Jose Mijares #50 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during a game against the Minnesota Twins in the seventh inning at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
No, this isn't about dancing. I'm just a huge Re-Flex fan, and after nearly two whole seasons I've given up on getting that into a headline naturally.
This is about Jose Mijares and the vagaries of relief pitching and the waiver wire.
Jose Mijares is a left-handed relief pitcher. He's actually a pretty good left-handed relief pitcher. Yes, he's a specialist. But he's got a 3.04 career ERA, and in his career he's held left-handed batters to a .212 batting average. Oh, and he's not been terrible against right-handed batters (although you definitely want to pick your spots with him).
This season, Mijares has been fine while working as the Royals' top situational lefty, with a 2.56 ERA in 51 appearances.
Two more things about Mijares:
1. You would think the Royals would want him.
2. You would think a lot of teams would want him.
And yet the Royals didn't want him. Not much, anyway. They placed him on revocable waivers. Nothing strange about that; dozens or perhaps hundreds of players are placed on waivers each August. What's strange is that when someone claimed Mijares, the Royals didn't ask for anything in return. They just gave him to the claiming team.
What's also odd is that the claiming team was the San Francisco Giants. Strange, because a whole bunch of teams with worse records than the Giants -- some of them fighting for postseason berths, themselves -- did not claim Mijares, even though they could have had him for nothing.
Mijares had 72 hours to report but could arrive tomorrow. Bochy likes his resiliency. Was surprised 20-plus teams passed on him in waivers.— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) August 6, 2012
I'm surprised, too. There must be ... what? At least a dozen teams, some of them contenders, that currently employ situational lefties worse than Mijares? And some of those teams must have been ahead of the Giants in claiming order.
Oh, and in case you're wondering about Mijares contract? He'll earn around $300,000 for the rest of this season. A rounding error.
So, I'm reduced to crowd-sourcing this thing? Why in the world didn't anyone before the Giants want Jose Mijares? And why couldn't the Royals get anything for him except an expression of gratitude from the team that got him?
Update: Royals general manager Dayton Moore has discussed the waiving of Jose Mijares, and it's hard to argue much with his logic. Because Mijares figures to make around $2.5 million next season, via the arbitration process, Moore didn't see Mijares as a part of the club's 2013 roster. They did try to trade Mijares, and there weren't any takers. Meanwhile, left-handed reliefer Francisley Bueno has pitched well with triple-A Omaha this season.
Bob Dutton (via KansasCity.com):
The Giants’ winning claim means every American League club, and most National League clubs, passed on the opportunity to acquire him for the cost of his contract and the $20,000 fee.
“If we could have (traded him),” Moore said, “we would have. We just need to see some other guys. We have multiple people in our organization who think Bueno can be just as effective against left-handers and get right-handers out as well.
“We didn’t know if Mijares had that same capability.”
It still seems an odd thing.