Yasiel Puig made headlines earlier this week because the free agent outfielder was reportedly close to signing a deal with the Braves. Puig, however, announced Friday that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Puig's deal with the Braves is off following the positive test.
"I am sorry to share with my fans, friends, and family who follow me and who really support me, that I have just been notified that I have tested positive for COVID-19," Puig wrote in a statement.
Prior to his positive test, it was unclear whether Puig would be ready to go at the start of the season, and now, his return to MLB is delayed even further. The Braves had never reached a formal agreement with Puig, but the two sides were in serious talks, and the Braves intended to advance if he tested negative for the coronavirus, Rosenthal adds.
Under MLB's protocols, Puig will need two negative tests before he is allowed to join a team.
Puig, 29, is coming off a 2019 season in which he put up a .267/.327/.458 slash line with 24 home runs in 149 games for the Reds and Indians. He's also garnered interest from the Baltimore Orioles and the San Francisco Giants in recent weeks.