He faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail because he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about an illegal gambling operation.
The slugger, who now plays professionally in Korea’s KBO, also agreed to pay a fine of at least $55,000.
According to ESPN, Puig started placing bets on sporting events in May 2019 through a third party who worked for an illegal gambling operation run by Wayne Nix.
Nix played minor league baseball.
Puig was reportedly down nearly $300,000 to Nix’s business after placing over 800 bets on several sports that did not include baseball.
“When given the opportunity to be truthful about his involvement with Nix’s gambling businesses, Mr. Puig chose not to,” IRS Criminal Investigation Los Angeles Field Office Special Agent in Charge Tyler Hatcher said.
Yasiel Puig will go down as one of the biggest wastes of talent in baseball history https://t.co/zJOdW9e1yt
— Marc Luino (@GiraffeNeckMarc) November 15, 2022
“Mr. Puig’s lies hindered the legal and procedural tasks of the investigators and prosecutors.”
Puig was a star for the Los Angeles Dodgers back in the day, from 2013 to 2018.
He played for the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Guardians in 2019.
A “Waste Of Talent”
Then, he went to Mexico and the KBO, as his MLB career came to an abrupt end.
MLB analyst Marc Luino posted the Department of Justice’s release, and added some comments of his own blasting the player.
“Yasiel Puig will go down as one of the biggest wastes of talent in baseball history,” he said.
It’s easy to forget that Puig had 3.9 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) with the Dodgers as a rookie and a 5.5 WAR season the year after.
He was a budding star.
He never played as well as in those two seasons, but was still above-average for a few more years.
Then, he had some issues finding a team.
Off-the-field issues, perhaps, influenced MLB teams not to sign him.