Former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig appeared to have found a home with the Kiwoom Heroes. That is no longer the case.
According to reports, the Heroes have decided against bringing Puig back for the 2023 season and are not renewing his contract.
Former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig looking for new home
Puig had a strong first season in the Korean Baseball Organization, posting a .277/.368/.474 batting line with 21 homers and 30 doubles in his 547 plate appearances. He had fit well in the clubhouse and had seemingly embraced the culture in the KBO. And, most importantly, there were not any behavioral concerns, making it possible that Puig could have gotten a look at the majors.
Those hopes are likely over. Puig had originally agreed to plead guilty on one count of making false statements in regards to a federal investigation into an illegal sports gambling ring. Although he has since changed his plea to not guilty, the damage has been done, especially as he allegedly had been placing these wagers during his time in the majors.
Those legal woes likely played a part in the Heroes’ decision not to bring Puig back next year. There is no guarantee as to whether or not he will be able to resume his career next season as that depends on the outcome of the trial. Even if Puig is found not guilty, having that taint of being linked to sports gambling will follow him for the rest of his career.
It is possible that another team will give Puig a chance. He had played in Mexico in 2021 and could theoretically find a spot overseas as a team gambles on his talents. But it all comes down to whether or not he can remain out of prison on these charges.
Former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is looking for a new home. The Kiwoom Heroes have decided against renewing his contract.