Melky Cabrera Rumors
After the team's loss of Eric O'Flaherty to injury, the Braves appear likely to trade for a lefty reliever before the trade deadline, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). A trade is unlikely to occur anytime soon, however, since the deadline is more than two months away. Here are more notes from the East divisions.
- Reid Brignac has mixed feelings about recently being traded to the Yankees, Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily news reports. The Rockies designated Brignac for assignment in favor of DJ LeMahieu. "It’s one of those business type things in baseball that happens. I understand some of it, so that’s fine," says Brignac. "But to be traded for by the Yankees is a great experience and I’m very excited to get started and help this team continue winning, because that’s what this team does." The Yankees believe Brignac is better suited to an infield bench job than Alberto Gonzalez, who they designated for assignment to clear space for him.
- The Giants' recent series against Blue Jays was the first time many of Melky Cabrera's former teammates had seen him since the previous August, when he was suspended for performance-enhancing drugs, Richard Griffin of The Star writes. At that point, Cabrera left without addressing his teammates. But Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt sounded neither particularly excited nor upset to see Cabrera again. "For me, it didn’t bother me. When you see him . . . I gave him a hug in the weight room. I said, 'Is it good.' He said, 'It’s great, man.' Then we walked away," said Affeldt. "It might have been more awkward for him than it was for us. The reality is that we were out there trying to win a game." Cabrera is hitting .283/.319/.376 after signing a two-year, $16MM contract with the Jays in the offseason.
Despite reports to the contrary, the Giants never discussed nor offered a deal to Melky Cabrera in the range of $75-85MM prior to the outfielder's 50 game suspension for performance enhancing drugs, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Cabrera was expected to be in line for a major pay day up until that point but a softened market led him to take a two-year, $16MM deal with the Blue Jays over the winter. Here's more from around baseball..
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters, including Ron Matejko of ESPNDallas.com, not to expect any additions between now and Opening Day. "I would expect the 25 will come out of [the Rangers clubhouse]," said Daniels. "I won't 100 percent rule out an outside acquisition, and we do our due diligence and make our calls, things can come about, but you have to be prepared to go in house."
- Tigers manager Jim Leyland says that it is "possible" that rookie Bruce Rondon will open the season as part of a bullpen by committee, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. The Tigers have reportedly been looking to acquire a proven closer via trade in recent weeks but using Rondon with other relievers already in-house would be a less-costly middle ground.
- The Pirates released former first-round pick Aaron Poreda, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). Pittsburgh picked up the left-hander in last winter's Rule 5 draft but he made just three Double-A starts for the organization in 2012.
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.
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 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.
The Blue Jays have officially announced the signing of Melky Cabrera to a two-year, $16MM contract. Cabrera is represented by the ACES agency.
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.
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.
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.
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 Cespedes, Jesus 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.
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.