Kiwoom, break up with Puig…a plan to recruit new foreign hitters
Professional baseball Kiwoom Heroes will recruit a new foreign batter. He decided to settle his relationship with Yasiel Puig, who was in the center of the lineup this season.
The Heroes officially announced on the 2nd that they have decided not to renew their contract with Puig. The club said, “As Puig’s performance was impressive, I wanted to be with him next season,” but added, “Considering the various situations Puig is currently in, it is difficult to keep waiting.” “After internal discussions, we decided not to sign a contract next season,” he explained about the inability to renew his contract.
Puig played 126 games this season, batting .277 with 131 hits in 473 at-bats, 21 home runs, 73 RBIs and six steals.
Puig has been suffering from rumors since he returned to the U.S. after the end of the Korean Series. This is because of the charges of perjury related to illegal gambling.
He admitted to perjury and decided to pay a fine, but changed his position on the 1st. According to the U.S. sports media ESPN and the “LA Times,” Puig decided to withdraw his previous position and plead not guilty to perjury of illegal gambling.
He wrote on his social media (SNS) that “I should not have admitted to maintenance in connection with the case,” adding, “I am not guilty and I want to erase my name from this case.” According to “Yonhap News,” Puig’s lawyer, Kerry Axel, also issued a statement on the same day, saying, “New evidence has been released in connection with the case,” adding, “We are discussing it with the U.S. Department of Justice based on this.”
Puig is suspected of losing money by betting on an illegal gambling business run by Wayne Joseph Nicks through a third party in May 2019 and making additional bets afterwards. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) under the U.S. Department of Justice investigated Puig earlier this year while investigating Knicks’ gambling company and reportedly perjured him in the process.
Puig decided to admit perjury and agreed with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay a fine. But he changed his position. The Heroes club also went to the U.S. and met with Puig’s lawyer to find out the facts.
However, it is unlikely that the situation will be settled in a short time. In the end, I decided that it was difficult to keep going with Puig. The Heroes club emphasized, “We plan to focus on recruiting new foreign hitters to replace Puig as soon as possible.”
The Heroes are also seeking to renew their contract with Eric Yokishi (pitch), who recently announced his intention to return to the U.S. However, depending on the situation, a new pitcher should also be found to replace Yokishi.
Yokishi may return to the Major League Baseball (MLB). If Yokishi decides to stay in the U.S., the Heroes will change all foreign players and face the 2023 season. The team previously signed Ariel Hurado on behalf of Tyler Appler.