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Dodgers owner on Yasiel Puig: ‘I don’t think we’re moving him’

Yasiel Puig stretches before taking batting practice with the Dodgers on July 21.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

As rumors swirled Friday about possible deals in which the Dodgers would acquire outfielder Jay Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds and trade away outfielder Yasiel Puig, Dodgers owner Mark Walter said the team’s baseball operations department has not alerted him to a pending trade of Puig.

“I don’t think we’re moving him,” Walter said. “I don’t think we want to. I still think he’s got a lot of potential.”

Puig’s star has faded in Los Angeles, both on the field and as a marketing beacon for the Dodgers. He is out because of a hamstring injury for the fourth time in two seasons. He is batting .255 in 79 games, with seven home runs.

Bruce is batting .271 in 96 games. He is tied for the National League lead with 79 runs batted in, and he is tied for fourth in the league with 25 home runs.

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Third baseman Justin Turner leads the Dodgers with 18 home runs. No Dodgers outfielder has more than 13 home runs.

Walter, who lives in Chicago, said he watched Aroldis Chapman close out a game against the White Sox and appreciated how Chapman’s arrival in trade had sparked the Cubs. Nonetheless, Walter said he did not believe the Dodgers needed to make a dynamic trade to enliven the fan base — or the clubhouse, where players are increasingly skeptical that the front office will make a major deal to upgrade the roster.

“I think we’re doing fine,” Walter said. “If any other team had the injuries we had, they wouldn’t even be close, I don’t think.”

Walter also said he is “hopeful” that Charter’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable will pave the way for Charter to get SportsNet LA on the air with DirecTV and AT&T. The Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA channel is in its third season, still unseen in the majority of Southern California homes.

“It’s terrible,” Walter said. “I think maybe now we have a chance.”


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