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.

MLB fines and suspends Yasiel Puig two games for Tuesday’s incident with Giants

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Major League Baseball has announced that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been fined and suspended two games for his role in Tuesday night’s benches-clearing incident with the Giants.

Puig was upset with himself after fouling off a hittable pitch, tossing his bat up and grabbing it angrily. Catcher Nick Hundley didn’t like Puig’s expression of emotion and had a few words for him. Puig didn’t like what Hundley said and the two got into a shoving match before the benches emptied. Puig was able to get past his teammates attempting to restrain him to smack Hundley across the catcher’s mask. MLB’s press release characterizes Puig’s role as having “incited a bench-clearing incident.”

The Dodgers are off Thursday, Puig would be slated to miss Friday and Saturday’s games. However, Puig is appealing his punishment, which means he can continue to play until the matter is settled.

Hundley was fined but did not receive a suspension. If MLB’s press release were accurate, it would have characterized Hundley, not Puig, of inciting Tuesday’s benches-clearing incident. Puig was upset at no one but himself until Hundley inserted himself into the picture. Of course, this is by no means excusing Puig’s behavior as he should have been fined and suspended. But Hundley should have been suspended as well.