in fellow Cuban Kendrys Morales, who knows all about the cultural adjustments Puig has been struggling with, a baseball mad city that lacks the crazy distractions of Los Angeles, along with an opportunity to win, and you have an ideal situation to get the best from Puig.
Given his current problems, he should come cheap.
Next: The Surprise Comeback