According to Nick Groke of The Athletic, there is “nothing” behind the rumors of Yasiel Puig coming to the Colorado Rockies.
Héctor Gómez of Deportivo Z 101 reported on Twitter that the Colorado Rockies (and Chicago White Sox) were the frontrunners to land outfielder Yasiel Puig.
That sent Rockies Twitter into happiness (at least mostly happiness) as it seemed like the Rockies were at least in significant talks to sign a major league free agent. However, Nick Groke of The Athletic reported on Twitter that internal sources have told him that there is “nothing” to the rumors.
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So, at least by projections, there’s an obvious need for quality outfielders for the Rockies (they have quantity but not necessarily quality) and Puig would present at least a slight upgrade in a corner outfield spot for the Rockies.
Puig, 29, split the 2019 season between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians. He played to a 1.3 bWAR (1.2 fWAR) in 149 games. Offensively, he had 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 148 hits, 30 doubles, a .267/.327/.458 slash line, and an OPS+ of 100. Defensively, he had 0 DRS but he had a combined 24 DRS between 2017 and 2018. His UZR and Outs Above Average numbers also say that he was around an average outfielder in 2019.
Puig would also have familiarity with the NL West if he would have joined the Rockies considering that he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first six seasons of his career (through 2018).
Puig would not be an expensive outfield option for the Rockies (or for any other team, for that matter) but at this point in the offseason, he would likely get a one-year deal in order to return to free agency next year. Therefore, he would likely be a stop-gap option.
However, with there being “nothing” to the rumors, the Rockies fans that were hoping to be close to a major league signing this offseason will have to wait, at bare minimum. Don’t hold your breath on one happening, though.