Puig aiding 'real heroes' fighting COVID-19

April 18th, 2020

While he waits for his future to come into focus, has been lending a hand to healthcare workers fighting against the coronavirus.

According to an interview with Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald, originally conducted in Spanish, Puig has partnered with Presidente Supermarkets, a Miami grocery chain, to provide meals to the staff at an intensive care clinic in the Doral area of the city that is affiliated with Jackson Hospital.

Puig added that his charitable organization, the Wild Horse Foundation, also has plans to donate gloves, masks, and hand sanitizing products.

“Those who work here are on the front lines, fighting to make things better,” Puig said. “They're fighting to find a cure. They are the real heroes. It is not about being a Superman or what we see on television. The people working in the hospitals are the real heroes.”

Although he is not currently under contract for the 2020 season, Puig insists that he is not concerned about the future of his baseball career amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That doesn’t worry me,” the Cuban-born outfielder said in regards to his contract status. “We’re living through a pandemic, which is a lot worse than Yasiel Puig not having a team. Someday, I will sign. I don’t know with what team, but right now is not the time to think about baseball.”

Puig, 29, says that he is continuing to work out at home and added that he had talks with a few teams but that “things didn’t work out.” The Miami Marlins, he acknowledged, showed interest.

“They were the first ones to make me an offer,” said Puig. “I didn’t agree with the amount. I asked for a bit more to play in front of my Cuban people, close to my homeland. But it’s hard, too. I spent six years with the Dodgers. It's a different fan base. My Mexican fans adore me, they appreciate me. I don’t have to go 5-for-5.”

Puig began the 2019 season with the Reds, hitting .252 with 22 home runs and 61 RBIs in 100 games before being sent to Cleveland at the Trade Deadline. With the Tribe, he hit .297 with two homers and 23 RBIs in 49 contests.

Puig, who made his Major League debut in 2013, spent the first six seasons of his career in Los Angeles, where he slashed .279/.353/.478, hit 108 home runs and drove in 331 runs over 712 games. The Dodgers traded him to the Reds prior to the '19 campaign.

While he has shown glimpses of brilliance in his Major League career, Puig has developed a reputation for being immature and undisciplined. He suggested that that perception has contributed to the uncertainty he now faces.

“I don’t have a team because I learned late,” Puig says. “If someone had helped me from the beginning, I wouldn’t be in this situation, but that’s the way the Lord does things. You have to keep maturing and do things the way teams expect. At some point, I’ll get a new opportunity.”