The Tigers Must Sign Yasiel Puig Immediately

Tristan Jung
Yasiel Puig is the last significant free agent who has yet to sign this offseason.
Yasiel Puig is the last significant free agent who has yet to sign this offseason. / Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

With the Detroit Tigers in the midst of a massive rebuild, it makes sense for them to sign an exciting player like Puig to bolster their outfield talent and marketing value immediately. Puig could be a solid trade asset at the deadline and represents a huge upgrade over their current options.

Despite a general increase in MLB free agent activity in the 2020 offseason, Yasiel Puig is still available as of March 18. Although Puig hasn't been very valuable of late — he's totaled 3.0 fWAR over the last two years and was a league-average hitter last year — he still deserves a major league contract based on his power ability and speed. If you look at 2019 as Puig's floor, then he definitely has the potential to improve and get closer to what he was during his best days.

Puig is certainly projected to be better than JaCoby Jones and Christin Stewart, the current Tigers starters in left and center, respectively. Neither player had a positive fWAR last year, and both seem to be far from convincing as long-term options in Detroit.

The Tigers have already signed veterans like Cameron Maybin, Jonathan Schoop, and C.J. Cron to one-year deals, so why not add Puig as well? Detroit is clearly positioning itself to have tradable veterans at the deadline, and giving a one-year contract to Puig could pay big dividends on the trade market.

The main sticking point appears to be Puig's asking price, which is getting a bit farcical. Puig reportedly turned down a $10 million offer from an unknown team. Given that he was less valuable by fWAR than Maybin (who signed for $1.5 million) last year despite playing in 67 more games, he needs to be a bit more realistic about the offers that are coming in.

Puig has drawn interest from other rebuilding teams like the Marlins and Giants. He has also been mentioned as an option for the Texas Rangers, who just lost Willie Calhoun due to a broken jaw. If the Tigers want Puig and the benefits that he will bring, they need to move quickly.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.