I’m certain that the well educated readers of DJF wouldn’t pay the thought any more mind than it deserves, but it appears that among the less ardent members of Blue Jays Nation, a vocal minority is suggesting that Toronto’s Major League Baseball team follow up with the Boston Red Sox on rumours as to the availability of one Kevin Youkilis.
I assume these are the same people who expect Vladimir Guerrero to be an impact bat for the team. For whom, I have these words of advice: Live in the now, man.
Never mind the potential hesitancy for general managers to pull the trigger on an intradivisional swap of assets, such theoretical dealings are not going to occur. No, it has nothing to do with the possible ill will between Youkilis and pitchers Drew Hutchison and Francisco Cordero. Nor is the unlikelihood of Youkilis in royal blue associated with the emergence of looks-good-in-small-samples David Cooper.
Kevin Youkilis will not be a member of the Toronto Blue Jays because, to date, almost every transaction that the front office under Alex Anthopoulos has made would indicate that they’re not stupid. And it would be stupid for a team in the Blue Jays’ situation to give up anything of value for the opportunity to dress a declining Youkilis while paying him the rest of the $12 million he’s owed for the remainder of this season in addition to either a $1 million buyout of his 2013 option, or an additional $13 million to suit up next year.
Again, that’s before even considering that in order to acquire Youkilis for a playoff drive, they would most likely have to pay a premium to the division rival Red Sox, thus handing their opposition a boost to their playoff chances and potentially equaling by addition.
The main reason this won’t happen is because of this (via FanGraphs):
In this case, “this” is Kevin Youkilis’ weighted on base average, which peaked in 2010, and has been on a steady decline ever since to the point where it is now below the blue line which represents an average wOBA. For those not in the know, wOBA is, in my opinion, the best way to measure offensive contribution under one metric, as it combines all the different aspects of hitting (from getting hit by a baseball to hitting a home run), weighting each in proportion to their actual run value.
Put simply, acquiring Kevin Youkilis isn’t acquiring the Kevin Youkilis we might think of when we hear the name Kevin Youkilis. No, acquiring Kevin Youkilis is more like reacquiring last year’s Adam Lind to play first base for this year’s Toronto Blue Jays.
Okay, well maybe not that bad, as Youkilis’ true talent is probably slightly above what his wOBA currently suggests, but as a hitter, he certainly has more in common with the numbers put up by last year’s Lind than 2010′s version of himself.
Thanks, but no thanks.