Report: Yasel Puig defects from Cuba


9:00pm: Kevin Goldstein provided a brief scouting report on Puig: “Physical, plus runner, avg bat, avg power, decent in CF, not a lock to stay there.”

11:30am: Via Jesse Sanchez, 21-year-old outfielder Yasel Puig has defected from Cuba and is in the process of establishing residency in Mexico. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 210 lbs., he is tentatively scheduled to work out for teams later this week. Puig’s agent is in the process of getting his client declared a free agent so he can sign prior to July 2nd, when he would become subject to the spending restrictions implemented by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

There isn’t much info out there about Puig, who Sanchez describes as “not as seasoned” as Yoenis Cespedes but with “more experience (at a high level)” as Jorge Soler. That doesn’t tell us anything meaningful, unfortunately. He hit 17 homers in Cuba’s top league two seasons ago but did not play last year because they caught him trying to defect and suspended him indefinitely. Here’s a highlight video edited to make Puig look like a superstar-in-waiting. No word on the Yankees’ level of interest or anything like that, all we know right now is that he successful escaped Cuba.


  1. Robinson Tilapia says:

    If the Yankees don’t sign this guy, they will never win another game. #Cashmanalreadyfailed.

    In all seriousness, let’s learn more and go from there. Let the box-jumping begin.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      If they don’t get him, there is no one else to be a future OF for the Yankees! They must sign him at all costs!

      It’ll be interesting to see what scouts think of him. It’ll also be interesting to see how much he costs based on Soler’s 9/$30M contract. Could be very high priced.

  2. Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

    Cue the Yankee-fan-sign-the-Cuban-defector-hysteria, version 3.0…now.

  3. DERP says:

    Didn’t it take months for Soler to get declared a free agent? Is this guy really gonna get cleared in under two weeks?

  4. JoeyA says:

    “All we know right now is that he successful escaped Cuba.”

    So he’s good in high leverage situations, such as RISP?


  5. Bunt Gardner says:

    The Puig-can-replace-Swisher comments begin in 3..2..1…..

  6. Greg says:

    sign him and then trade him for Hamels.

  7. JohnC says:


  8. Dave M says:


  9. Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

    I wish they played decent baseball in North Korea. Those defection stories would probably be pretty badass.

  10. Billy Madison says:

    He’s already got the ARod bat flip down.

  11. yooboo says:

    2 weeks to review his case is difficult to determine what value is right for Yanks. Yanks would willingly pay Soler about 27m. I don’t know if Yanks will use this amount to bid on Puig.

    If Puig is more advance than Soler then Puig may need one season in the minor to get ready. Last time he played was 2 years ago and Puig could try out for about a week. Not a good timing.

    I predict Puig wont make any more than 15m at last minute but it could be more than post July 2nd contract. I would like Yanks to gamble on this kid for 20m.

  12. AnthonyD says:

    Forget the power – I like the highlights of the seeing eye singles.

  13. Manny's BanWagon says:

    Now we get to obsess over another player we’re probably not going to sign.

  14. Fernando says:

    Let Theo sign him. Adding him to Soler and Concepcion, the Cubs can then change their name to “The CUBanS”.

  15. kenthadley says:

    Anyone know anything about Omar Luis Rodriguez? 19 year old lefty who Yanks apparently just signed from Cuba.

  16. Gonzo says:

    What’s up with that front leg action?

  17. DM says:

    A young Juan Rivera?

  18. His swing looks like it’s all upper body, except for the one that resulted in the opposite field homer, he doesn’t seem to use his whole body. He also seems to be way out in front…

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