Anaheim Angels outfielder (and former Cub) Gary Matthews, Jr., recipient of one of the most unwise contracts in recent years, has become inexplicably disgruntled. He is frustrated with a lack of regular playing time – playing time he would probably get if, you know, he didn’t suck.
So Matthews has asked to be traded – a tall task given the two years and $23 million remaining on his contract. At least the Cubs don’t have a similar bad contract of an outfielder they’re looking to move, otherwise you can envision them thinking about swapping… oh crap!
The Cubs should pass on Matthews, and it appears from all indications that they’ll do so.
Matthews’ numbers have declined severely since he left Texas and their former batting coach, Rudy Jaramillo, after the 2006 season. You know where Jaramillo is now. In ’06 with the Rangers, Matthews had a hitting line of .313/.371/.495 for an OPS of .866 and an OPS-plus of 121.
Here is how it’s gone since then:
2007: .252/.323/.419 for an OPS of .742. The OPS-plus was 93.
2008: .242/.319/.357 for an OPS of .675. The OPS-plus was 77
2009: .250/.336/.361 for an OPS of .697. The OPS plus was 82, and his weighted on-base average (wOBA) was .313. Matthews hit only 4 homers. On top of it, this speedy player’s groundball percentage fell from 59 percent in ’08 to 42.2 percent this year. His flyball rate jumped from 26.5 percent in ’08 to 38.9 percent this year. (On another topic, most of you also know that Matthews has had to fight off charges _ which he vehemently denied _ of HGH use.) DailyHerald.com Blogs.
To add to Bruce Miles’ excellent sum-up, Matthews will turn 36 next year, so he’s no spring chicken. And if he isn’t using HGH, well, then, he probably won’t be very good.