The Baltimore Orioles are expected to be one of baseball's worst teams this season, but that isn't stopping them from pursuing the best remaining free agent. Indeed, the Orioles have already reached out and made an offer to outfielder Yasiel Puig, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
CBS Sports ranked Puig as the 14th-best free agent entering the winter, an assertion that proved to be an overrank given his unsigned status. Nevertheless, here's what we wrote:
The second of three consecutive righty outfielders, Puig had himself an odd season. Overall, he homered 24 times and posted a 100 OPS+. Yet just two of those home runs came in his final 49 games as he stopped hitting for power after the deadline trade from Cincinnati to Cleveland. Instead he became more contact- and walk-orientated, with his launch angle even dipping. Puig is already a polarizing figure for various reasons -- some merited, many not -- so it'll be interesting to see what exactly happens with his profile moving forward.
Puig, who will turn 30 in December, last made headlines in April. He claimed then that he had received a few offers, including from the Miami Marlins, but that he didn't expect there to be a 2020 season. Still, Puig said that "if there is, we will be [on] some team."
Puig split last season between Ohio teams. He started the year with the Cincinnati Reds and was then moved to the Cleveland Indians as part of the three-team trade that landed Trevor Bauer in Cincinnati. Prior to 2019, Puig had spent the first six seasons of his big-league career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He would represent a certain upgrade for the Orioles, who are projected to employ an outfield that includes some combination of Austin Hays, DJ Stewart, Stevie Wilkerson and Mason Williams. Baltimore also has Cedric Mullens in camp.
Major League Baseball is scheduled to launch its 2020 season on July 23. The season was originally set to begin on March 26, but the spread of the novel coronavirus forced the league to scrap those plans about two weeks beforehand.