Yasiel Puig‘s journey to America was a harrowing one.
He made four attempts to defect from Cuba — being imprisoned when caught — before being successfully transported out of the country by an human trafficking ring with ties to the Los Zetas drug cartel. He was held captive in a motel room while faced with death threats and extortion attempts before finally finding sanctuary and signing with the Dodgers.
And now, after seven years in the U.S., he’s an American citizen:
Puig is the fourth member of the Indians to become an American citizen this year, joining teammates Carlos Santana, Oliver Perez and Hanley Ramirez, who was released in April.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Braves and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarría reunited on a one-year, $1 million contract.
Hechavarría, 30, began the season with the Mets but was released in mid-August and joined the Braves shortly thereafter. He enjoyed more success in Atlanta, albeit in a smaller sample size. In aggregate, Hechavarría hit .241/.299/.443 with nine home runs and 33 RBI over 221 trips to the plate. More importantly, he provided versatility with above-average defense.
The Braves are banking on Hechavarría doing more of the same in 2020 as a backup infielder. He will spell Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Johan Camargo, and Austin Riley as needed.