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Maybe he has really terrible b.o.

Aug 6, 2012, 6:09 PM EST

Jose Mijares Getty Images

That’s one of my working theories for the odd case of Jose Mijares.

Now, Mijares was pretty bad last year, finishing with a 4.59 ERA and a 30/30 K/BB ratio in 49 innings for the Twins. Still, between 2009-10, he had a 2.67 ERA and an 83/32 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. The Twins probably could have kept him for $700,000-$1 million as a first-time arbitration eligible player, but they non-tendered him and the Royals signed him as a free agent for $925,000.

And, in his limited role as a lefty specialist, Mijares was pretty great as a Royal. He had a 2.56 ERA and a 37/13 K/BB ratio in 38 2/3 innings for the season. He was charged with just one blown save versus 11 holds. Lefties were hitting .214 with just one homer and five walks in 84 at-bats against him.

Still, when Mijares was placed on waivers last week, no American League team bothered putting in a claim. He also made it through 10 National League teams before the Giants were awarded the claim.

And then the truly shocking event; the Royals simply let him go, getting only the waiver price return. It’s going to save them about $175,000 (Mijares had about $325,000 left on his contract; the minimum-salaried player replacing him on the roster will make about $175,000 the rest of the way). That’s nothing for a major league team.

Also, it’s not like they merely lost Mijares for the rest of this year; he was under team control through 2014. He’ll probably be due $1.25 million-$1.5 million in arbitration next year.

So, there’s one obvious answer here; Mijares was a real problem in the clubhouse. That was part of why the Royals dropped Yuniesky Betancourt on Sunday, and Mijares has long been viewed as something of a headcase. The Royals obviously didn’t think he’d be worth keeping around in 2013, so they figured they might as well let him go now.

  1. drewsylvania - Aug 6, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Maybe he wasn’t a big RBI guy.

  2. kkolchak - Aug 6, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    That’s called “addition by subtraction.” I think all of us working stiffs know how much more pleasant it can be when a really caustic coworker leaves the work place. Some people are just more trouble than they are worth.

  3. Bryz - Aug 6, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    When he was in Minnesota, the coaching staff had a real issue with Mijares’ work ethic. His weight was always a problem. Maybe the Royals saw the same flaws and decided just to let him go while they could.

  4. lew24 - Aug 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Did Rex catch him talking to the other team’s players again?

  5. spudatx - Aug 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Maybe the most amazing thing about this transaction is that it was commemorated by not one, but TWO acticles on this web site.

    Mijares is not a great player. In 2012, he posted numbers better than last year, sure, but the coaching staff has almost undoubtedly found a guy who performed to his contract in 2012 and wasn’t likely to be recommended to re-signed for 2013 based on conditioning and anticipated rate of decline. If you’re the Royals, what’s the point of keeping him? Most of the Minnesota fans on here seem to have knowledge that he’s likely dreg on the young’ens by showing a lack of work ethic and dedication in recent years, so that potential upside is gone too. If this is the case, keeping him around just to maybe win another insignificant game or two and do the paperwork during the off-season seems seems less desirable than throwing that cash back into the stadium or another value-signing like Mijares was last off-season.

    I’m hoping we don’t get three articles next year in amazement that Mijares has washed out of the league.

    • rpb1234 - Aug 7, 2012 at 8:19 AM

      “Most of the Minnesota fans on here seem to have knowledge that he’s likely dreg on the young’ens…”

      How would the Minnesota fans have any insight into his clubhouse presences? 3rd or 4th hand speculation.

      I do not know much about Mijares, but there is value in a LOOGY. NYY spent $8M on Feliciano (bad investment) to be a LOOGY. It seems that the Royals could have flipped him for a B or C grade prospect.

  6. The Common Man - Aug 6, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Frankly, Matthew, I’m incredibly disappointed at your baseless and uncorroborated attack on Mijares’s character. If you have any sources that Mijares is bad in the clubhouse, say so. Otherwise, this kind of speculation is the kind of B.S. that gets amateur bloggers rightly ripped. HBT is supposed to be better than this.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Aug 6, 2012 at 11:53 PM

      What you call speculation, I call reasoning. If a team cuts a perfectly useful player for no obvious on-the-field reason, then one can only assume there are off-the-field explanations.

      It’s hardly controversial to suggest that Mijares a) isn’t particularly dedicated to his career and b) isn’t particularly well liked by his teammates.

      As for the former, well, look at him; being in shape isn’t a priority. He’s also twice had visa problems making him late to spring training.

      Incidents with his teammates include calling out Mauer in the media for pitch selection and nearly getting Delmon Young hurt by pulling a Padilla. In 2009, he was thrown off his winter league team for arguing with the manager (even though he was pitching great at the time).

      • seeingwhatsticks - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:49 AM

        Sabathia’s a pretty big guy, does that mean he’s not dedicated to his career? What about Prince Fielder or David Ortiz? I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you because I think it’s pathetic that a professional athlete can let themselves go like that but if you’re going to hold Mijares to that standard you should also hold other players to it as well, regardless of their star status within the game.

      • yarguy - Aug 7, 2012 at 7:41 AM

        Real journalists require two sources; lots of sportswriters use only one. Matthew just pulls it out of what he sits on.

      • The Common Man - Aug 7, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        Matthew, how is what you’ve done any different from a BBWAA voter who talks about refusing to vote for Jeff Bagwell or Mike Piazza because he’s just sure he uses PEDs? Your “reasoning” is in effect an accusation. And you have absolutely nothing to back that up.

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