Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig hit .319 with 19 homers in 104 games last season. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig received threats from human traffickers that helped him defect from Cuba to Mexico in 2012, according to a story set to be published in ESPN The Magazine.
The magazine shares details about Puig's escape from Cuba and also goes into detail about a lawsuit that accuses Puig of wrongfully accusing a man of attempting to set up a defection.
Puig's agent, Adam Katz, released a statement on Puig's behalf after the stories came out about his client.
"I'm aware of the recent articles and news accounts. I understand that people are curious and have questions, but I will have no comment on this subject. I'm represented on this matter, and I'm only focused on being a productive teammate and helping the Dodgers win games," Puig said in a statement.
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Much of the information came through interviews with more than 80 sources, in addition to court documents in the civil suits filed against Puig and fellow Cuban Aroldis Chapman, who pitches for the Cincinnati Reds.
ESPN The Magazine's reporting included exclusive conversations with a childhood friend of Puig's, Yunior Despaigne, who was with Puig throughout the escape journey and whose firsthand account sheds new light on Puig's fifth -- and ultimately successful -- attempt to defect.
Puig reportedly came to the United States in July 2012 and joined the Dodgers last season, finishing second in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting.
This season, Puig is hitting .256 with one home run and five RBIs.