With the Los Angeles Dodgers back home Tuesday for their first game at Dodger Stadium since July 12. With Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline looming, manager Don Mattingly’s pregame media scrum naturally involved recent Yasiel Puig trade rumors.
After it was reported Puig received assurance from the organization he was not being shopped, another indicated the Dodgers are, under certain circumstances, willing to part ways with their talented 24-year-old outfielder.
However, how much steam that may have was downplayed by Mattingly. “There hasn’t been any kind of talk with me about him [Puig] being available,” he said. “That’s all, I don’t know if it’s been speculation, or whatever that would be. I kind of feel like everybody is always available if you really think about it. There’s been no talk between the front office and me.”
Mattingly went on to add he believes this particular instance of trade rumors is magnified given Puig’s persona. “Yasiel is pretty much a lightning rod in all areas,” he said. “No matter if he’s doing good or bad, makes a good throw or makes a bad throw, gets a hit or doesn’t get a hit.
“He’s pretty much a lightning rod. I look at this time of year there are so many rumors flying around. At our field level, we’re trying to keep guys focused on what we’re doing.” As for whether he’s asked for clarity from the front office on the matter, Mattingly said he hasn’t.
“I’m assuming if something was really, really going on, they would tell me,” said Mattingly. Puig also denied asking for answers on the trade rumors and more recently said while his desire is to remain in Los Angeles, he would focus on opportunity to play baseball no matter which city in or team he’s part of.
Puig went 0-for-3 Tuesday night as the Dodgers managed just three hits in their loss off Oakland Athletics ace Sonny Gray, who tossed a complete-game shutout. Puig is batting .249/.323/.416 on the season, but just .179 with three home runs, 25 strikeouts and five walks in 22 July games.
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