Cuban-born Indians outfielder Puig becomes U.S. citizen

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Cleveland Indians’ Yasiel Puig warms up before the team’s baseball game against the Houston Astros in Cleveland, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

CLEVELAND (AP) β€” Indians outfielder Yasiel Puig has become a U.S. citizen.

The Cuban-born Puig, who was traded to Cleveland by Cincinnati last month, posted a photo Wednesday on social media showing him waving a small American flag. He wrote, “Thank you God for this great opportunity to be an American citizen.”

A team spokesman said Puig’s naturalization ceremony took place in Miami. He defected from Cuba in 2012 after several failed attempts.

Puig was not in uniform for the Indians’ afternoon game against Boston. He is serving the final game of a three-game suspension for his involvement in a July 30 brawl when he was still with Cincinnati.

The 28-year-old was part of a wild fight between the Reds and Pirates mere hours before being traded. Puig is batting .357 with one homer and six RBIs in 11 games with the Indians.

Earlier this season, Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana became a U.S. citizen.

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