Melky Cabrera Rumors

NL West Notes: Dodgers, Giants, Capuano, Cabrera

The Dodgers have an embarrassment of riches on the mound and it stands to reason that, at some point, they will move at least one of their extra starters for other assets.  Earlier today, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that Ted Lilly is drawing more interest than Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang at this stage, despite missing most of last season.  Here’s more out of Los Angeles and other notes from the NL West..

  • Rival officials believe that other clubs will wait for the Dodgers to be backed into a corner by the calendar before making a deal for Harang and/or Capuano, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req’d).  The idea behind that is to push the Dodgers to eat most of the money owed to the pitchers. Harang will make $7MM for this season and has a $2MM buyout on a 2014 option. Capuano, meanwhile, will make $6MM, with a $1MM buyout.
  • Yesterday, Olney wrote that the Giants were in talks on a deal worth roughly $80MM with Melky Cabrera before his suspension, but a source with deep knowledge of the club’s thinking says that no deal was close.  The slugger ultimately landed in Toronto this winter, signing a two-year, $16MM deal.
  • Woody Paige of the Denver Post writes that the Rockies need to upgrade their rotation with Capuano and J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays.  Toronto can afford to part with the former National League rookie of the year as he isn’t slated to be part of the rotation in 2013.

West Notes: Rangers, Ryan, Giants, Cabrera

Here's a look at some items out of the AL and NL West..

  • Rangers co-chairman Bob Simpson met with CEO Nolan Ryan in an attempt to smooth things out and sounded upbeat about the talk, writes Randy Galloway of the Star-Telegram.  “Its been positive. We are working through it, and so far the results are positive. I wouldn’t say it’s been resolved, but hopefully we can get there," said Simpson.  One member of the team’s ownership group told Galloway that prior to this, Ryan had had no contact with either Simpson or co-owner Ray Davis in almost a week, despite attempts by both to reach him. 
  • The Giants were involved in talks with Melky Cabrera about a lucrative contract extension just prior to his suspension for PEDs last season, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.  General Manager Brian Sabean and Cabrera's reps at ACES were discussing an extension worth something in range of $75-$85MM.
  • A veteran of 24 MLB seasons, Omar Vizquel is now serving as a spring training coach with the Angels and the 45-year-old has his eye on eventually landing a managerial job, writes Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.

Gio, Cruz, Rodriguez, Cabrera Linked To PED Clinic

Gio Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz are among the MLB stars who have been linked to a supplier of performance enhancing drugs in a report from Tim Elfrink of the Miami New Times. A Miami-based clinic sold PEDs to athletes from various sports, according to the report. The names of Cruz, Gonzalez, Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon were found in the records at Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic located near the University of Miami.

Gonzalez's name appears five times in the notebooks of Anthony Bosch, the clinic's chief. Cruz purchased $4,000 of product, according to the report. Rodriguez's name appears throughout the clinic's files, while Cabrera's name appears 14 times and Colon’s name also comes up.

Gonzalez has considerable security after agreeing to a five-year, $42MM contract with the Nationals last offseason. He'll earn $6.25MM in 2013 and remains under contract through 2016. Cruz will earn $10.5MM this year then hit free agency following the 2013 season. Cabrera, 28, signed a two-year, $16MM contract with the Blue Jays after serving a PED-related suspension at the end of the 2012 season. Colon, who has also served a PED-related suspension, signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the Athletics this offseason.

Rodriguez could face a suspension, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. However, don't expect the Yankees to be able to void the third baseman's contract. As Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports, the Yankees weren't able to void the deal after he admitted to using performance enhancing drugs for the first time (Twitter link). Rodriguez, who will miss much of the 2013 season recovering from a hip operation, has $114MM remaining on his contract with the Yankees.

Rodriguez and Gonzalez have both issued statements denying the allegations.



Blue Jays Sign Melky Cabrera

The Blue Jays have officially announced the signing of Melky Cabrera to a two-year, $16MM contract. Cabrera is represented by the ACES agency.

Melky Cabrera - Giants (PW)

Cabrera served a season-ending 50 game suspension under the Joint Drug Program this past season. The 28-year-old was suspended for having elevated levels of testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance.

“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used," Cabrera said at the time. "I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down.”

Before his suspension, Cabrera was enjoying the best season of his career. He posted a .346/.390/.516 batting line with 11 home runs, 25 doubles and 10 triples in 501 plate appearances with the Giants. Cabrera played both corner outfield positions in 2012, generating approximately 4.6 wins above replacement according to the versions of the metric available at FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.

Toronto's agreement with Cabrera pushes Anthony Gose, Moises Sierra and Rajai Davis down on the team's depth chart. The deal would be the most lucrative free agent contract since Alex Anthopoulos became the club's GM, surpassing the recent three-year, $10MM agreement with Maicer Izturis. Of course, the Blue Jays added significant payroll with a blockbuster trade earlier in the week, adding Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle.

Cabrera ranked 18th on MLBTR's list of the offseason's top free agents. His deal resembles the contracts signed by free agent outfielders Jason Kubel ($15MM for two years) and Coco Crisp ($14MM for two years) last offseason.

Enrique Rojas of ESPNdeportes.com was the first to report the agreement and the terms of the contract.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

 


Red Sox Links: Melky, Marlins, Free Agents

It was on this day in 1999 that Pedro Martinez was named the unanimous winner of the AL Cy Young Award, making him the third pitcher in history to win Cy Youngs in both leagues.  It was the first of consecutive Cy Young Awards for Martinez in Boston, and his 1999/2000 campaigns rank high on the list of all-time great pitching seasons.  Here's the latest out of Fenway Park…

  • The Red Sox didn't attempt to sign Melky Cabrera, reports WEEI.com's Alex Speier, though the club continues to look at free agent corner outfield options.  Cabrera agreed to a two-year, $16MM contract with the Blue Jays earlier today.
  • After freeing up tens of millions in payroll space last summer, the Red Sox were wise by not "repeating the financial mistakes of the past" by taking on some of the Marlins' large contracts, writes ESPN Boston's Jeremy Lundblad.
  • The Red Sox could approach 2013 as "one very grand experiment" and look to sign big-name free agents to expensive one-year contracts if such players can't find suitable multiyear deals elsewhere, opines John Tomase of the Boston Herald.  Such a strategy would keep Boston competitive next season and take advantage of the team's payroll space, while letting the Sox keep their prospects and avoid any long-term financial commitments.  I'm not sure this would be a sound move, as even if elite free agents could be convinced to forego their long-term security, any injuries or down seasons would leave Boston right back at square one next offseason.
  • Ben Nicholson-Smith covered the Red Sox earlier today in the latest edition of MLBTR's 2013 Arbitration Eligibles series.

Quick Hits: Cabrera, Slowey, Cardinals, Marlins

The Blue Jays continued adding to their roster today, agreeing to terms with free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera on a two-year contract worth $16MM. Here are some links from around MLB, starting with Cabrera…

  • The Indians had interest in Cabrera before he agreed to terms in Toronto, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter).
  • Not surprisingly, the Giants weren’t interested, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). Instead, the Giants remain focused on re-signing Angel Pagan, Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports.
  • Right-hander Kevin Slowey, who spent this past season pitching for the Indians' Triple-A team, is generating some interest as a free agent, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The 28-year-old hit free agency earlier in the month.
  • Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said he expects to tender contracts to all of the team’s remaining arbitration eligible players, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter). The Cardinals recently released Kyle McClellan, but their arbitration class doesn't include other non-tender candidates.
  • Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel explains how agent David Sloane worked around the Marlins' policy of not granting no-trade clauses to make sure that Carlos Delgado wouldn't pay higher taxes if moved. Former Marlins players such as Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle face different tax laws in Toronto than they did in Miami.

Quick Hits: AL Rookies, Nationals, Indians, Valentine

On this day in baseball history in 1941, Joe DiMaggio won his second American League MVP award. The runner-up was Ted Williams, who had batted .406 on the season and lost the award thanks to a writer who left him off the ballot. Here's the latest news and headlines from around the league…

  • The American League, more specifically the AL West, served as home this season to a talented crop of rookies beyond just Mike Trout, writes Paul Hagen of MLB.com. Hagen points to Yoenis CespedesJesus Montero and Yu Darvish as players who have strong cases that would easily win AL Rookie of the Year any other year, but Trout's not only a finalist for being the top rookie as he looks to take home league MVP as well.
  • While the Nationals failed to collect the hardware that comes with winning the World Series, the team's manager, top rookie and ace look to make up for it this week as the BBWAA award winners are announced, says Amanda Comak of The Washington Times. Strangely enough, Washington manager Davey Johnson was fired the same day he last won a Manager of the Year award thanks to a contract dispute with the Orioles back in 1997.
  • Count the Indians among the teams interested in pursuing Jason Bay's services, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer in his latest mailbag. Beyond Bay, Hoynes suggests the team could be in play for Melky Cabrera as the pressure-free environment in Cleveland could help him rebound next season.
  • Bobby Valentine's future may not take shape in a dugout, but Peter Gammons of MLB.com believes the veteran manager would be an asset to Major League Baseball by working for commissioner Bud Selig.

Five Teams Interested In Melky Cabrera

At least five teams have expressed interest in free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, reports Joel Sherman of The New York Post. The Mets and Yankees are not two of those teams, however.

Cabrera, 28, is arguably the most unique free agent on the market this offseason. He was performing like a star (.346/.390/.516) with the Giants this summer before being suspended 50 games for a positive PED test, which he tried to cover up with a website scheme. Given his age and production, Melky would have been in line for a huge payday. Instead, he'll likely have to settle for a short-term contract in an effort to rebuild value.

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked Cabrera as the 18th best free agent in his Top 50 Free Agents List, predicting he would sign with the Red Sox.


Sherman on Mets, Phillies, Cabrera, Olivo, Shoppach

Even in the middle of the World Series, baseball people continue to talk about embattled Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  News on Cabrera and other notes from today’s column..

  • Sherman spoke with a group of baseball executives about where Cabrera will sign and the Mets and Phillies both came up regularly.  The Mets could look to Cabrera as corner outfield insurance against Jason Bay and Lucas Duda if he is affordable.  Such a move would make even more sense if they are unable to retain Scott Hairston.
  • The majority of the execs see Cabrera winding up with a one-year deal in the $2-$5MM range to audition himself.  One exec could see him getting $10-$12MM while another said he could possibly get one year at $8-10MM.
  • The Mets are unlikely to obtain catcher Kelly Shoppach and they are instead eyeing free agent Miguel Olivo.  When the Mets were combing the trade market for catchers this summer, the Mets had Olivo as a secondary candidate to the RockiesRamon Hernandez before ultimately trading for Shoppach. The Mariners announced on Wednesday that they would not pick up Olivo’s $3MM option for 2013.
  • Yankees officials never saw Cabrera as a negative influence on Robinson Cano the way that people outside of the organization did, but he doesn’t look to be a great fit regardless.  The Yankees might not be able to offer the certainty of playing time that Cabrera will need to rebuild his value.

Giants More Open To Re-Signing Melky Cabrera

Following his 50-game suspension for a performance-enhancing drug and word of an alleged cover-up attempt, the odds of the Giants re-signing Melky Cabrera this offseason seemed unlikely.  However, there is now more openness within the Giants organization to retain the outfielder, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.

Many people within the club's front office view Cabrera as a talented two-way player coming into his prime, despite concerns that his strong 2012 campaign was the product of PEDs.  It also helps that Cabrera should now be a relative bargain on the free agent market, a significant selling point for a team that will be looking to maximize its payroll room this winter.  Baggarly also writes that the Giants were pleased with his decision to take action and have himself removed from contention for the batting title.

The Giants made the formal move of re-instating Cabrera on to the 40-man roster, though he will not be used at any point during the postseason.  The Giants' only other option would have been to release the slugger as he was coming off of the disabled list, but that would have also meant forfeiting their exclusive negotiating period after the World Series.