Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is one of the most polarizing players in the major leagues, but many considered his immense talent made him untouchable.
However, after the Dodgers recent surge without him, should they consider trading him? The LA Times' Bill Plaschke thinks so:
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Dodgers ownership considers him a franchise cornerstone, but though the team was 6-5 during games in which he played, it has gone 22-13 since he disappeared….
Caught in the middle could be the new guy, Andrew Friedman, whose striking roster overhaul has created the sort of professional clubhouse environment that could either embrace Puig or drive him out. It is still the sort of place where players can be themselves, and a guy like Puig can have as much fun as he can drum up. But it has also become the sort of place where any antic that negatively affects the final score will not be tolerated. The new Dodgers are guys assembled with reliance not only on analytics, but also an old-fashioned hardball mentality, and it shows in how they’ve been winning games with varied roles and revolving lineups.
Friedman openly loves Puig’s tools, his potential and simply the idea that opposing pitchers are still scared to death of him. But Friedman is also not afraid to trade anyone who is not thriving — witness the quick dumping of clubhouse favorite and Puig buddy Juan Uribe.