LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers stands on deck in the fourth inning during the MLB game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Padres 2-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
It has been no secret that the Yankees have explored trade options for Andrew Miller this offseason, and Spector believes that a Puig for Miller swap could benefit both ball clubs.
For the Dodgers, adding Miller would definitely help solidify their bullpen. With the Dodgers already having Kenley Jansen as their closer, the team could definitely use a good setup man to help get the ball to Jansen, and Miller could definitely fit that bill. Miller is also enticing to other teams due to his remaining contract, as he still has three years left on his deal that he signed last offseason.
Puig has had his issues (both on and off the field) over the recent past, but there’s no denying that he has a ton of talent and potential. In 2015, Puig was limited to only 79 games and struggled when he was on the field, posting a slash line of .255/.322/.436. Over his three seasons in the big leagues, Puig is a career .294 hitter.
A trade for Puig could make a lot of sense for the Bronx Bombers. As the Yankees look to get younger, acquiring Puig could help that process move in the right direction. The outfielder will turn 25-years-old in December, and is under club control until after the 2020 season. There are a lot of questions surrounding the young outfielder, but a change of scenery could be a good thing for Puig at this point in his career.
If the Yankees were able to pull of this type of deal, it’s likely that both Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran would be affected by it. It also would be very likely that one, if not both, of these players were eventually traded elsewhere.
The Bronx Bombers have openly discussed trades involving Gardner so far this offseason, and if they add Puig, it’s likely Gardner gets traded. Gardner could be valuable for many clubs looking for a corner outfielder with club control, and could get the Yankees a young starting pitcher or a reliever to replace Miller in return.
Beltran, in the final year of his contract with the Yankees, could find himself out of the mix just because Puig plays the same position as him. With the Yankees having a permanent designated hitter in Alex Rodriguez, the club wouldn’t have much room to work with, as it’s likely Beltran would be the odd man out.
If Beltran does become available, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some clubs interested in his services. The veteran outfielder struggled early on in the 2015 season, but had a very solid second half, showing he still could be a very good hitter in this league. His defense has taken a hit, but for a team looking for a designated hitter who could play the field a little, Beltran could be a great fit.
Yes, this is only speculation at this point, but it could be an interesting scenario if the Yankees could pull of a deal like this. Adding Puig would change the entire dynamic of the Yankees lineup, as he could ultimately be a huge asset for them for many years to come.
Spector also speculates that the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies could be potential trade matches for Puig. You can read his entire article right here.