This isn't a surprise as Puig's upside and overall performance have turned out to be an absolute bargain. Owed $3.714 million this coming season. That's chump change for the Dodgers and also for most teams in the league outside of Oakland, Kansas City and Miami. Even the remainder of Puig's contract is not overwhelming as it nearly doubles to $6.214 million in 2015, and then rises incrementally in the closing years of the deal: $7.214 million in 2016, $8.214 million in 2017 and $9.214 million in 2018.
Aside from the batting helmet issue, Clemente was slow to adjust to the majors. Had he had the supporting staff that a player like Puig has today, which included a 24 hour translator and teacher in the first months of his acclimation to the U.S., there's little doubt that he would have succeeded much earlier in his career. A look back at Clemente's first five season's in the majors it is plainly seen that his adjustment was slow and then he got it. In 1960 he took off on a Hall of Fame career.
Perhaps it is unfair to compare Puig with Clemente's beginnings as a major leaguer, but the parallels are there. These men, though from incredibly different generations and substantial changes with regard to player salaries both got to the majors in similar paths. They both are five tool guys and forced into the big leagues at a young age. Roberto had his struggles because of the era he lived in due to segregation and the lack of support structure in the game. Yasiel has the advantage that he doesn't have to deal with those negative distractions, but he had the modern day distractions of fame and concentration issues.
We'll see how it plays out, but with the potential areas for growth in Puig's game, I truly believe he could be the next Roberto Clemente if he keeps his focus as a ball player. That potential alone is reason why Puig cannot be traded.
Congratulations to Clayton Kershaw who won the Cy Young Award in a near unanimous vote. Kershaw placed first on 29 of 30 ballots. The lone second place vote he received was from Mark Schmetzer of Reds Report out of Cincinnati. I guess he has some explaining to do. The only other surprise I see in the voting results is Greinke's distant finish in 8th place.