Friday, June 29, 2012

Keith Law Doesn't Like The Lipstick On This Puig

Keith Law over at ESPN references Goldie Hawn movies when describing how the Dodgers went overboard signing Yasiel Puig (insider only):

The most surprising news in the baseball world today is that the Los Angeles Dodgers have signed Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig to a seven-year deal worth $42 million.

Puig's contract is the largest ever given to a Cuban free agent.This would be the most money ever given to a Cuban defector, surpassing the four-year, $36 million deal Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes received in February. It's also much more -- both in terms of overall dollars and average annual value -- than the nine-year, $30 million contract the Chicago Cubs gave to outfielder Jorge Soler earlier this month.

The impetus for these enormous deals seems to be the impending international spending cap, which will kick in this summer and will allow teams to spend just $2.9 million on international free agents from July 2 to July 1, 2013. This cap stands to affect Cuban players more than those from other countries, as we've seen, with three eight-figure deals given to Cuban players in the past eight months.

The cap also will make it much harder for a big-money team to swoop in and blow away the competition with an outrageous offer, which is what the Dodgers are doing here.

Based on what I've heard about Puig, this is a bizarre overreaction to the upcoming international spending cap, and a huge bet that, despite a stiff swing and less athletic body than Soler, Puig's bat is good enough to justify an investment of this size. I've also heard that Puig was badly out of shape in his recent workouts in Mexico, and that his throwing arm is not as strong since it was last seen in games. And unlike Soler or Cespedes, Puig barely has played in games outside of Cuba, so major league scouts have not had much of an opportunity to evaluate him properly.

I'm not sure what other team was willing to offer Puig anything close to what L.A. did. The Dodgers' peace dividend won't matter if they squander it on deals like this and the Andre Ethier extension.

Yikes, and Law takes a swipe at Ethier on the way out! Must be a Giants fan.

21 comments:

NicJ said...

Oh please, so Colletti doesn't get 6 mil to blow on some crappy reliever for the next 7 years.

All this naysaying when the Dodgers spend some money is really starting to get annoying.

Franklin Stubbs said...

I hope Puig is around a lot longer than Colletti.

Fred's Brim said...

SpidePuig, SpiderPuig, does whatever a SpiderPuig does

Fred's Brim said...

I've been avoiding real Dodger news for obvious reasons. When and at what level will SpiderPuig start? AA or AAA? When do they think he will be ready for MLB play?

Franklin Stubbs said...

@FB

The speculation was the he could be in LA for at least a cuppa later this year, so I'd assume Albuquerque.

NicJ said...

He hasn't played in a year because of being caught during a previous attempt to defect. Im going to say he starts with the AZL Dodgers and goes from there.

His agent was the one speculating that he could be major league ready this year so take that with a grain of salt.

Alex said...

haters gonna hate

Paul said...

There were reports the Dodgers were not even the highest
Bidder....

I was waiting for him to continue and say "and Puig kicks little kids."

knapS said...

Maybe we should start scouting East Indian cricket players.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

MSTI has a pretty optimistic take on Puig. It really lifted my spirits after reading this post.

Orel said...

@truebluela "Dodgers moved Justin Sellers to 60-day DL to make room for Yasiel Puig on the 40-man roster"

That seems fast.

Fred's Brim said...

@MARLA, that is very unlike MSTI, the whole uplifting thing

Fred's Brim said...

And looking at SpiderPuig's picture on MSTI, there's no way in hell he's 21

Orel said...

@dylano: "Puig has been optioned to Rookie-level Arizona and placed on the Temporary Inactive List."

Fred's Brim said...

So what happened to IDJ? I heard he was optioned to make way for Dre nearly going on the DL. So I take it he has to clear waivers to get back to ABQ? I guess that guarantees a lot more time for Kennduribe

*cries*

Fred's Brim said...

seriously, why does he need to be on the 40-man already? Would that be part of his contract? 40-man or nothing?

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Maybe that's how international signings work. It's been so long, I can't even remember.

@FB - IDJ has options, so he wasn't DFA'd.

NicJ said...

40 man roster placement is pretty standard with these large signings. When sellers needs to come back the can bump one of the scrub pitchers of the roster or trade them away for a younger equally crappy player who is rule-5 protected.

NicJ said...

RT @jphoornstra: Spoke to someone today who's seen Puig play and said he's as good as advertised. "Cespedes can be a star. Puig can be a superstar."


So there is another opinion from someone who has seen him play.

Fred's Brim said...

Thanks everybody for the updates

Orel said...

@dylano:

Logan White on Yasiel Puig: "He reminds me of Sammy Sosa."

White on Puig: "We think he has a chance to be an All-Star-caliber player."

‏@truebluela:

Logan White, Dodgers were very impressed by a workout in Mexico with Yasiel Puig, after Puig "hadn't picked up a bat in 5 months."

‏@jphoornstra

Logan White: "Our plans are going to be to send him to Arizona, get into playing shape, let him get acclimated. …"

… "He’s going to tell us where he goes from there."