Yasiel Puig is still acclimatising to everyday life in the US, while dealing with the on-field adjustment that comes with moving from Cuba’s Serie Nacional to Major League Baseball. Now, however, we’ve learned that the 23-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, an enigmatic sort who grabs headlines for his exciting and undisciplined play, has allegedly been faced with death threats linked to his defection from the communist island.
Documents outlining Puig’s saga came to light thanks to a federal lawsuit filed in Miami, a Los Angeles Magazine feature and a subsequent ESPN story that reported on the sordid drama surrounding Puigs’ journey from Cuba to the US.
Much of the information comes from a 10-page affidavit from another Cuban, boxer Yunior Despaigne, who helped organize Puig’s departure to Mexico on a cigarette boat in 2012. The human traffickers carrying out the plan were allegedly hired by a Miami man named Raul Pacheco, whom Puig supposedly promised 20% of his future earnings. The original set of traffickers reportedly raised their initial price from $250,000 to $400,000 while holding Puig captive on an island near Cancún, before a second set of traffickers hired by Pacheco allegedly swooped in, wrestled Puig away, and moved him to Mexico City before starting the asylum process.