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The Yasiel Puig saga in Los Angeles has a new twist, as the outfielder has been placed on trade waivers according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. That doesn’t mean he will be traded, but the possibility is there before the month is over: If a team claims him, the Dodgers can work out a deal, pull Puig back, or simply let the claiming team have him. A claim seems likely, but letting Puig go for nothing is not. Rosenthal even says that a trade might be more likely in the offseason, when the Dodgers can negotiate with the rest of the league and not just a team that claims the still-young and still-talented outfielder.
We’ve discussed the strange career arc of Puig before. There are still plenty of reasons why teams should want him, though, and we even picked out a few who should want him the most. It would be a surprise to see him dealt to one of those teams — or any team — before the winter, but more significant August trades have gone down before. Just last week was the fourth anniversary of the Dodgers-Red Sox blockbuster that changed the fortunes of two franchises when a quarter-billion in contracts shifted coasts. Suddenly, the idea of Puig, 25 and not all that far removed from greatness, could be moved before Wednesday’s deadline.
If he’s claimed and the Dodgers pull him back, then Puig won’t be dealt. If he clears waivers — and that seems unlikely, but it is possible — then he could be traded at any point in the rest of the 2016 season. He just won’t be eligible for a playoff roster if he’s dealt after Aug. 31. Of course, if a team that’s rebuilding is the one who gets him, that won’t matter much, anyway. That information is mostly just a good reminder of process, though, because it’s hard to believe someone won’t claim Puig, if for no other reason than to keep their rivals from a chance at a guy who needs a change of scenery, a fresh start — whatever you want to call it. It helps that he's hitting .375/.420/.641 with four homers in his 17 Triple-A games, of course: There's still potential there, but someone else besides the Dodgers might have to unlock it.
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