Yasiel Puig announced Friday he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Puig was expected to sign with the Braves but will instead remain a free agent, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. The two sides had yet to reach a formal agreement and "intended to advance if he tested negative for the virus," sources told Rosenthal.
The 29-year-old right fielder said he is asymptomatic and feels "absolutely fine." He plans to quarantine until he receives two negative test results.
"I am sad that this happened, but I believe that everything is in God's timing," Puig wrote on Instagram. "When I return to the field, I will do so knowing that I have one less hurdle to overcome."
The Braves are still looking for an additional bat following the failed deal. Right fielder Nick Markakis opted out of the season earlier this month, leaving a hole in Atlanta's roster and need for another left-handed hitter. Puig, although a right-handed hitter, would have been a solid contributor both offensively and defensively. Last season, he batted .267 with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs in 149 games with the Reds and Cleveland.
Atlanta received some good news Friday when All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman was cleared to return to the club after he battled the coronavirus. Freeman took batting practice with his teammates to prepare for the start of the 2020 season next week. The Braves will open the shortened 2020 season against the Mets at Citi Field next Friday.