Puig agreed Wednesday with the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization on a one-year, $1 million contract, Jee-ho Yoo of the Yonhap News Agency reports. After a positive COVID-19 test nixed his deal with Atlanta for the pandemic-truncated 2020 campaign, Puig failed to land a major-league contract in 2021 before he ultimately found work with Veracruz in the Mexican League. Though he faced off against a lower quality of competition, Puig was productive in Mexico, slashing .312/.409/.517 across 247 plate appearances. He'll now head to Korea on a maximum deal for a first-year player in the league, presumably hoping that a strong showing with the Heroes will allow him to generate renewed interest from MLB teams heading into 2023.
Puig signed with Veracruz of the Mexican League on Tuesday, Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports. Puig failed to find a major-league club last season, though he did appear close to a deal with Atlanta at one point before a positive COVID-10 test scrapped those plans. He again failed to find a deal this offseason, so he'll head to Mexico instead. He's only 30 years old, so it's certainly possible he finds his way back to the MLB level eventually, but there's no particular reason to believe that will happen anytime soon.
Puig agreed to a contract Saturday with Dominican Winter League club Tores del Este, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports. Puig ended up sitting out the entire 2020 campaign after the contract he agreed to with the Braves in late July fell through following his positive test for COVID-19. The outfielder looks to be healthy again now that he's competing in the Dominican Republic, where he'll presumably be aiming to showcase himself to MLB teams this winter. The 29-year-old slashed .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs and 19 stolen bases in his last full season in the majors in 2019.
Puig's reported deal with the Braves has been scrapped after the outfielder tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. The reported contract between the two sides had apparently never been formally agreed to and is now off the table, as Puig evidently won't be ready to play early enough for Atlanta to be interested. There's certainly still a chance he signs somewhere this season, though the fact that he hasn't been on a field even in a practice capacity since last September means it may take some time for him to get in game shape once he eventually clears league protocols by testing negative for the virus twice. More opportunities for the likes of Austin Riley, Adam Duvall and Johan Camargo should be available in Atlanta now that Puig isn't joining the team.
Puig revealed on his personal Twitter page Friday that he'd tested positive for COVID-19. Puig is reportedly asymptomatic, but he'll nevertheless be forced to quarantine until passing MLB protocols, which include testing negative for the virus twice. The outfielder was already going to have a tough time getting ready by Opening Day, as he only just signed a contract with the Braves on Tuesday, but now he'll almost certainly miss time to start the year. Even when he clears league protocols, the fact that he's had zero practice time since last September is sure to have an effect early in the year. His absence likely means more at-bats or Adam Duvall, though Johan Camargo could also benefit if Austin Riley spends more time in left field.