Braves to Sign Yasiel Puig

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Sep 22, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) looks on from the dugout against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pending a physical, the Atlanta Braves will sign Yasiel Puig for the 2020 season.

The right-fielder hit 24 home runs in 149 games last season, spending time with the Reds and the Indians. He had a slash line of .267/.327/.458. He also added 30 doubles and 19 stolen bases.

After six seasons with the Dodgers, Puig made his way to Cincinnati. He was a below-average hitter for the Reds, posting a 95 OPS+ in 404 plate appearances. However, a trade to Cleveland sparked Puig down the stretch. Puig had an OPS of .800 with the Indians, a reasonable comparison to his stretch with the Dodgers. With Cleveland, he had an OPS+ of 109 in 49 games, fueled by a contact-centric approach.

What Does It Mean for the Braves to Sign Yasiel Puig?

The Braves were hit with a sledgehammer of outfielder Nick Markakis opting out of the season. While the Braves had many options before Markakis decided to opt-out, only Ronald Acuna inspired much confidence. Puig will likely compete with Marcell Ozuna and Adam Duvall for plate appearances in left field or as the designated hitter. Acuna will play most games in right field, but Puig could offer league-average defense while Acuna rests or plays as a DH.

While Puig is not going to make or break the Braves, the former All-Star adds some juice to a potentially potent Atlanta outfield.


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