Joel Sherman of the New York Post, spoke with several major league executives who said they believed that the Mets and Phillies will be very interested in outfielder Melky Cabrera, who will be a free agent this offseason.
There’s also a good chance that the Giants will try to re-sign Cabrera, especially if they are unable to work out a deal to keep center fielder Angel Pagan who is also set to be a free agent.
One executive thought Cabrera could get two years in the $10 million to $12 million range, but the others mostly believed Cabrera would most likely get a one year “prove it” deal.
Such a deal could range anywhere between $2 million to $5 million dollars and could be very attractive to the bargain-hunting Mets. Cabrera signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Giants before the 2012 season.
The 28-year-old outfielder was in the midst of a spectacular season – leading the NL in batting and posting a .346/.390/.516 slash line with 11 homers and 60 RBI in 113 games this season for the Giants.
He was then suspended 50 games after testing positive for PED’s. Making things even worse, Cabrera attempted to thwart the suspension by designing an elaborate scheme that included the construction of a fake website that sold vitamins and supplements.
Cabrera was eligible to return to the Giants for the playoffs, but they opted not to reinstate him to the roster and decided to battle without him.
Melky was just a garden variety, mediocre outfielder with a career .258 batting average until he had his breakthrough season in 2011 with the Kansas City Royals where he batted .305/.339/.470 with 18 home runs and 87 RBI while stealing 20 bases in 155 games. But was it real?
I agree that he won’t get more than a one-year deal in light of his incredible offensive transformation two seasons ago. Teams will want him to prove that his numbers were not a byproduct of his illegal use of banned substances.
Despite all the ethical and moral lines that Cabrera crossed, I could see Alderson looking beyond all the character issues and side-stepping any fan resentment if he could get some production at a cheap price.
One of the first free agent signings this new front office made was signing catcher Ronny Paulino who was in a similar situation and in fact still had to serve out the remainder of his PED suspension during the 2011 season before he could be activated by the team. So clearly, a PED suspension or violating the league’s policy on banned substances would not be a stumbling block to any potential negotiation.
Expect a fair share of Melky to the Mets stories to feed the rumor mill in the next two months.