Aubrey Huff is having a pretty great first half for the Giants. He entered play Friday batting .298/.384/.556 with 17 homers and 54 RBI over 295 at-bats. Some might even say he’s “All-Star worthy.” In turn, Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com asked him if he would consider going to the game as an injury replacement. Apparently not.
“It’s a sham,” Huff told CSNBayArea.com by phone Friday morning from
Washington, D.C. “To me, the All-Star Game is retarded.”
Go ahead and call Huff inarticulate or politically incorrect if you want. That’s fine. He deserves it. But believe it or not, that might not be the dumbest thing he said during this interview. He continued:
“It’s so backward, it’s a joke,” said Huff, a 33-year-old veteran of
11 big-league seasons who has never been an All-Star. “I mean, if you
want to make the game mean something and be so important with the World
Series thing, why are you letting the fans pick the starters?
the game’s that big of a deal, it should be the managers and players
picking the team, because they really know who the best players are. Let
the fans pick that last guy in the internet thing. That’s enough. The
way they have it now, though, with the fans picking the starters, it’s
either the most popular players or the guys on the big-market teams —
the cities with the most fans, like the Yankees and Boston and Philly —
just dominating the voting.”
I’m not going to go over every starter one by one and evaluate whether they deserve to be there, because I honestly don’t care. But I think we can all agree that this is probably the wrong year to make the argument that managers should have expanded authority on the complexion of the rosters.
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.