The Diamondbacks reassigned Puello to their minor-league camp Sunday. Though he made 17 appearances with the Angels and Rays in 2017, Puello wasn't in the mix for a reserve gig this spring in a comparatively deeper Diamondbacks outfield. Puello will likely serve a depth role at Triple-A Reno this season.
The D-backs signed Puello to a minor-league deal Wednesday, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. He'll likely begin 2018 at Triple-A Reno, but Puello could make a push for a bench role in Arizona with a strong spring. In 1,039 career plate appearances at Triple-A, he's hit .289/.379/.447 while showing a useful combination of power and speed. At the very least, Puello is an interesting name to file away for the reserve rounds of deep NL-only leagues.
Puello cleared waivers and elected to become a free agent, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Puello struggled to a .206/.308/.206 line in 17 games between the Rays and Angels last season, prompting Tampa Bay to drop him from their 40-man roster following the season. He performed much better at Triple-A -- slashing a combined .327/.377/.526 with 13 homers and 18 steals in 87 games between Salt Lake and Round Rock -- so he should catch on somewhere else as outfield depth.
Puello went 3-for-3 in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Red Sox. The production represented Puello's first major-league multi-hit effort as well as his first time hitting safely since an Aug. 28 pinch-hitting appearance. The rookie figures to continue seeing occasional playing time for the balance of the regular season as the Rays try to get a better feel for what he can offer after claiming him off waivers Aug. 19.
Puello was recalled from Triple-A Durham on Sunday, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Puello was promoted to the big club just a day after being claimed off waivers. He'll take the roster spot of Jacob Faria (abdominal), who was placed on the disabled list in a corresponding move. Puello managed an impressive .397/.440/.620 line with seven homers and 13 steals in 44 games for Triple-A Salt Lake before being cut loose. However, the Rays outfield is pretty set, so he'll see most of his playing time off the bench.