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Don Mattingly says he hasn't heard any Yasiel Puig trade talk

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been the subject of trade rumors in recent days, but manager Don Mattingly said on Tuesday he hasn't heard anything from the front office about trading Puig.

"There hasn't been any kind of talk with me about Puig getting traded," Mattingly said. "Everyone's always available if you think about it. There has been no talk between the front office and me.

"I'm assuming if something was really, really going on, they would tell me."

Most of the rumors have resulted around conflicting reports that the Dodgers front office has or has not assured Puig he won't be traded.

Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports over the weekend did a good job in outlining what a Puig trade might look like should the Dodgers decide to move him. In short, the team isn't dumping him for a rental player anytime soon.

But because Puig is Puig, the mere thought or slightest mention of a possible trade causes people to lose their minds and speculate wildly.

"Yasiel is a lightning rod in all areas," Mattingly said. "I really look at it like there are so many rumors flying around this time of year. On our field level, we're trying to keep guys focused on what they're doing, and try to keep guys from going outside of that."

Puig is hitting just .253/.327/.423 with six home runs in 53 games this season.

"Before the break, he looked a little rough. Since the break, I'm not sure what the numbers are but the at-bats have been better for me. I think he's been fine, but he hit a couple homers recently. I think he's been better."

Puig hit two home runs and drove in eight runs in the 10-game road trip, but hit just .212/.250/.394 on the trip.

"I know he's been working in the cage, working on a few things. Trying to keep his lines a little straighter, a little less turn. I think he understands he's not swinging as well as he's capable of," Mattingly said. "As long as the work continues and it's good, I think the results will fall into place."

Mattingly said on Tuesday that Carl Crawford's role right now is basically that of a bench player, though occasionally he will spell Puig against some right-handed pitchers, with Andre Ethier moving to right field and Crawford in left.