Dodgers say Puig investigation nearing close
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers expect Major League Baseball's domestic violence investigation of outfielder Yasiel Puig to be completed next week, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Tuesday.
Puig is being investigated for a bar incident last Wednesday night in Miami. There were conflicting reports that the altercation included Puig shoving his sister. Friedman said he won't talk to Puig until the investigation is complete. New manager Dave Roberts said he was unsuccessful trying to reach Puig over the weekend.
"It's in MLB's hands right now, and I hope to be able to comment more next week, but can't really say much at this point," said Friedman.
His comments came at the introductory press conference for Roberts, whose biggest challenge is likely to be dealing with Puig, assuming he is not traded. Puig and Roberts' predecessor, Don Mattingly, butted heads frequently, and the talented but controversial player has been a divisive figure in the clubhouse.
In a recent radio interview, the father of outfielder Scott Van Slyke implied that Clayton Kershaw had asked management to trade Puig. Although Puig presents an interesting trade chip, Friedman denied Kershaw made that request and presented an upbeat view of clubhouse chemistry going forward.
"Having a really strong clubhouse culture is important and it's not going to be that everyone is best friends, but you need a certain level of respect and desire to win," Friedman said. "I think Clayton's comments summed it up, that we have best chance to win the most games with a healthy Yasiel Puig in the lineup.
"Yasiel can be a significant part of the future success for the L.A. Dodgers. There are things that happened over the course of the year mechanically, healthwise, that we really didn't really get to see that in 2015. But from a scouting standpoint, just on physical ability and what he can do on field, everyone in the organization appreciates what that can mean in terms of wins."
Friedman wouldn't put the focus on managing Puig, but he made it clear that Roberts' hiring over eight other candidates -- and the only other finalist, Gabe Kapler -- is as much about leading the players as anything.
Roberts said certain people earn certain responsibilities and rights, but didn't detail how he planned to reign in Puig.