Reds likely to decline Orlando Cabrera’s option for 2011, but may try to re-sign shortstop

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General manager Walt Jocketty indicated yesterday that the Reds are likely to decline their $4 million option on Orlando Cabrera for next season, but may be interested in re-signing the veteran shortstop for a lesser salary.

Cabrera hit just .263/.303/.354 for a .657 OPS that ranked fourth-worst among all NL hitters and at age 35 has lost most of his range defensively, so the Reds are right to think he’s not worth $4 million in 2011. On the other hand the buyout for his option is $1 million, so they seem unlikely to save a whole lot by declining the option and re-signing him.

Cincinnati would likely be better off simply cutting Cabrera loose, investing the $3 million saved elsewhere, and handing shortstop over to 27-year-old Paul Janish. He hit .260/.338/.385 in 228 plate appearances this season while often subbing for an injured Cabrera and is superior defensively, all for around $400,000.

Umpire admits he blew the call that got Joe Maddon ejected last night

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Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.

While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.

Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:

It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.

Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:

It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.