In a statement issued by his agent Wednesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig said he won’t be saying anything about the recent Los Angeles Magazine article detailing his escape from Cuba.
“I’m aware of the recent articles and new accounts. I understand that people are curious and have questions, but I will have no comment on this subject. I’m represented on this matter, and I’m only focused on being a productive teammate and helping the Dodgers win games.”
According to the magazine article, Puig received death threats last year from human traffickers under the control of a Mexican drug cartel.
The Dodgers and MLB wouldn’t say what measures they have taken to ensure the safety of Puig and his teammates, though the club is known to have hired a full-time security detail last year. The team and commissioner’s office also wouldn’t speak on what they knew of the circumstances behind Puig’s defection.
In the Los Angeles Magazine story, contributing writer Jesse Katz wrote: “Puig’s journey, according to claims made in court documents and detailed in interviews, had been underwritten by a small-time crook in Miami named Raul Pacheco, an air-conditioning repairman and recycler who was on probation for attempted burglary and possession of a fake ID. Pacheco had allegedly agreed to pay the smugglers $250,000 to get Puig out of Cuba; Puig, after signing a contract, would owe 20 percent of his future earnings to Pacheco.”
Puig wasn’t in the Dodgers lineup Wednesday, as manager Don Mattingly decided to play Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier.
Outfielder Bryce Harper was scratched from the Washington Nationals’ game at Miami because of tightness in his left quadriceps. Harper was replaced in the lineup by Tyler Moore.
Saunders’ pain ailing
Texas lefty Joe Saunders cut short a bullpen session because of left ankle pain. Saunders has been on the disabled list since getting hit by a line drive in his only start, April 4 at Tampa Bay. An MRI showed only a bone bruise.
Clearing the bases
The Mets are bringing up pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka to replace John Lannan on their big league roster. … Kevin Slowey will move into Miami’s rotation to replace struggling Brad Hand and start Sunday against Seattle. … Prized prospect George Springer was called up to the Houston Astros from Triple-A Oklahoma City.