Quintin Berry
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Quintin Berry retires

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Former outfielder Quintin Berry announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Friday night. He’s expected to take a front office role as outfield and baserunning coordinator for the club in 2019, though his new position has yet to be officially confirmed.

Berry, 33, saw limited exposure in the majors over the course of his 13-year pro ball career. He got his start in the league with the Tigers, who utilized him for the better part of their 2012 campaign and saw him bat a healthy .258/.330/.354 with 18 extra bases and 21 stolen bases through 330 PA. He was dealt to the Red Sox for right-hander Clayton Mortensen in 2013 and found himself in a heavily reduced role, but returned to pinch run in the postseason and was still able to count himself part of the team that ended up clinching a World Series title that fall.

Following his final major league appearance in 2017, during which the fleet-footed outfielder appeared in just seven games with the Brewers, Berry holds a lifetime .262/.333/.364 batting line, 19 extra-base hits, and 29 stolen bases. He played out the remainder of his playing career in back-to-back stints with the Brewers and Yankees’ Triple-A affiliates in 2018, but elected not to pursue additional opportunities in the minors in 2019.

Moving forward, Berry will help the Brewers hone their running game even further. The club finished first among all NL teams and fifth in the league overall after swiping 124 bags in 2018, owing in large part to Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich‘s career-high marks of 30 and 22 stolen bases, respectively. Still, there’s likely something to be gleaned from a player who capped a dozen seasons in the minors with 399 stolen bases in 496 chances, even if he never got the opportunity to prove his prowess on a big league stage.

Yasiel Puig is still a free agent

Yasiel Puig
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Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.

There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.

The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.