The Giants reportedly are in deep contract talks with former Los Angeles Dodger Yasiel Puig
There aren’t many players Giants fans would go far as to saying they “hate.” Maybe someone like Melky Cabrera when he used PEDs and lied about his suspension or A.J. Pierzynski because of his attitude and maltreatment of then-athletic trainer Stan Conte.
But Puig is in a league of his own.
Over their championship runs through the 2010s, the Giants built a reputation for bringing on players of a certain professional caliber and team-first mentality.
These are not qualities Puig is known for.
If anything, he has shown the opposite during his days as a Dodger when butting heads with the Giants. Whether confronting Madison Bumgarner or Nick Hundley, the San Francisco fanbase has not seen the best sides of the outfielder.
But putting bad blood aside, the potential deal does not make much sense for the Giants either.
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The team is openly saying they are rebuilding. Though the Giants signed Hunter Pence, someone at the tail end of his career, the move was for a positive clubhouse presence on a young team. Signing Puig would effectively be the opposite of that.
So all that remains is the front office wants to bring him in for his skills.
Puig and Director of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi spent several years together in L.A., so Zaidi knows what Puig brings to the table. Or at least, what he used to.
Back in Los Angeles, Puig hit .279/.353/.478 for .831 OPS and was worth 17.6 WAR.
Though only 29 years old right now, Puig has been moving backwards in his career.
He was traded by the Dodgers to the Cincinnati Reds Dec. 2018, but then was flipped to the Cleveland Indians in Jul. 2019. In that time, he batted .267/.327 /.458 with a .785 OPS and made similar defensive mistakes as he had in seasons prior.
How does it make sense for a rebuilding team to take on a struggling slugger and defensive liability?
Puig could be a worthwhile signing if the Giants were competing for the playoffs, but that is unlikely to be the case as the latest FanGraphs projections lists San Francisco finishing last in the National League West.
Zaidi and Co. have been making effective moves for the team thus far as seen by the success brought by Mauricio Dubon, Alex Dickerson, and Mike Yastrzemski. If the report is true, Puig must bring similar success with him to San Francisco, and it had better be because the front office believes they can create a contender in the near future.
Anything less than effective hitting and fielding by Puig, while being a tolerable teammate, and bringing wins with him will be a disappointment to San Francisco Giants fans.