The Indians announced Monday that outfielder/designated hitter Melky Cabrera has elected free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus. He’d been designated for assignment last week and cleared outright waivers. The 33-year-old veteran switch-hitter will now head back to the open market in search of a new opportunity.
Cabrera, who’d signed a minor league deal with Cleveland in late April, had his contract selected in May and totaled 66 plate appearances for the Indians, though he managed just a .207/.243/.293 batting line in that small sample of work.
It should be noted, of course, that Cabrera didn’t have a full Spring Training and only logged 42 plate appearances in Triple-A before joining the big league club. It’s not especially surprising then, to see some rust at the plate after a fairly limited amount of time to ramp up.
Cabrera is only a year removed from providing roughly league-average offense at the big league level. In 666 plate appearances between the White Sox and Royals last season, Cabrera slashed .285/.324/.423 with 17 homers, 30 doubles and a pair of triples — good for a 99 OPS+ and a 98 wRC+. And, from 2014-17, Cabrera racked up 2616 plate appearances between the Blue Jays, White Sox and Royals, hitting a combined .289/.333/.431 in that time (110 OPS+). While he’s no longer a threat on the bases and doesn’t provide much value with the glove, his track record could earn him an opportunity to land on a big league roster with another organization, though he may once again have to earn that opportunity with a Triple-A stint.
The question is if he’ll elect retirement next. Still can’t believe 2018 is his age-33 season.
The Mets are all over this for their “Stars of Yesteryear 2018 Tour”. Not sure what’s holding up their acquisition of Hanley Ramirez, but I’m sure your patience will be rewarded, Mets fans.
Damn I was coming to make the same comment! This would’ve been a great all star team 5 years ago
With Soler gone till at least August, it wouldn’t be the worst idear for KC to bring the MelkMan back for the hat-trick…
Or they could give someone in their organization a chance to play and see if they’re a mlb talent sense they’re rebuilding.
There is a spot for him in Tampa.
As long as the price tag is league minimum, I’ll agree with that.
No one wants to play in Tampa
methinks his career has been “melked” to death
I think the puns have been melked for all they’re worth
He was 8th in the AL in hits last year. Also had 85 runs batted in. He is not done
Since leaving the small-playing ballpark he called home in Chicago—where he could end up with about a dozen homers a year despite being completely unable to hit a ball over 400 feet—Cabrera has hit a grand total of four home runs in his last 300 plate appearances, including zero this year. He didn’t hit any in Columbus, either.
The only reason Cabrera was close to league-average with the bat last year was because Guaranteed Rate Field turned five or six warning track outs into home runs. He is not worth rostering, and hasn’t really been worth rostering since he signed with the White Sox in 2015.
And the sad part is he’s still only 33! Most of us assume Cabrera is like 36. He peaked early, and it’s hard to say how much of his decline can be attributed to PEDs. Granted he was a very, very late bloomer, but it blows my mind that Eric Thames is two years older than Cabrera and would seem to have several years of considerable production ahead of him.