The Giants are rumored to be interested in former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, and there are several reasons why.
The 2020 baseball season is inching closer to taking off, and the hot stove could begin to burn for the San Francisco Giants once the roster freeze is lifted. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden reported Wednesday that the team is expected to be a player for Yasiel Puig’s services.
This past offseason, I weighed the pros and cons of signing the former rival, and the Giants still need help in the outfield.
San Francisco plans to deploy a combination of Hunter Pence, Mike Yastrzemski, Jaylin Davis, and Alex Dickerson in the outfield grass next season. This is not the most inspiring bunch, and the Giants could use a little extra right-handed thump.
This is where Puig comes into play. On paper, he might not be a perfect fit due to his reverse platoon splits. The veteran has posted a .255/.434/.419 line against southpaws, but he has generated a much more stout .285/.350.495 line against right-handed pitchers in his seven-year career.
He’s been dressing up as a left-handed hitter not just for Halloween, but every day since he debuted in 2013.
Regardless of this, Puig would quickly become the most potent bat in a Giants lineup that is in desperate need of more offense.
Intangible benefits of SF Giants signing Yasiel Puig
However, Puig offers more than just tangible benefits. He could bring some intangible value to the table as well.
I have gone back and forth over whether adding Puig is even a good idea. It is difficult to ignore the connection that Puig and Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi share. After all, Zaidi served as the Dodgers general manager during much of Puig’s early career.
I will admit that I am not a fan of his style of player. I am a crusty, old baseball fan who does not enjoy watching players have any fun. I am the no-fun police for when players want to express any emotion. I nip that in the bud right away. That is just the type of guy that I am.
That said, the Giants could use more players who play with the type of flair and edge that Puig exhibits. It is no secret that the personality or character of the Giants has become stale in recent seasons. Losing as much as they have since the beginning of 2017 will do that to you.
The Giants players are putting forth their best effort every game, but they do not have that someone who can light a fire under them. Mauricio Dubon and Hunter Pence might be that type of player.
Though, Puig is that type of player. He has that flair. He has that energy. At times, it is misguided. At times, he is just a weird dude:
The Giants need more of this energy. The 2020 team may not be a good one, but it will be a lot more interesting if Puig is on it.
Sure, it would be nice to give at-bats to the younger players. Though, if baseball moves forward with it’s condensed, 60-game schedule, then there are going to be few official days off. Even with brisk, 60-game season, players will need a day to heal from the grind that the season is.
On that same note, with the addition of the designated hitter in the National League, one more spot in the lineup just opened up. The goal is to get players like Dubon and Davis plenty of at-bats as they develop. If the Giants signed Puig, those players will still see plenty of playing time.
The addition of Puig seems like a longshot, but his presence on the roster would add a little extra spice to a steak that has grown bland.