According to Jon Heyman, the San Diego Padres are among the teams interested in Yasiel Puig. What implications would his presence have on the roster?
As the San Diego Padres ramp up activities towards a 60-game, abbreviated season, they will benefit from the league implementing a universal DH a couple of years earlier than expected. And according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Friars are among the handful of teams reportedly interested in free agent Yasiel Puig.
Padres fans are familiar with Puig from his days in Los Angeles, and he was part of the trade that sent Taylor Trammell to San Diego last July. He’s long been linked to the Giants, which wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, given where they are as a franchise.
Recent rumors have the Red Sox being the most interested party right now, but Puig would be the perfect DH for a National League team ready to take the next step.
What would Puig’s arrival do to the Padres roster?
Francisco Mejia, Wil Myers, or Josh Naylor have been popular DH candidates among the Friar Faithful, but if Puig is signed to be slotted into that role, the addition would have quite the roster shakeup.
First, and foremost, the Padres would be limited to utilize Mejia’s bat only on days that he’s behind the plate. Josh Naylor’s playing time would likely be reduced as well, especially with a full outfield of Pham-Grisham-Myers from left to right.
Puig’s arrival would also limit any playing time for Trammell, who raised some eyebrows in the spring exhibitions. That said, Puig could be a relatively inexpensive signing. He made approximately $9.6M between the Indians and Reds last season.
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Utilizing a straight ratio of that salary over 60 games gets us to approximately $3.6M. It depends on whether Puig is looking for a “prove-it” contract for 2020, with the expectation of signing a long-term deal in the offseason.
If that’s the case, I suppose the Padres need to ask themselves if they are comfortable with the ripple effect of another player needing regular playing time would have on the roster.
He doesn’t turn 30 years of age until December, so he figures to have plenty left in the tank. Puig has been outspoken during his time in the majors, so the Padres would also have to be comfortable having a strong personality on their roster. You just hope he wouldn’t become a distraction.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.