Orlando Cabrera wants two years and $10 million

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Prior to signing Alex Gonzalez yesterday the Blue Jays apparently looked into Orlando Cabrera, but balked at his reported asking price of two years and $10 million.
Cabrera received tons of credit for the Twins’ dramatic late-season turnaround after batting .411 with 21 runs and 16 RBIs over the final 16 games, but also hit a putrid .237/.268/.361 in his first 43 games with Minnesota.
Add it all up and he hit .289/.313/.430 with the Twins after batting .280/.318/.385 with the A’s, both of which are very close to his .275/.322/.398 career line and the .271/.328/.393 average for MLB shortstops. That type of modest production would be perfectly acceptable from a strong defensive shortstop, but at 35 years old Cabrera has ceased fitting that description.
Having watched him every day during the second half, it was painfully obvious to me that Cabrera has lost significant range and no longer has the arm strength necessary to make anything beyond routine plays at shortstop. Ultimate Zone Rating agrees with my eyes, pegging Cabrera as 6.2 runs below average defensively in 57 games with Minnesota and -13.7 runs in 158 games overall this season.
He’d be a palatable one-year stop gap for teams with big holes at shortstop, but he’s probably not worth $5 million per season in this market and giving Cabrera a mutli-year deal would be a huge mistake. Average offensively and below average defensively is a recipe for disaster in a mid-30s shortstop, so the Blue Jays were smart to turn their attention to Gonzalez.

Estrada in Game 3, Dickey in Game 4 for Blue Jays

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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It’s already been established that the Blue Jays would throw deadline acquisition David Price in Game 1 of their ALDS matchup against the Rangers and fast-rising right-hander Marcus Stroman in Game 2.

Now we know how they’ll fill out the rest of their rotation for the best-of-five round …

John Lott of the National Post notes that R.A. Dickey threw a simulated game on Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Centre, which lines him up for a potential ALDS Game 4 next Monday in Texas. Marco Estrada will take Game 3 on Sunday night in Arlington.

Mark Buehrle retired after his final regular-season start, so he’s obviously out of the mix.

Toronto is the World Series favorite to many as the postseason gets underway.

Yasiel Puig might be more of a bench guy in the NLDS

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Danny Moloshok
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Yasiel Puig appeared in just 79 games during the regular season and missed all of September with a right hamstring strain. He returned on October 3 and appeared in the Dodgers’ final two regular-season games, but that doesn’t mean he is anywhere close to 100 percent heading into the NLDS.

Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles says the Dodgers are unlikely to start Puig over Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford against right-handers in the best-of-five Division Series. And the Mets are scheduled to throw three righties in the first three games: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey. The only left-hander in the Mets’ postseason rotation is Steven Matz, and he is somewhat questionable with a back injury.

Would it make sense to leave Puig off the NLDS roster entirely? If he does aggravate the hamstring injury, which seems possible even in a limited role, that would put him out of the mix for the NLCS.

They could send Puig to Arizona and have him face live pitching for the next 8-10 days.

But that’s just a suggestion. It doesn’t sound like it’s actually a consideration.