Indians: The latest Yasiel Puig rumors as he remains unsigned

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians may not be the front-runner in the Yasiel Puig sweepstakes as another AL Central squad is linked to the outfielder.

Yasiel Puig came to the Cleveland Indians this past summer and was seen as a rental in a deal featuring long-term pieces like Franmil Reyes and Logan Allen.

Yet Puig won the hearts of fans and remains an easy choice to re-sign and place in right field. Such things are just never so simple with the Indians.

The team cleared Corey Kluber‘s salary and Jason Kipnis is also off the books. The signing of Cesar Hernandez was a nice start to the addition stage of the offseason, but there is still money to spend.

Waiting on Puig means the Indians clearly aren’t all in on him at this point in time. That leaves him open to a team like the Chicago White Sox that keeps improving as the days pass and January approaches.

That tweet from Jon Heyman doesn’t say the White Sox are going to sign Puig. But his name being linked to another team in the division is a bit alarming. The White Sox have added Edwin Encarnacion, Dallas Keuchel, and Yasmani Grandal. The Minnesota Twins are already talented and have improved the bullpen with deals for Sergio Romo and Tyler Clippard.

Spotrac estimates Puig’s value at $17.5 million annually. The Indians could hand him a one-year deal at or around that mark with an option for 2021. The money traded away with Kluber needs to be reinvested in the team.

Puig signing with a division rival would be a huge blow to the hopes of Indians fans. Unless there is some unknown reason why the Indians are staying away, the team should at least compete to retain him.

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It’s the same song and dance every year and the Indians surprised us a few years back with a record deal for Encarnacion. Maybe holding out on someone like Puig means a Francisco Lindor deal is in the plans.