Rays News

Avisail Garcia’s contract sets the market for Yasiel Puig

By Austin Reimann
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 31: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cleveland Indians bats in the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 31, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 31: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cleveland Indians bats in the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 31, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /
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Avisail Garcia recently signed a 2 year deal with the Brewers for 20M. Here is what that could mean for the Tampa Bay Rays and Yasiel Puig…

While there hasn’t been any concrete reports linking the Rays to Yasiel Puig this offseason, it only seems natural that they would still be interested now after reportedly eyeing him at the trade deadline last season.

There were however concrete reports regarding the Rays desire for a reunion with Avisail Garcia who had relatively similar numbers to Puig in 2019. Garcia agreed to a two year deal worth 20M with the Brewers forcing the Rays to turn their attention to other right handed hitting free agents and trade targets.

I have already talked about why the Rays should sign Yasiel Puig and you can read about that here.

But, Avisail Garcia’s recent contract gives us a sense of what the Rays could be expected to pay Puig who is only a year older and out up very similar stats to Garcia in 2019. Avi and the Brewers essentially set the market for the Rays and Puig.

Avisail Garcia’s 2019 w/ TB:

  • 125 G // 489 AB
  • .282/.332/.464
  • .796 OPS // 111 OPS+
  • 20 HR // 72 RBI // 10 SB
  • 1.8 fWAR

Yasiel Puig’s 2019 w/ CLE and CIN:

  • 149 G // 555 AB
  • .267/.327/.458
  • .785 OPS // 100 OPS+
  • 24 HR // 84 RBI // 19 SB
  • 1.2 fWAR

Their slash line is essentially the same. Avisail Garcia barely edges out Puig across the slash along with OPS and OPS+. Puig, who played in more games, drove in more runs, stole more bases, and hit more homeruns.

Naturally, you would expect Avi to earn more in free agency when you compare their two seasons. But, Puig is still in line for a relatively healthy paycheck. At 29, Puig may only receive a one year deal, but a two to three year deal with the right club wouldn’t be out of the question. But, if he signs with the Rays it will likely be for a year.

If Avisail Garcia signed for an AAV of 10M, then you could expect Puig’s AAV to be slightly less possibly in the 6-8M range, a number that the Rays can afford. Expect Puig to sign for a year and 7M or two and 15M.

Next. 3 Pitchers looking to bounce back in 2020. dark

The question is whether or not the Rays will look to sign a player like Puig, who would only DH and play the corner outfield positions, or look for a utility player with some pop via the trade market. Either way, I would expect them to still add an additional right handed bat before spring training.

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