The Decision (Outfield Version)

I know that it’s a bit early to be speculating on possible 2011 free agent destinations, especially with certain monster sports stories taking up so much of the airwaves. But I’m sorry, I just have to talk about something other than Jermaine Dye and Jarrod Washburn still being free agents. However, after my posts on Jayson Werth (Monday) and David DeJesus (Wednesday), I have realized that something big is brewing in the coming off-season of baseball free agency. Something that will radically alter the way we think of how free agents conduct themselves from now on. You see, I think some players are going to make a joint Decision that will lead to a stacked outfield in one lucky city.

The Rays’ Carl Crawford is probably going to be the most sought-after free agent outfielder this winter. He has the most diverse set of skills, and won’t even be 30. But as he learned in 2008, he can’t win a championship all by himself. That’s where Werth, the second best free agent outfielder, comes in. He has that essential “championship experience” (a ring!) from 2008 with the Phillies that Crawford is “missing.” But they need a third player to complete their Death Tripod. It doesn’t have to be a player on their level, but someone who is definitely good, someone underrated, someone who will be a free agent this offseason. Someone like David DeJesus. Yes, I did write in my DeJesus post on Wednesday that if the Royals did (foolishly) decline his option and offer him arbitration that he would be likely to take it, but others seem to think he’s valuable enough that he would turn down arbitration to check his value on the market, with others making oblique Carlos Beltran (~!) references. Hey, what do I know? All I know is that it makes sense: these three are going to (if they haven’t already!) collectively decide to be on the same team next season. Sure, none of them is really a point g– I mean center fielder, but all of them have played it a bit at some point in their careers, and it would still be a plus defensive outfield overall.

But where would they sign? I think the obvious starting point is that is will be in a state known for its rich MLB tradition: Florida. But how to decide between two teams with such a rich legacies? Let me lay out the two most likely scenarios.

Scenario #1: All three meet in Miami. Isn’t it obvious? Sure, the Marlins have some okayish young outfield prospects, but they can trade those away for veteran pitching for the back of the rotation and middle relief. Some might doubt that the Marlins will open up their wallets after all these years (especially given all the draft picks they’d have to give up to sign these guys), but with a new stadium coming soon, a man of integrity like Jeffrey Loria isn’t just going to pocket the profits, right? It will be bitterly disappointing for Tampa Bay fans to watch homegrown superstar Carl Crawford play in the same, baseball-crazed state, but he will assuage their anger during his hour long special on the MLB network (hosted by Harold Reynolds) announcing his Decision to sign with the Marlins.

Scenario #2: Tampa Bay shocks the world by retaining Carl Crawford by essentially bribing him to stay by bringing in longtime friends Werth and DeJesus. Yes, Tampa Bay has a pretty small payroll, but these guys are willing to take less to win championships. Desmond Jennings obviously needs three or four more years to work on his “approach” in the minor leagues (they can always try to convert him to a catcher), and B. J. Upton needs to be non-tendered to teach him a lesson about “attitude.” The only snag is the potential rioting in Kansas City after DeJesus announces his Decision via a 15 minutes infomercial on public access cable.

Which scenario do you think is more likely? Is there another possible destination for the Outfield of Doom?

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Matt Klaassen reads and writes obituaries in the Greater Toronto Area. If you can't get enough of him, follow him on Twitter.

38 Responses to “The Decision (Outfield Version)”

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  1. Brendan says:

    if absolutely everything in this article happened, that would be amazing

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  2. Jeff K says:

    This idea is insane. Yankees are “The Decision” team every year, where every star players goes when they decide they can’t win on their own. (Or win on a team without a market share 3x that of the average team). They are getting Crawford.

    -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JimNYC says:

      a) You obviously missed the fact that this entire post was a riff on the LeBron situation.

      b) The Yankees are not going after Crawford this offseason. They had planned to before this season, but the thinking now is that Brett Gardner is a capable major league outfielder who provides much of the value Crawford does at a fraction of the cost. The Yankees’ big free agent splash this winter will be Cliff Lee.

      c) If you’re complaining about the size of your team’s market, there’s a very easy solution to that. Move to New York. All the cool people have.

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  3. Magic Johnson says:

    Haven’t you ever heard of a point forward?

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  4. Boomer says:

    Wait, this isn’t April 1. What gives?

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  5. walt526 says:

    Better check the Toronto water for LSD…

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  6. CedarA says:

    Enjoyed this post, most people probably wont get it though

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  7. MikeS says:

    The only problem with this scenario is MLBPA. In the NBA, nobody cares if a superstar takes less money than he can get since the players as a whole get their share because of the cap and the CBA. When baseball players give “hometown discounts” the union gets very upset and puts pressure on them to get as much as they can to keep the line moving forward.

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  8. Keenan says:

    If I had a choice, I wouldn’t get this. But I do, and it kind of pains me.

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  9. bender says:


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  10. Marc says:

    The only thing missing is Crawford, Werth and DeJesus’s secret pact made at the 2000 World Series. Broseph’s For Life!

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  11. SpokaneMsFan says:

    Freaking hilarious, good work.

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  12. Blue says:

    They’ll all just play “outfielder” and switch zones every third inning.

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  13. Tim says:

    hahahaha great post! I hate what happened with Lebron in the NBA but I would love to see all three of these guys join forces in the outfield lol. Whats a team that could use an entire new outfield?

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  14. mechanicalTurk says:

    I am disappointed by the lack of Tony Lewis, John Spinks, and Alan Jackman.

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  15. Michael Lorri Scioscia says:

    Great work Matt Klaassen. Mr. Reagins and I were laughing our pants off in the Angels front office. Umm… by the way is there any way I can pry Crawford away from his potential next team? You see, Mr. Crawford fits Angels Baseball and he’d be an upgrade over Johnny Rivers(Juan Rivera). Think about it CC, Torri, and Bobby. The big three!

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  16. jack says:

    This was terrible and unfunny. Please don’t post more articles like this in the future.

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  17. Phantom Stranger says:

    The article was mildly amusing to me. Articles out of leftfield can lighten the mood.

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  18. Andy says:

    As a Clevelander, I have recently disavowed the NBA, and am visiting this site almost exclusively to avoid the carnage which is my sports fandom, and I gotta say, this hurt. Let’s correlate some advanced metrics or something, whattya say?

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  19. ABravesFan says:

    Too soon.

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  20. sktgamerdudejr says:

    How about an OF of doom is Crawford came to Seattle? Having Guti, Ichiro, and then Crawford in the OF, nothing would be dropped. That would be an OF of Doom.

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    • Yeah, but it wouldn’t make for a hack-tastic post like I did above.

      For comedy potential, I think Crawford might not add enough to the cool-but-non-hilarious Gutierrez, although Ichiro is awesomely funny when he “turns it on” (e.g., All-Star game pep talks). DDJ is okay, his rare interviews are filled with about 25 “like ya know”s, which is nice. Jayson Werth’s beard and “brah-dom” would also make for a great bookend along with Ichiro:

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  21. Cameron says:

    Now this is comedy.

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  22. Judy says:

    Wish ESPN could have put together an hour long special on the Cliff Lee trade. At least that would have had a surprise ending.

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  23. Astromets says:

    this is hilarious!
    seriously though, if someone could get crawford and werth, that would be an insane offseason!

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  24. neuter_your_dogma says:

    I admit I was slow to get the joke until, “I think the obvious starting point is that is will be in a state known for its rich MLB tradition: Florida” Thereafter I started laughing and haven’t stopped. Thanks!

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  25. padresrule!! says:


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  26. tdp992 says:

    From now on whenever I see Chris Bosh I will instantly think David DeJesus.

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  27. CircleChange11 says:

    If ya think about it, NYY have come pretty close to this. Within a ~2 year span they will have added: CC, AJ, Teixeira, Granderson, Crawford, Lee, and Vazquez.

    The big diff is they didn’t have to clear the roster to do so. They were able to retain ARod, Posada, Jeter, Cano, etc.

    It’s pretty amazing to consider how much of their “Starting 14″ will be acquisitions over a ~2 year span. They also signed the “Big 3″ en route to a title … What the heat are trying to do.

    That’s probably about as close to an MLB comparison as one could get unless a team acquired Pujols, Mauer, and Halladay in the same offseason.

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  28. wafflecopter says:

    i c wat u did der

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