Yasiel Puig made his much-anticipated return to Dodger Stadium following an offseason trade that sent him to Cincinnati. The game had even more intrigue as Clayton Kershaw was activated from the injured list to make his season debut.
Puig’s day started off in Puigian style. He was characteristically late to his pre-game press conference. When he actually addressed the media, Puig expressed how happy he is with his new situation and his new teammates, especially Joey Votto.
In his first at-bat against his former team, Puig drove a slider Kershaw out to center field for a two-run home run. You can’t draw it up any better than that.
The dinger, of course, would not have been complete without a celebratory bat toss.
Puig hit his first homer of the year on Sunday against the Cardinals. He entered the night with a .502 OPS on the season. Perhaps he’s starting to heat up.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.