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Despite trade rumors, Yasiel Puig hopes to remain with the Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- A contrite Yasiel Puig expressed Saturday a desire to remain with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he put the blame for his turbulent 2016 season squarely on his own broad shoulders.

Speaking to reporters at the team's annual fan festival, Puig was asked if he was surprised that he has remained with the organization that originally signed him, even as trade rumors have persisted for consecutive offseasons now.

Reports indicated last year that the Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers were involved in trade talks regarding Puig, but nothing materialized.

"I'm not surprised I'm here -- I want to play baseball here," Puig said. "Whatever decision they want to take is fine with me. [But] I want to stay here. That is my job and I will be ready for everything."

Of note is that Puig did the entire interview in English. Typically he uses an interpreter for pregame and postgame interviews. An interpreter was on hand, but Puig barely used his assistance, and only to confirm some questions that were being asked.

Puig even joked that the reason he has always done his interviews in Spanish was because of advice he got from former teammate Juan Uribe, who used an interpreter throughout his major league career.

"I come here to play baseball and not speak English, which is what my buddy Uribe said every time," Puig said.

Seemingly short on buddies to guide him last season, Puig eventually was sent back to Triple-A Oklahoma City at the start of August. Without a guarantee to return, he made it back to the Dodgers in September, when rosters expanded, and did enough to earn a spot on the playoff roster.

He took ownership Saturday of the issues that got him sent to the minor leagues for the first time since he made his dynamic big league debut in June of 2013.

"It was not good to experience going to Triple-A, but that was my fault, coming in late, not going to the meetings on time with my teammates and coaches, and that was the reason," Puig said. "And I am 100 percent [in agreement] with the situation when they sent me down."

As of now, the Dodgers will report for spring training at Arizona in less than three weeks with a crowded outfield. Puig figures to be in a battle for playing time in right field with Andre Ethier. Other outfielders include Joc Pederson, Trayce Thompson, Andrew Toles and Scott Van Slyke. Utility man Enrique Hernandez also has outfield experience.

"I am ready for spring training," Puig said. "I am working every day here at Dodger Stadium, Monday through Saturday depending on when my [fitness] coach is here. Kenley [Jansen], [Joc] Pederson and a couple more guys come in here every day."