Buster Olney writes MLB Insider columns for ESPN.com. He’s also inspired the fabulous @TrippingOlney parody Twitter account.
While I’m usually pretty fond of his work, I’m starting to maybe see why.
The Jays came up a couple times in his blog posts over the weekend– once in a way that’ll probably work just fine for most Jays fans, if you could be arsed to believe it. And the other… well… uh….
In his Saturday column Olney informed us that “in some corners within the industry, the Toronto Blue Jays are viewed as the early front-runner in the pursuit of Yu Darvish,” whatever that means.
Presumably those are corners of the industry that saw the reports early in the month that Alex Anthopoulos had gone on a scouting trip to see him. Seeing as I’m not aware of any other General Managers who had personally gone to see Darvish, or had acknowledged as much publicly, I think it does kind of stand to reason that people might think that. [Note: Texas GM Jon Daniels has also been to see him, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, so there's also that. Thanks to commenter meanguygary for the clarification!]
As for whether Darvish is a fit here, that depends on the price, really. But it’s not a crazy idea.
The idea that Olney put forth in his Sunday column, however, is a little bit fucking crazy, I think.
Michael Cuddyer of the Twins, he says, would “be a perfect fit with the Toronto Blue Jays, who could be poised for a 2012 breakout.” Part of this is because “Cuddyer is generally viewed as one of the best leaders in the sport, someone who will set a standard of conduct for younger players,” which is somewhat of a relief. You sure as shiiiiii-ugar wouldn’t want to make a huge investment in him because of what he offers on the baseball field.
Yep, and with Mauer and Morneau out, he really leadered the shit out of this year– all the way to a 98 loss Twins season, with a series still to play! He leadered his way to a .753 OPS last year and 3.6 fWAR combined over the last two years.
Oh, but he’s versatile! And… y’know… old.
MLB Trade Rumors examined his contract status last week, and figured on him getting something in the neighbourhood of a $30-million deal for his age 33 to 35 seasons– he already turned down a two-year extension offer from the Twins for $16-million, reportedly. He also might be a Type-A free agent, though it’s not likely Minnesota will offer him arbitration, which would see him earn more than his $10.5-million salary this season.
I mean, he’s not awful– his .282/.345/.455 line with 19 HR this year is about what Edwin Encarnacion offered, going .272/.334/.453 with 17 bombs– but three years? $30-million? With that as a pretty reasonable expectation of the most you’ll get out of him?
Thanks, we’ll pass.