Andrew Friedman: “We as an industry, in my opinion, have failed our Cuban players.”
Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller spoke to Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman about outfielder Yasiel Puig and Cuban players in general. Friedman was very honest, saying, “We as an industry, in my opinion, have failed our Cuban players. We sign them for big money and rush them to the big leagues.”
The Dodgers signed Puig to a seven-year, $42 million contract in June 2012. He played in only 63 minor league games, skipping Triple-A entirely, before debuting in the majors in June 2013.
Still only 25 years old, Puig has been held under a microscope for all of his failures both on and off the field, some deserved and some not. It pales in comparison to the treatment of native prospects who struggle after debuting. Of course, some of the spotlight has to do with the contracts Puig and others have signed, where as traditional minor leaguers are severely underpaid until they accrue enough service time to either sign a contract extension or become eligible for arbitration.
Puig, starting in Sunday night’s game against the Giants, is hitting .357 with four extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances to begin the 2016 season. He played in only 79 games last season and posted a meager -- by his standards -- .758 OPS.