JULY 1: Cabrera can earn at a $1.1MM annual rate if he makes the roster, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.
JUNE 29: The Mets’ signing spree continued Monday with the additions of outfielder Melky Cabrera, infielder Gordon Beckham and right-hander Erasmo Ramirez. All three have been announced by the club, and all are “expected” to be added to the 60-man player pool, according to the team. They join earlier signees Hunter Strickland and Ryan Cordell in that regard.
At 35 years old, Cabrera isn’t the hitter he once was. That said, the Melk Man also hasn’t batted lower than .273 in the past decade, and his contact skills generally make him a source of a respectable OBP even though he doesn’t walk much.
The switch-hitting Cabrera’s .280/.313/.399 slash with the Pirates last year was below-average on the whole (88 OPS+, 85 wRC+), but he was an average or better hitter in the three preceding seasons. Cabrera carried an .807 OPS into the All-Star break last year, but he hit just .231/.257/.306 down the stretch as his role shrunk. To his credit, he struck out at just a 10.3 percent clip in 2019. He’s no lock to make the roster, but if he can shake off last year’s second-half slide, the Mets could conceivably work him into the DH mix and not need to worry about his glove.
Beckham, 33, inked a minor league pact with the Padres in February but had a rough showing in their initial camp that led to his release. Although he drew five walks, Beckham was hitless in 14 at-bats. He spent the 2019 campaign with the Tigers, hitting .215/.271/.372 with six homers, a dozen doubles and a pair of triples in 240 trips to the plate.
Beckham made his big league debut just one year after being selected with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2008 draft by the White Sox. He wasn’t able to replicate a strong rookie campaign, though, and eventually settled in as a journeyman utility infielder. He’s appeared in the big leagues each year since 2009, but Beckham carries a tepid .237/.300/.367 slash in 3782 plate appearances as a big leaguer.
Ramirez, 30, was a quality arm with the Mariners and Rays from 2015-17, pitching to a combined 3.97 ERA (4.22 FIP) with 7.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 in 385 1/3 big league innings. A teres major strain wiped out most of his 2018 season, though, and Ramirez has yet to really regain his footing. He spent the 2019 season with the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate, for whom he posted a 4.74 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 125 1/3 innings.