Puig returns to Dominican League amid alleged misrepresentations.
Yasiel Puig, who is on trial for making false statements and obstruction of justice in connection with illegal sports betting, is returning to the Dominican League.
Estrellas Orientales, the Dominican Republic’s professional baseball team, announced on Saturday that it has signed Puig.
Puig returns to the Dominican League after spending last year in the United States without an organization after hitting .277 with 21 home runs and 73 RBIs in 126 games for the Kiwoom of the South Korean Baseball Organization.
Puig’s career took a turn for the worse late last year when he was caught up in a scandal that led to his contract with Kiwoom being canceled.
In November of last year, after the KBO season ended, it was revealed that Puig had been involved in illegal sports gambling in the past and was accused of making false statements during the investigation.
At the time, U.S. prosecutors said Puig had placed nearly 900 illegal sports bets on tennis, soccer, and basketball games through third parties in 2019, when he was playing in the major leagues.
Puig signed a plea agreement with prosecutors in July of last year, but reversed course in November and refused to plead guilty.
“Mr. Puig was not charged with illegal gambling, nor did he bet on baseball,” Puig’s defense attorney said at the time, adding that the false statements were the result of his mental health deteriorating due to the coercive investigation.
After Puig refused to plead guilty, prosecutors charged him with obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal investigators.
Puig’s trial is scheduled for January of next year.
Puig is expected to make his mark in the Dominican League, which begins in October, 먹튀검증 before moving on to Major League Baseball or Nippon Professional Baseball.
If Puig wants to return to the Korean Baseball Organization, he can’t move to any of the nine teams other than Kiwoom.
Kiwoom still holds Puig’s holdout rights.