It has been uncovered from a Los Angeles Magazine article and a Cuban boxer who reportedly defected from Cuba with Yasiel Puig, federal lawsuits accompanied by outsider death threats have been made against the young Dodgers right fielder. There have been an array of court documents that have evidence to confirm the situation, and have conjured a federal lawsuit in Miami. The document chronicles a dangerous defecting journey with dubious characters, unpaid smuggling debts, and violent threats that have tailed Puig since his defection from Cuba by boat in early June of 2012.
The court documents describe a tale solely from the point of view from the Cuban boxer, Yunior Despaigne, who recently has come forward to U.S. officials admitting he is in fear of his life from these smugglers, if the Dodgers right fielder does not pay the debt he owes them. Within a ten page affidavit, Despaigne describes a shady smuggler known to him as “Leo” sending him someone to greet him in Miami to deliver a message. The message was simple, tell Yasiel to pay his debts or they will kill Despaigne. The messenger did this while pressing the Cuban boxer against a car, holding a gun to his liver.
Regarding the lawsuit, a man jailed in Cuba has claimed that Puig falsely accused him of human trafficking, in an attempt to show his loyalty to Cuban authorities, to hopefully be brought back on the Cuban national baseball team. It was reported that Puig had been removed, because Cuban officials believed he was going to defect to Mexico. Defecting to Mexico is what allowed Puig to operate a deal with the Dodgers.It was also reported the dubious smugglers would help Puig defect out of Cuba for 20 percent of his future baseball contracts. Despaigne was used as a messenger to relay the message to Yasiel. Despaigne and Puig failed 4 times to defect from Cuba before making it to a small fishing island in Mexico somewhere near Cancun.
Originally Despaigne investors originally planned to pay the smugglers $250,000, but later on decided Puig was worth $400,000, and took him to Mexico City. Despainge would have crossed the boarder into Texas before making it to Miami where he was confronted by the smugglers messenger.
Puig received a $42 million dollar, seven year contract from the Los Angeles Dodgers in June 2012, at the ripe young age of 23. The deal was a record breaking deal for any Cuban defector, on top of that he received a 12 million dollar signing bonus making $2 million dollars in his rookie Dodger year, where Puig batted an amazing .319 average in 104 played games. The young right fielder also hit 19 home runs and 42 RBI’s, (runs batted in). Yasiel also finished second in National League Rookie of the Year, and probably would have finished first if he played more games. It is hard to predict how the Dodgers Yasiel Puig will react with death threats and a federal lawsuit being uncovered mid-season. Don Mattingly has expressed his sympathy for Puig, but also his upmost confidence in the young right fielder to not let the situation effect his mental game. Baseball is a chess match, and managers need level headed players who can play profesionally. Seeing as though Puig has received some criticism for not being the most “professional” or too flamboyant for a baseball player, this may be the final test for him in his young career; to see if he can handle the pressure of stardom and Major League baseball.
Major League Baseball will do everything in their power to ensure the safety of their players, and believe releasing any information compromises that incentive. Yasiel Puig has come out with a statement but has only spoken that he is represented on the issue and is currently only focussed on wining baseball games for the Dodgers.Whatever the outcome may be, as of now it has been uncovered that Dodgers Yasiel Puig is facing a federal lawsuit and death threats from human traffickers.
Commentary by Zane Foley