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.
Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.
McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.
2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.