Marlins Rumors: Checking in on Yasiel Puig in free agency

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 22: Oscar Mercado #35 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates his three run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies with Yasiel Puig #66 as he returns to the dugout in the fifth inning at Progressive Field on September 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 22: Oscar Mercado #35 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates his three run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies with Yasiel Puig #66 as he returns to the dugout in the fifth inning at Progressive Field on September 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /
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With a need to add more lumber to the middle of the order, would Yasiel Puig make sense to add this offseason? Puig could be a steal for the Marlins.

Slugger Yasiel Puig remains a free agent with a few possible landing spots. The Miami Marlins could use a power hitter in the outfield or at first base. There appears to be some interest by the ball club in the 28-year-old hitter, but is there enough to spark real talks during free agency.

Per Craig Mish on his Twitter account, there is a connection between manager Don Mattingly and Puig from their days together with the Los Angeles Dodgers and yes, the Marlins do have an eye on him. But the team is also looking to add other names to the roster. There are a few players the team has put ahead of Puig, whose reputation on the diamond may turn some teams away.

There is no denying the power and play of Puig, but is it a gamble to the franchise that must show a modest return on this kind of investment?

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According to Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer, the American League makes more sense for Puig, but there are National League teams out there looking to add his bat in free agency.

"“After six years with the Los Angeles Dodgers between 2013 and 2018 and one split between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians in 2019, the 28-year-old right fielder is a free agent for the first time. Based on his name value and combination of above-average power, speed, and arm strength, he ought to be a high-value target,” writes Rymer.“In actuality, Puig is, at best, the sixth-most-desirable position player available after Anthony Rendon, Josh Donaldson, Yasmani Grandal, Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna. Some publications—namely MLB Trade Rumors, which ranks him 37th overall—think even less of him as a free agent.”"

Of those listed above, Castellanos and Ozuna should have been high on the Marlins radar. Cost-effectiveness might have played a role in how the front office has dealt with signing players this offseason so far. Both Castellanos and Ozuna would require a contract more than what Miami might be willing to spend.

Puig might come at a better bargain price. He could also fill in at first base for the Marlins, a team looking to add versatility as well as power around the diamond. The Marlins have other names to consider, but should still keep the door to a possibility of signing Puig open.

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