Age: Dec. 7, 1990 (28)
Statistics: .267/.327/.494, 21 2B, 3B, 23 HR, 63 RBI, 15 SB, 5 CS
Advanced Stats: 2.7 bWAR, 1.8 fWAR, 120 OPS+, 123 wRC+
Defensive Statistics: 6 DRS, -3.6 UZR
In a report from Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, it appears the Dodgers are once again attempting to move Yasiel Puig this offseason. The Dodgers are clearly motivated as they already have Cody Bellinger, Enrique Hernandez, Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, and Alex Verdugowho can play outfield.
If the Dodgers were to trade Puig, they would be moving one of the most dynamic and yet enigmatic players in all of baseball. Mostly, they are getting rid of a lightning rod of a player.
For some people, they see an entertaining baseball player quick to bat flip. He’s a quirky guy who licks his bat. He hustles all over the baseball field. He has the sense of the moment, and when he delivers, he is the first to celebrate. Mostly, his defenders see a good baseball player who makes watching the game more fun.
The detractors see an inconsistent baseball player who has not fulfilled his immense potential. Like he’s doing now, Puig can be a bit of a malcontent who will allow playing time and personal problems affect his performance. Instead of a hustling player, they see a reckles sone who detracts from his play and his team. They don’t like the bat flips or the other histrionics.
In the middle of all of this is a player who is a very good defensive right fielder. Over the last three years, he is behind just Mookie Betts and Jason Heyward in DRS among right fielders. Over the last two years, he has the 20th best wRC+ among Major League outfielders. He has an average strikeout and walk rate. Oddly enough, he has had reverse splits his entire career.
Mostly, Puig is a 27 year old baseball player purportedly in the beginning of his prime, and he is a player who is going to be motivated as the 2019 season will be his last one before free agency.
Why the Mets Should Obtain Him
Puig is a star player who could very well thrive in New York. Looking at the career numbers and the age, this is like getting a better version of Yoenis Cespedes. More than that, he adds another huge bat to the Mets lineup at a somewhat discounted price, at least one cheaper than what A.J. Pollock is currently demanding in free agency.
Put another way, Puig is a very good baseball player who does many things well. He should quickly become a fan favorite, and he should make the Mets a much better team.
Why the Mets Should Not Obtain Him
Looking at the Mets roster, they are already too left-handed heavy. All of their best players are left-handed hitters, and they need an impact right-handed bat to balance that out. Despite being a right-handed batter, Puig is not that guy. For his career, Puig is career .250/.340/.417 hitter against left-handed pitchers. He was worse than that this year hitting .209/.268/.360.
In his report, Hernandez says he does not expect the Dodgers to just give Puig away, but at the same time, he does not expect the Dodgers to get much in return. With the outfield logjam and the issues the team has had with Puig, they may be motivated to move a player who they will very likely not offer a qualifying offer after the conclusion of the 2019 season.
If the Mets are able to swing a trade without parting with one of their position players or key pitchers, the team should absolutely make a move to obtain Puig as he instantly makes them a much better team, and he will also allow the Mets to have some payroll flexibility to address other needs this offseason.