Marlins: Making an even bigger case for Yasiel Puig

Will the Marlins make a serious push to add Yasiel Puig to the lineup for the 2020 season?

With all the talk coming from multiple websites that the Miami Marlins have talked to several free-agent outfielders, the growing question for the organization is which player will choose to sign on the dotted line and how many zeros will be part of the price tag.

According to NBC Sports, the Marlins have spoken to Yasiel Puig about becoming part of the team’s outfield, giving Miami a true slugger in the clean-up spot and also making the lineup but more attractive to fans who come out to games at an alarming minimal rate.

The Marlins appear willing to spend a bit more than last season during Hot Stove but are not willing to break any banking records to do it.

It has been reported the front office has also made contact with Corey Dickerson, Kole Calhoun, and Avisail Garcia. Any of these bats gives the Marlins a push in the right direction with Puig probably the biggest fish out there the team is presently pursuing unless there is a name Miami has not announced yet.

The notion of bringing in South Florida Nicholas Castellanos from the Chicago Cubs has lost steam of late, knowing it will cost the team a little more than it would be willing to spend on just one player. The four mentioned players above fit the parameters of what the franchise is looking to do this offseason.

As Craig Calcaterra wrote, adding Puig might be the best move, but it does come with some questions to be answered.

“As for that production, Puig hit a mere .252/.302/.475 (92 OPS+) for the Reds before being traded to the Indians. Once in Cleveland, his performance improved — he hit .297/.377/.423 (109 OPS+) — but it was definitely a down year overall,” he explains.

“Certainly a step down from his performance for the Dodgers in 2017-18, when he was increasingly platooned but productive when he did play, and many steps down from the kinds of things he did when he first burst on the big league scene as a superstar in 2012-13.”

Moving back to the National League might be good for Puig, especially since the front office announced last week it was moving the fences in at Marlins Park to become more home run friendly. Miami was last in the Majors last season with 146 home runs hit. The ball club collectively hit .241 for the season.

The courtship with Puig is something to watch as Calcaterra explains.

“So here we are. The Marlins, one of the least desirable free agent destinations in the game, is his first primary suitor of the offseason,” he writes.

“At 29, Puig is certainly capable of bouncing back and, perhaps, turning into a free agent bargain for either Miami or someone else. But one also suspects that, barring a big change in his approach, this could be the last time he’s spoken of as a player in which anyone is all that interested.”

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