We knew this was coming yesterday, but now it is official: Yasiel Puig has been sent to the minors, per the press release of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Notably, the press release does not say which minor league club he is being sent to. Until we hear otherwise we’ll assume Triple-A Oklahoma City but, really, who knows?
As we have noted several times in recent weeks, Puig has had flashes of superstardom and still has the potential to be star, but it’s obvious that his development has stalled. Injuries are a part of that but not all of it and he has declined in each of the past three years. He’s hitting .260/.320/.386 with only seven homers on the year and is on pace for his worst season as a big leaguer. He has improved a tick since his most recent stint on the disabled list, but not enough for the Dodger brass. Yesterday’s acquisition of Josh Reddick, a better hitter and healthier player, was an acknowledgment that the Dodgers think they can win the NL West this year and that Puig in right field is not the best way to accomplish it.
The Dodgers tried to trade Puig yesterday, but if they had done so, it certainly would’ve been a case of selling low. Assuming Puig reports to Oklahoma City with a good attitude and a desire to play his way back to the bigs, he should be successful against minor league competition. If so, he’ll be a more attractive candidate for a trade after clearing waivers, which he likely will given that he is owed $17 million.