MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Finding the best potential fits for Puig

Several teams could be in mix if outfielder is on waiver wire

Finding the best potential fits for Puig

One thing interested teams should know about Yasiel Puig: He likes video games.

Puig really, really likes video games. He just about wore out the Dodgers' copy of FIFA 16 this spring. Puig played it nonstop on the clubhouse big screen against a revolving cast of teammates.

The games were loud and animated. At least Puig's side of the games were.

Puig wanted to win those games with an intensity that didn't seem healthy. He almost had Joc Pederson in tears after one game -- not exactly the dynamic you'd want before getting your work done in Spring Training.

This is the thinnest glimpse of the side of Puig that got him dispatched to the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

The bigger issue, of course, was a .706 OPS, which ranked 169th of 225 players with at least 250 plate appearances. Puig was at .925 in 2013, ranking 11th among 316 such players.

Soon (if not already), Puig could be put on waivers by the Dodgers, who seem noncommittal about continuing the relationship. He seems unlikely to sail through waivers, as his contract calls for only $14 million over the next two seasons -- a relative bargain for a player who has demonstrated his kind of upside.

That's a minor risk, especially for a team with payroll flexibility. So who wants to try to lasso the Wild Horse?

MLB Now looks at Puig's future

Here are potential landing spots for Puig, listed in order of who gets priority if there are multiple waiver claims. Waiver priority is determined by reverse standings -- worst to best record -- in the player's league, followed by reverse standings in the other league, so all National League clubs would get a chance at claiming Puig before an American League club would.)

Phillies: No team has gotten less out of right field than the surprisingly competitive squad in Philadelphia, which could use some pop. The recent activation of Aaron Altherr looks to be an upgrade in right field, but Pete Mackanin could use Puig in left if he wants Altherr to stay in right. With Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz coming off the payroll after the season, Puig could be joined by a couple key acquisitions over the offseason, as the Phillies look to build a competitive lineup behind their promising pitching staff.

Rockies: Imagine if something clicks for Puig while he's playing at Coors Field. The guy might set a record for triples and, in the short term, could help Colorado grab an NL Wild Card spot. How cool would that be for fans in Denver? The recent promotion of David Dahl gives the Rockies three left-handed hitters in the outfield, so Puig would be a nice complement, and having him might allow the front office to sell high on Carlos Gonzalez this offseason, before losing him to free agency after the 2017 season.

Mets: Jimmy LaFave sings that desperate men do desperate things, and this would qualify. With Yoenis Cespedes joining Lucas Duda, David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes on the disabled list, Puig could join newcomer Jay Bruce in trying to awaken a team that's gone 8-14 since July 8. Cespedes may not be crazy to have Puig around -- the countrymen aren't close -- but Cespedes is expected to opt out for another run at free agency after the season.

Rays: With severe payroll restrictions, this front office is always on the lookout for bargains. The trade of Brandon Guyer last week opened up playing time for Desmond Jennings, but he's hardly a reason to pass on Puig. Steven Souza Jr. could shift to left field, and Puig could be a force in Tropicana Field and build interest for a franchise that has created little buzz the past couple of years.

A's: Billy Beane is not averse to risk, and Puig could connect with the Bay Area's passionate baseball fans. But you wonder if Bob Melvin and his coaching staff have reached their breaking point in terms of squeezing square pegs into round holes. Also, if the A's wanted Puig, wouldn't they have found a way to have included him in the deal that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to Los Angeles on Monday?

White Sox: Jose Abreu and Puig were teammates with Cienfuegos in Cuba, when Puig was a teenager. They aren't close, but Chicago could lean on Abreu to help the team get the most out of Puig. The White Sox have a rich history with Cuban players and a nice network in place to help them be comfortable. They need dynamic hitters as badly as any team. The Sox also need players who excite their fans. Puig could be one-stop shopping.

Blue Jays: Never count out Toronto with an adventurous move for a hitter. With Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion approaching free agency, Puig could be a fit in 2017 and '18. The recent acquisition of Melvin Upton Jr. makes this a little less likely, but there's flexibility there to give it a try.

And here are a few clubs that make sense at first glance, but probably not once you dig a little deeper.

Braves: Atlanta is first in line for a waiver claim and, all things being equal, could use as many intriguing players as possible when it opens SunTrust Park next spring. But the Braves just traded for Matt Kemp, who they hope can become a headliner. It seems unlikely anybody would ever put Kemp and Puig -- who clashed as Dodgers teammates  -- in the same outfield again.

D-backs: Arizona is second in line, and the D-backs could use both more pop and another hitter to share the marquee with Paul Goldschmidt. They need to get A.J. Pollock and David Peralta back on track, so Yasmany Tomas is likely to remain the only Cuban in the outfield.

Marlins: This would probably be Puig's ideal destination, as Miami is his home. His timing's all wrong, though, as the Marlins look set for a long run with Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna in the outfield. Not to mention that former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is in the dugout, and it is hard to see him as part of the answer for Puig.

Cardinals: The culture in St. Louis is so airtight, so shipshape, that it might be a great therapy for Puig, especially if someone like Yadier Molina or Matt Holliday took him under their wing. But it seems a lot easier to look to Randal Grichuk to regain the confidence he had a year ago.

And never forget … the mystery team.

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.