Melky Cabrera Rumors
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.
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 Rockies' Ramon 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.
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.
The Giants clinched the NL West Division title this past weekend, despite having lost Melky Cabrera for the remainder of the regular season due to a failed drug test. As the 2010 World Champs gear up to make a run at a second title in three years, here are some links surrounding the division...
- Sergio Romo appeared on "Inside Pitch" with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM and said the Giants would welcome Cabrera back with open arms if he returned to the team during the playoffs. "Why wouldn't we want him on our team?" asked Romo, before going onto call Cabrera a "great teammate" whose talent would improve the team's chances of winning it all.
- Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso was on a trip to Spain with his sister and friends (including Manny Machado) last winter when he learned of his trade, writes MLB.com's Corey Brock. Alonso was there courtesy of his team at the time, the Reds, to watch his favorite soccer team -- Real Madrid. Brock's article is a terrific look at how trades can affect players on a personal level, and contains quotes from Alonso, Machado, and GMs Walt Jocketty (Reds) and Josh Byrnes (Padres).
- Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario is the best rookie that no one is talking about, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman suggests that Rosario is could be outperforming other, more commonly discussed candidates.
Earlier today, Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera announced that he is removing his name from consideration for the National League batting title in the wake of his suspension. "I have no wish to win an award that would be tainted. I believe it would be far better for someone more deserving to win...I am grateful that the Players Association and MLB were able to honor my request by suspending the rule for this season. I know that changing the rules mid-season can present problems, and I thank the Players Association and MLB for finding a way to get this done." More from around baseball as Friday turns into Saturday..
- Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo told Adam LaRoche and his agent they will talk about his future shortly after the playoffs, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson. LaRoche has a $10MM option on his contract for next season but the veteran has made it clear that he hopes to remain in Washington.
- Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets that some people in baseball believe that Dan Radison will be the Astros' next manager. Former catcher Brad Ausmus was said to be in the running for the job but he removed his name from consideration earlier this evening.
- Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow confirmed that he has spoken with nine potential candidates for the managerial vacancy and has trimmed down the list somewhat, write Brian McTaggart and Clark Goble of MLB.com. However, Luhnow wouldn't say how many candidates remain in consideration.
- Athletics owner Lew Wolff believes his team's fight for a new ballpark will be settled within the next year, writes Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Wolff went on to say that he isn't interested in battling things out with the Giants in a courtroom.
Four teams have at least a 98% chance of reaching the postseason this year, according to Baseball Prospectus' Playoff Odds Report. The Yankees, Rangers, Nationals and Reds look like playoff teams now, but they all saw what happened to the Braves and Red Sox last year, so I doubt any contending teams intend on coasting from this point on. Here are today’s links...
- The chances that Melky Cabrera will appear in a potential postseason game or re-sign with the Giants this offseason are "close to nil," according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told reporters, including Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, that the team wouldn't attempt to retain Juan Cruz if he clears waivers (Twitter link). The Bucs have younger players who have passed Cruz, according to Hurdle. Cruz was designated for assignment earlier today.
- The Red Sox "weren't trying very hard" to trade Josh Beckett before the non-waiver trade deadline, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Rangers and Braves are believed to be among the teams that spoke to Boston's executives about Beckett, Heyman writes. One unnamed GM said "Boston's first priority has to be to trade Josh Beckett'' this August. Another executive suggested the Rangers could make sense for Beckett, who would have to be placed on waivers to be traded this month.
- The Cardinals signed 16-year-old right-hander Ronald Medrano, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. Medrano has touched 90-91 mph with his fastball and has shown good feel for his secondary pitches. He had been considered one of the top Nicaraguan prospects available, according to Badler.
- Nationals first rounder Lucas Giolito re-injured his pitching elbow and will be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum, ESPN.com's Keith Law reports. Giolito, who was at one point a candidate to be selected first overall, signed for $2.925MM after the Nationals drafted him 16th overall in June.
A pivotal battle between two division rivals in the midst of a playoff race took 19 innings to complete as the Pirates beat the Cardinals by the score of 6-3. Pedro Alvarez gave Pittsburgh the lead in the top of 19th when he hit a solo shot against Barret Browning. The Pirates took the three-game series with the win and would be headed to the playoffs if the season ended today as the second Wild Card.
Here's the latest news and headlines from around the National League...
- With the Braves set to play one more series against the Nationals after this week's showdown, Atlanta realizes the importance of making up ground in D.C. starting on Monday, writes Andrew Simon of MLB.com. The Braves have a comfortable hold on the top Wild Card spot but have played well enough to make a run at the division only to be matched win-for-win by Washington. "We have the opportunity to take advantage because it seems like every time we win, they win and they don't lose very often," said Freddie Freeman. "So this is our time to try to take control of things and get a little closer."
- Nationals right-hander Edwin Jackson, a free agent after the season, would like to remain in D.C. on a deal longer than the one-year contract he signed in February, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. "Anything more than one year," Jackson said. "It would be nice to settle down for more than one year, for sure. I would like to [stay]. I could see myself being a part of [the Nationals], but at the end of the day, it's up to ownership."
- The battle against performance-enhancing drugs remains an uphill struggle for Major League Baseball, opines Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Rosenthal suggests Melky Cabrera's actions reflect a desperate person willing to resort to desperate actions as he may have viewed PEDs as the lone way to salvage his career. While there may be less users in baseball as compared to a decade ago, players are still abusing the system and reaping the benefits that Cabrera enjoyed for almost a full season, if not longer.
On this day in baseball history in 1957, Giants president Horace Stoneham violated baseball's protocol for announcements about teams relocating to new cities by failing to wait until after the World Series. Stoneham cited declining attendance to the press as to why the Giants were headed to San Francisco to play their home games for the following season. The team's board of directors approved the move by the vote of 8-1 with M. Donald Grant casting the lone dissenting vote. Grant would later go on to become the chairman of the expansion Mets.
Here's the latest news and headlines from around the league...
- Melky Cabrera's suspension ensures that the beleaguered outfielder won't see the field again until the playoffs, but that doesn't mean he can't win the NL batting title, writes Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com. Doyel suggests MLB commissioner Bud Selig should intervene and prevent Cabrera from receiving the award if he finishes the season with the highest batting average in the league. Andrew McCutchen currently leads the NL with a .356 average entering Sunday's action as compared to Cabrera's .346 mark with 43 games to go.
- The Mets may have a trade partner for Johan Santana this offseason if the left-hander can regain the strong form he's occasionally displayed this season, opines Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino looks at the Dodgers as a possible fit for the former two-time Cy Young winner given their newly-minted deep wallets. With Santana guaranteed over $25MM next season, the Mets may elect to keep their struggling ace rather than pay $20MM to watch him pitch for another team.
- Bobby Valentine never had a chance as the manager of the Red Sox given the state of the franchise from top to bottom, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. When Boston brought Valentine aboard to replace Terry Francona this offseason, it was getting a brilliant baseball mind who could identify talent at an expert level but was prone to a soap opera from time to time. As Heyman puts it, the Red Sox never should have hired Valentine if they were just going to cut his vocal chords mere months later in the wake of the Kevin Youkilis incident.
Alfonso Soriano told Theo Epstein & Co. that he would not accept a trade to the Giants when San Francisco showed interest in him prior to the July 31st deadline. The club may have renewed interest in the veteran after Melky Cabrera was hit with a 50-game suspension, but the Cubs outfielder says that he still doesn't think that the Giants would be a good fit for him, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "San Francisco is not good weather to play in. It's on the West Coast and I've never played on the West Coast. We'll see what happens if they call. I'll talk to my family then and see. It's not my call. I know it's 50 percent of my call, but it's my family's [call] too. I'd talk to my family and see what happens," Soriano said. More on Cabrera and the Giants..
- The suspension changes the complexion of the National League West race, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Cabrera theoretically could return to action for the sixth game of the postseason, but it's unlikely that the Giants would leave a roster spot open for him without knowing what he'll be able to contribute.
- Cabrera's sudden turnaround in San Francisco seemed too good to be true, and it turns out that it was, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. It's possible that teams will entirely discount his strong play in 2012 when he's on the open market this winter, but others may seize the opportunity to buy low.
- Cabrera's agents didn't pursue an in-season extension once they were notified of his positive test, Heyman tweets.
- There's no doubt that the Giants heard of Cabrera's positive test at the time they acquired Hunter Pence, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. While the official word didn't come out until this afternoon, there were strong whispers of the news in late July.
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs opines that Cabrera might have cost himself $60-70MM this winter. Cameron also doesn't see the 28-year-old having many suitors in free agency.
- The Giants appear to be in serious trouble without their star slugger, but that doesn't mean that the Dodgers can rest on their laurels and celebrate, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.