We’ve reached the point of the offseason where it’s not entirely clear whether some veterans will continue their careers or move onto the next chapter. Curtis Granderson announced his retirement earlier today, and we’ve seen less-prolific names like Peter Bourjos and Tony Barnette step away from playing this week as well. To that end, while it’s been a quiet winter on the Melky Cabrera front, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets that the veteran switch-hitter hopes to keep playing for “another couple years.”
Cabrera has consistently hit for solid batting averages and maintained a low strikeout rate even into his mid-30s. The 35-year-old has hit .280 or better in four straight seasons and hasn’t seen his average dip south of .270 since way back in 2010. He’s never struck out at even a 14 percent clip in a single season. That said, Cabrera’s power dwindled in 2019, as even at a time when home runs were at an all-time high throughout the league, he posted his worst isolated power (.119) since a 2013 season in which he played part of the season with a benign tumor in his lower back. Last year’s 4.3 percent walk rate was also a career-worst, leading to Cabrera’s lowest OBP since 2008.
On the other side of the ball, Cabrera has never been considered a good defender but posted particularly rough numbers in the outfield with the Pirates in 2019. Despite playing only 682 innings in the field, he logged -15 Defensive Runs Saved, a -6.8 Ultimate Zone Rating and -4 Outs Above Average.
Cabrera was average or better at the plate from 2016-18, so a club that feels his power and/or walk rate can bounce back in 2020 might think there’s a moderately productive part-time outfielder with high-end bat-to-ball skills still in there. At the same time, his continually deteriorating defensive marks probably limit him to a bench role even if does latch on with a club. At some point, one can imagine that he’ll land a minor league contract somewhere, but like most of the remaining corner outfielders on the market, he’ll probably have to earn his way back to the Majors with a strong Spring Training or even with an early-season run in Triple-A.
he’s a plus 4th/5th OF/DH for a team in need. Texas?
Could be a cheap replacement for Choo.
As long as his HGH supplier keeps coming through. He and Cano. and jeter- oh he retired before he was named. No wonder he was 99.7% jeter was a liar, & a cheat.
You’re a little man. Only a little man would try and hate on a guy who has never been linked with PEDs. Never has he had a sudden “power outburst” or did something so far and above his norm. I get it dude. I’ve heard about it at least. Try Blue Chew. You need to release that pent up energy.
He did. He had a bulked up season where he put on about 30-40 lbs and he hit his career high homeruns that year. Hint, A-roid was his teammate. So was cano & melky. Funny how they ditched cano & melky that very next year and they both immediately got busted & suspended AND well, we know what happened to aRoid over the following years. Lol jeter was likely given an out to retire but surely it was coming out.
and yet, what the Astros did was far, far worse than what Melky or A-Rod did, and no one seems to care one iota.
ESPN poisoned so many fans into thinking PEDs were literally the worst thing a player could do, but what the Astros did was way more hardcore cheating than any PED user, even Canseco and Bonds. Only an idiot would give a care about PEDs now that real, premeditated cheating has been proven to be happening.
What the Astros did was no different than putting roofies in someones drink and its truly despicable MLB is not banning all the 2017 Astros hitters for life.
Dude stop. Another lie. Jeter has NEVER been a muscled up guy and you don’t add that much muscle and then lose it the next year. Besides his career homerun total came in 1999 when he hit 24 homers after hitting 19 the year before. A whopping 5 homer increase. In 1999 Arod was still in Seattle and Cano and Melky weren’t even in the majors yet.
Jeter has only had 3 years with more than 20 homers. 24 in 1999, 21 in 2001 and 23 in 2004. Not exactly crushing the ball dude. Arod joined the Yanks in 2004 and Cano and Melky didn’t debut until 2005. Jeter never hit more than 19 homers since those 3 joined the team.
@longpant the only person needing hgh is you to help your brain recover from whatever drugs you’ve been using
I think he is done. Obp is all the rage. No power. Skill wise a ok enough defender, just no range. A small right field like Pittsburgh was a good fit.
I can’t believe El Leche is still “only” 35 y/o. I hope he sticks somewhere.
Would love to see him go off in an everyday role on a bad team this year, then turn that into a couple more years, getting within shouting distance of 3000 hits or even getting there if he played to like, 42….only because it would be hilarious to see a legit mediocre player get to that plateau.
Wait, isn’t that Harold Baines?
Pretty sure melky has ped issues on his record as well
He was suspended 50 games for PEDs in August 2012, when he had a .900+ OPS. Aside from that he had .800-.810 OPS years in ’11, ’14, & ’16. Otherwise he had 9 years in the .700’s and 3 in the 600’s (’08, ’10, ’13).
Looks like he had 106 hits last year, only 10 more years to go at that pace.
I literally said in my first sentence “go off in an everyday role on a bad team” – you countered with “he had 106 hits last year”, which was a year where he did NOT have an everyday role.
He’s had 200+ hits in a season before, thats what “going off” means.
Sheesh…reading comprehension is important….
You’re proposing something that is practically impossible. Get real. He will be lucky to find work much less amass over 1000 more hits.
Vizquel got close and he’ll eventually get into the hall because of it lol.
He needs over 1000 hits. He won’t even break 2500.
He won’t sniff 3,00 but that being said, I remember his early years. Most saw him as a AAAA kind of player. He was also a casualty of the new saber-metric society that down playerd his counting numbers vs the more analytical approach. He was never a great fielder and he never had an above average OBP season as his one year high of .351 But he is a contact hitter who has had a very nice career, Not many ever thought he would have a 2,000 hit career.
Hal Baines was better than mediocre.
Get in shape then, Melky.
He gonna use steroids again?
If the Pirates don’t bring him back, it’s just to create the appearance of change. No way they have 40 guys better than him. Seems unlikely they have 26 better.
He would be a starter for him but he isn’t coming back. Why would any pirate fan want him back? He has no upside and can’t be traded at the deadline. Be patient and in 2 years you can be like half the people on here and brag how great your teams farm is.
I thought Melky became a web site bulider.
Pirates should sign Melky back. Granted his defense stinks. He looked lost in RF. I wonder if he can play one of the corner INF positions? I know Bell is at first, but Melky (if able to man the position) would seem to be a good guy to spot start for Bell. Melky can always DH against AL teams. I thought about him at 3B, but his arm wouldn’t be good enough for the position. But 1B, I would be interested to see if he can play it. Can’t be any worse than Jaso, Alvarez, Moran, Cervelli, or Osuna at 1B.
Melky didn’t look terrible last year. Range is limited but he made a few slightly above average plays. He still has a decent arm. His arm would play just fine at third, if he weren’t left handed. Osuna is a perfect spot start for Bell vs a LH pitcher and it’s his natural position.
There is a reason why Pirates took him off 1B while in the minors. He was off 1B before Bell took the reins of it. He can’t be that good there and numbers haven’t lied
Melky is left handed.
Ped will still be banned. He won’t make a roster
Wth are you talking about? If you can provide something halfway decent, get going.
That’s why he is still here, he can’t.
His -1.2 is sure worth a lot.
I believe you have interpreted his defensive stats incorrectly. the -15 DRS means he cost his team 15 runs, not saved them that many. And the -15 number is accurate. Cabrera was, in 2019, aneceptionally poor defender – worse by a wide margin that even Castellanos.
Great candidate for a rebuild club, that if he plays well they can flip at deadline. Baltimore? Toronto? Detroit?
He’s done at the mlb level. No more speed and he never had power. Couple that with shaky defense. He should look at coaching or playing in another country.
Tiger left field.
Detroit’s outfield is very big. It requires speedy guys. Melky no thanks. However yes please Jarrod Dyson or Billy Hamilton.
4th OF / Pinch hitter. Not much more at this point.
The Giants should be looking in Cabrera’s direction instead of considering bringing back Pence for old time’s sake. Could also see a fit in Seattle.