Fighter of the Nightdro (ah-ah-ah)
Champion of the bums
–Old baseball proverb
Before talking about the details of the new contract for Pedro Alvarez, I want to say that the headline for this article is overly harsh. Alvarez always seemed to me to be a really great teammate, a genuinely nice guy, and a generally positive presence for the Pirates. As someone who also suffered from a case of the yips back in my long-forgotten days on the diamond in high school, I can empathize with that as the beginning of the defensive spiral that Pedro found himself in. It’s sad that it didn’t work out with the Buccos, but unfortunately, the Pirates play in the NL, don’t play day games all the time, and want to win the World Series.
It’s being reported that Alvarez signed a one-year, $5.75 million contract with some incentives in the deal that could push it to $7.25 million, which is impressive work by Scott Boras given that this is close to the $8 million he was projected to get with the Pirates through arbitration if he can nab all of the incentives. Alvarez will most likely see significant time at DH in a power-heavy Orioles lineup that includes five other players who have topped thirty homers in a season at one point or another. I'd be surprised to see Alvarez get any time in the field at all, barring large injuries or seriously favorable matchups in interleague games in NL parks, but his presence as a power threat from the DH spot could be good for the O's. Plus, having his sole focus on hitting might help him, as he doesn't need to worry about defense to bring him down, both in terms of practice time and mentally after making the errors he'd inevitably make. Alternately, the Orioles just lit $5.75 million on fire, because whats a few million when you're paying Chris Davis for the next 22 years?
I’d like to wish Pedro the best as he continues his career in the junior circuit, which is affording him this opportunity due to the inferior rules it has. Hopefully Pedro mashes lots of dingers for the Orioles and can revitalize his career there as a DH.