Los Angeles

Dodgers Yasiel Puig Says He'd Rather be Traded Than Play in Minor Leagues

Los Angeles Dodgers embattled outfielder Yasiel Puig said in an interview that he would rather get traded than continue to play in the minor leagues.

Ask and you shall receive…well, maybe.

Less than two days after he sat down with ESPN's Marly Rivera in Oklahoma City for an interview, Los Angeles Dodgers truculent outfielder Yasiel Puig was claimed off revocable waivers by an unidentified team, leaving him with an uncertain future that will become clearer in the next two days.

On September 1, Puig will know whether or not he remains with the OKC Dodgers, returns to the Major League club in Los Angeles, or has been traded to another team. He says his future is in the hands of God, and vows to be a better teammate and player no matter where he ends up.

"It was my fate, so now I can come back stronger with the Dodgers or with any other team that God is setting up for me in the future," he told Rivera. "I do not know what the future will hold in the next few hours. I don't know where I will go. I don't know my fate. God only knows my destiny and I am here to fulfill it."

One thing for certain is that Puig has been humbled by his time in the minor leagues and despite his offensive resurgence in Triple-A, he has no desire to play there again.

"I've seen what it's like in Triple-A, and I don't want to be back in Triple-A during my career, so I have to work my hardest and do the right things so I can stay in the place that I belong," Puig said during the interview. "I had the misfortune of falling onto bad times, and now I have to keep working to get out of those bad times and return to being the star I was in 2013." 

Puig was demoted after the Dodgers were unable to trade their embattled star at the Aug. 1 trade deadline. Rather than leave him with the big league club as a backup, the front office demoted him to Triple-A in the hopes he could work on his offense, preparation and being a professional.

"I would rather they had traded me than sent me to Triple-A, but that wasn't an option," added Puig. "When you keep doing things wrong, people get tired. I even got tired myself. [The Dodgers] got tired and had no choice but to send me to Triple-A."

Things got off to a rough start at the minor league level as Puig got himself and his teammates into some hot water after he posted Snapchat videos of himself and his teammates drinking, cursing and listening to music on a party bus after a game in Iowa.

The next day, the front office released a statement saying they were "disappointed," in Puig, and President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman, even made a visit to Puig in Oklahoma City a couple weeks later. Puig admitted his mistake and has vowed to stay off Snapchat for the foreseeable future.

"I have to admit that it was wrong because I could have screwed my teammates with my actions," Puig said. "No more Snapchat for me in the clubhouse or anything. I have to take care of me and my teammates as well." 

Puig went on to add that he has been humbled by the entire experience and specifically credited Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols as someone who has helped mentor him through this difficult time.

Time will tell if Puig's story is one of redemption, rather than regret. In the interim, he's looking to take the lessons he's learned and apply them to his future with the Dodgers or another team. In order to do that, Puig admits there needs to be concessions on both sides. He promises to arrive early and be more professional, but when he takes the field, they need to let the "Wild Horse" run free.

"I will comply with arriving early but with the rest you have to let me be Yasiel Puig," he said. "Or give me advice on how you want me to play, but don't take away the abilities that I have. Otherwise, why would I play.

Puig's interview with Rivera aired Monday on Sports Center.

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