Yasiel Puig is not sure whether he’ll be traded but says he wants to stay with Dodgers
The trade deadline will have come and gone by the next time the Dodgers take the field. That would be Tuesday in Colorado, and Yasiel Puig laughed at the question of whether he expected to be there.
“I could be in Colorado with Colorado,” he said through an interpreter, “or with the Dodgers. You never know.”
In three short years, Puig has gone from one of the most dynamic and magnetic players in baseball to one of its most enigmatic. The Dodgers have shopped him ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.
If he is traded, his Dodgers farewell would have been a successful one. He had three hits on Sunday -- including two doubles, marking his first game this season with more than one extra-base hit.
He is batting .260 in 81 games, with seven home runs. Of the nine Dodgers with at least 150 at-bats, Puig has the lowest on-base-plus-slugging percentage, at .706.
Puig started Sunday for the first time in 11 days. He had been slowed by a sore hamstring, but he also had appeared as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement Friday. He said the Dodgers had not told him they would hold him out as a precaution during trade talks, but he declined to say whether he believed he could have started before Sunday.
He laughed at the question of whether he was 100%.
“I’ll never be 100%,” he said. “There’s a lot of variables, whether it’s the weather or other things. I run a lot. If it means that I have to run from first to home to get the run, that’s what I’ll do.”
Puig said he hopes to remain with the Dodgers but declined to say whether he believed it would be a mistake for them to trade him.
“I don’t know what to say to that,” he said. “If they decide to trade me, then I’ll have to go to another team and work hard there. I just came to this country to play baseball.
“I would like to stay here. But I also understand this is a business. You never know where you are going to end up.”
More trade talk
Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts said he did not know whether a trade would take place. He said any team could get better but argued the Dodgers had no obvious need to fill.
“Our club is as balanced as any club is in baseball,” he said. “There’s really no one area that is bigger than the other for us.”
“We have depth with starting pitching,” he said. “The ‘pen has been very good. Our offense has come alive.”
Starting pitching might need more than depth, with the uncertainty over when Clayton Kershaw might pitch again. Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, has said he is focused on “elite-level talent,” which in the starting pitching market means Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays and Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox.
“You have to weigh what you give up for a starter,” Roberts said. “To get something special like that – there are a couple names everyone has talked about – you’ve got to give up something really special.”
Roberts said Alex Wood, who started 10 games this season before going onto the disabled list in June and undergoing elbow surgery in July, would be used as a reliever if he can return this season. … Roberts also said he did not expect reliever Chris Hatcher to pitch again this season. Hatcher, who has a 5.53 earned-run average, was put on the disabled list July 19 because of a strained oblique. … The Dodgers activated utility man Enrique Hernandez and returned catcher Austin Barnes to triple-A Oklahoma City.
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