With the Chicago White Sox looking for a potential impact bat this offseason, here is a name to consider: Yasiel Puig. While there are several pros and cons to acquiring Puig from the Los Angeles Dodgers, keep in mind he is one of the most talented players in all of baseball.
While Puig has shown flashes of brilliance, he has also made plays that make little leaguers look smart. Lets look at the pros and cons of bringing Puig to the South Side.
Since Puig had an injury plagued, below average season in 2015, he might be had for less than usual. Not to mention maturity questions (clubhouse issues, off field, etc.) would decrease his value.
Puig has had some run-ins with teammates and coaches over the last couple of seasons, making me wonder if he might need a change of scenery. Would changing teams do wonders for Puig? While I am not sure, I think it has a legit possibility of happening this offseason.
Puig is arguably the best player in the game when it comes to pure talent. Now what’s between his ears is another story, but his physical tools are off the charts. Even a Mike Trout or Bryce Harper is not as “physically” gifted, however when it comes to actually putting it together on the field they are at a whole different level.
The only players that I think come close to Puig (talent wise) are Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes, but even those two have accomplished more at the MLB level. If a team can ever get Puig’s full ability out of him, they will have an MVP candidate on their hands.
Due to Puig’s locker room antics, he could become an issue in the clubhouse. Plus, he has run into issues away from the ballpark. Keep in mind the fact that many players have had off field issues when they were young and then matured into great players and citizens.
However, Puig seems to rub teammates and coaches the wrong way. That is something that can divide a locker room. Immaturity is something MLB teams do not have time for. They are paying these players huge money, and don’t have time for teenage behavior.
The injury bug seems to strike Puig from time to time. Puig only played in 79 games last season (keep in mind some of that was due to the Dodgers crowed outfield) however he doesn’t always stay on the field. If Puig could have a year such as 2014, I think it would be worth acquiring him. However, that is a big if on top of the rest of his baggage.
To summarize this, Puig is one of the great talents in baseball. However, he shouldn’t be the number one option in right field for the White Sox if they are scouring the trade market. There are too many risks involved, and he has a chance to destroy any sense of team. I love Puig as a talent, but he has a lot to learn as a player. I still think Puig has a lot to learn before he becomes one of baseball’s true superstars. If he is to become one, it needs to be in a town with a small media market. And that would certainly not be Chicago.