Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig has found a new home following a blockbuster trade between the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers. Puig, 28, will join teammates Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer in Cincinnati. The Dodgers have received right-handed pitcher Homer Bailey and two top prospects, right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray (#20) and shortstop/second baseman Jeter Downs (#7) in the seven-player trade deal.
The “Wild Horse” leaves the Los Angeles Dodgers after five seasons. 14 months after defecting from Cuba, Puig had a stellar start to his career in 2013 season with a .319 average, 19 home runs and 42 RBIs. Puig instantly became a baseball sensation, becoming an intriguing figure that captured the attention of all fans and the media.
Throughout his career Puig has been plagued with injuries, that has weighed down on his superstardom. However, his euphoric energy and damaging presence in the batter’s box and outfield has raised his trade value.
The native of Cienfuegos, Cuba has made back-to-back World Series appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017 and 2018. Puig contributed to the 2018 World Series campaign by producing 23 home runs and 63 RBIs over 125 games during the season. Since entering the league five years ago, Puig holds a career .279 average with 108 home runs and 331 RBIs in 712 games played.
Puig will reunite with hitting coach Turner Ward, who has coached Puig from 2016 to 2018. Ward signed a deal with the Reds and is their new hitting coach. Puig will also join Cuban right-handed pitcher Raisel Iglesias as the only two Cubans on the Cincinnati Reds active roster.
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