Rockies making “aggressive push” for Michael Cuddyer

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Colorado’s interest in Michael Cuddyer has been well known all offseason and now they’re stepping up their pursuit of the free agent outfielder, with Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Rockies are making an “aggressive push.”

Cuddyer is said to have a three-year offer on the table from Minnesota worth around $25 million and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Twins were willing to go at least a little higher.

Whether or not that would be a sound decision by the Twins is another issue, of course, because if they were to let Cuddyer walk and sign Josh Willingham to replace him as a right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup Minnesota would gain two first-round picks in the switch. And might end up with the better player, too.

Because of changes in the collective bargaining agreement the Rockies wouldn’t lose a draft pick for signing Cuddyer, who’s spent his entire professional career with the Twins and hit .284 with 20 homers and an .805 OPS in 139 games this year at age 32.

Alex Bregman shows how easy it is to manufacture “controversy” in baseball

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In most sports it takes legitimate trash talk to create off-day “controversy.” In baseball, it takes the weakest sauce. We saw how weak that sauce was yesterday.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are going to face off against Nate Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. It’s worth noting that earlier this season, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Eovaldi when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yesterday, in an act which was likely somewhat inspired by self-motivation, somewhat inspired by getting in Eovaldi’s head and somewhat inspired by a simple interest in having fun, Bregman took the video of those back-to-back-to-back homers off of Eovaldi and posted it to his Instagram:

Of course, since this is baseball, where even farting off-key can be construed as “showing up” the opposition or somehow disrespecting the game, it became a thing. Or at least people tried to make it become a thing.

Indeed, it took them a bit to find someone who would help them make it a thing, because Eovaldi himself didn’t care about it a bit, nor did Astros manager A.J. Hinch or Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Eventually, however, they hit pay dirt. Here’s Sox infielder Steve Pearce talking to WEEI.com:

“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that. We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.”

My guess is that almost no one on the planet, Steve Pearce included, would care about this in a vacuum or if they allowed themselves to think through it for more than a second. Baseball culture, though — and let’s be clear about it, baseball media culture — has conditioned most of its players and participants to think that stuff like this is supposed to be controversial, so it actually takes effort not to start dancing to this kind of tune on auto-pilot.

Kudos to Hinch, Cora and Eolvaldi for exerting that effort and not dancing to it. To the press that automatically sought out comment on this and Pearce who dutifully gave it: hey, I get it. It’s hard to resist one’s conditioning. Maybe you’ll be able to resist it next time.