The Word has just come down from the Dodgers. The Dodgers have announced they have optioned Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig, and shortstop Dee Gordon to Chattanooga, and Albuquerque respectively. Puig will be heading to the Lookouts, and Gordon is going out to Albuquerque. The club made the announcement about a half an hour ago via Twitter.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 26, 2013
I hate to be the bearer of bad news guys. I know how much everyone was looking forward to seeing Puig playing at Dodger Stadium this week. We all were. But I don’t see this as a bad thing. This is what is best for Puig’s development. Besides it won’t be long before we are seeing the big Cuban sensation roaming the Chavez Ravine outfield in the near future.
One thing I forgot to mention which Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times astutely brings up , is Puig’s contract situation. Since Puig is in the second year of his 42 million dollar contract, if he spends 20 days in the minors at the start of this season, he won’t be able to become a free agent until after the 2019 season. However if Puig was added to the opening day roster, and was credited with a full major league season, that would cause his service time from the season before to carry over and vest, meaning he would be eligible for free agency in 2018 instead of 2019. This is because MLB uses service time to determine when a player can first file for free agency. So by sending him to the minors for at least 20 days, according to Hernandez would give the Dodgers an extra team controlled year of Puig. His service time would begin 20 days later, than 20 days earlier. Makes sense doesn’t it? And as we all know, extra Puig is always a great thing. Besides, there is no room for him on the big league roster at the moment other than a bench spot. The Dodgers feel it’s in his best interest for him to be playing every day.
Puig has been tearing it up in spring training this year for the Dodgers unlike any other Dodger rookie we have seen in recent memory. Puig is batting .526 (30 for 57) this spring, with three home runs, and eleven RBI in 59 plate appearances. I guess the Puig Alerts will have to wait a little while longer. I will keep the sirens warm for Puig.
As for Gordon, well we knew more than likely he would be starting the season in Albuquerque. The Dodgers had already decided this before Hanley got hurt. Gordon needs to work on his game on both sides of the ball down in triple AAA. This will allow him to do that without the pressures of batting lead-off in the majors. Gordon seems to have improved his plate discipline this spring, but otherwise he still needs a lot of work. Gordon has walked ten times this spring, and only whiffed six times. Gordon is batting .206 (7 for 34) this spring with seven stolen bases in 45 plate appearances and 20 games. Gordon has also been battling an ankle injury he suffered while sliding into home plate during a game at Camleback. of course this also means we are doomed to the trip of Scrubbies at third base. But we all know that Uribe will get most of the playing time, which is just down right scary.
We’ll have more on this later, but expect more cuts to come soon. Opening day is Monday, and each team must set their 25 man roster by Sunday March 31.