Puig was reportedly placed on waivers Sunday, a procedural move clubs do routinely with many players. When a player is claimed, his club can revoke the waivers and keep him, let him and his contract go to the claiming club with nothing in return, or attempt to work out a trade with the claiming club. He can't be traded to any other club after being claimed until after the season.
"Virtually all players in August go through waivers," said Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations. "It's a confidential process, and if and when a trade is announced, that's when the news becomes public. Otherwise, it's a formality, all players go through it and it rarely results in a trade."
Although Puig was demoted to the Minor Leagues on Aug. 2, his meteoric arrival in 2013 and his rare physical tools turned him into an All-Star and a superstar.
Unfortunately, Puig has not been able to replicate the .319/.394/.534 line that helped him finish second to Jose Fernandez in the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year Award voting. In the three seasons since he has a .798 OPS, but was hitting just .260/.320/.386 before his demotion to the Minors this year.
At Triple-A Oklahoma City, Puig is hitting .369 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 18 games. The 25-year-old outfielder was had seven homers and 34 RBIs in 81 games for the big league club.
Puig is a candidate to be recalled to the Majors in September. Friedman said that hasn't been decided yet, but he commended Puig's attitude since being sent down.
"The conversations that we had with him in the beginning of August really resonated with him, and there's been a very conscious effort to listen to what was said and apply it to his daily work," said Friedman. "The reports from [OKC manager Bill] Haselman have been really good. I was there a couple weeks ago, and it's obviously a short blip of time, but he's done everything we've asked in this process."
Puig is signed through 2018 and is owed a total of $17.3 million over the final two seasons of his deal.
Waiver priority is based on the reverse order of standings in the player's league. Therefore, every NL team, beginning with the Atlanta Braves, who have the worst record in MLB, would have priority over any American League team that also made a claim.