Part of why he lasted so long in 2012 was that he had no options left, so any team that claimed him would have to keep him on the major league team, so it's a bit disingenuous to infer he lasted a long time because of talent. I don't disagree that he's just as likely to clear waivers this offseason as he is to be claimed, but I do think on a subjective view that someone will give him a shot even then, especially with a whole offseason to fix what they believe ails him.
I didn't mean to infer he lasted a long time on waivers in 2012 due to (lack of) talent alone. In fact, I noted that his roster status situation was actually BETTER in November 2012 than it is now -- he still had less than 3 years service time, so someone could have claimed him and tried to pass him through waivers again to assign him outright to AAA (much like Hendriks this past offseason, or Parmelee, Worley, etc. this past spring). Now, a claiming team has no alternative to guaranteeing him a 40-man spot the whole winter, a 25-man spot in the spring, and a ~$1.5 mil arb salary (excepting letting him become a free agent again).
Letting him pass through waivers this offseason, become a free agent, then trying to sign him to a minor league deal if interested, offers a TON more flexibility for the team. He may still have interested suitors, but I'm not sure anyone would be willing to surrender that flexibility for a 28 y.o. pinch runner.
Guys like that, though, seem to get more chances than a guy who simply never produced at 100% health.
Agreed, and that's how he's spent 6 years on 40-man rosters and accumulated 4.6 years of MLB service time despite a career 68 OPS+ and negative defensive WAR (plus a career .571 OPS at AAA to boot). But there's a limit to chances without any kind of production, and I think getting DFA'd midseason just shy of one's 28th birthday is a pretty clear indicator that your guaranteed MLB roster spot days are over.
Edited by spycake, 05 August 2014 - 06:39 AM.