Melky Cabrera is on track to hit free agency following the 2012 season, but there’s a chance the Giants will keep him off of the open market altogether. GM Brian Sabean told Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle that Cabrera’s play and work ethic have impressed him so far this year. This means the Giants won’t necessarily postpone contract talks until the offseason.
"I think it's different with a transitional player, depending on who the agent is or the appetite of the player,” Sabean said. “So I wouldn't say that's an absolute."
Cabrera, an ACES client, will earn $6MM in 2012. The 27-year-old is hitting .338/.386/.490 in San Francisco, an indication that last year's breakout may be sustainable. So far in 2012 Cabrera has played left and right field, positions which suit his skillset, according to The Fielding Bible Volume III.
Cabrera’s hot start should give him enough leverage to demand a multiyear deal in talks with Sabean and the team's front office. The Giants could lose Cabrera and Angel Pagan to free agency this offseason, as I explained last week.