The San Francisco Giants and All-Star MVP Melky Cabrera have agreed to put all contract negotiations on hold until after the 2012 season.
Cabrera is having by far his best season as a major leaguer and the Giants want to make sure they lock him down so that they do not lose the talented left fielder. Cabrera is making $6 million this year and will become a free agent at the end of the season. San Francisco was rumored to have offered him a three-year, $27 million extension a few weeks ago.
There has been speculation that the Giants will not be able to sign Cabrera and newly acquired outfielder Hunter Pence, but general manager Brian Sabean remains confident there is enough financial capability to ink deals with both players. Pence will not be a free agent until after the 2013 season, which means the player the Giants are most concerned with is Cabrera.
Whether Cabrera feels he can get more money in free agency is unknown, but one would have to assume that is one reason why contract talks broke off. Considering his age, major league experience, and off-the-chart numbers this season, all signs point to him getting a potentially huge contract from some team during the winter meetings.
Corner outfielders are getting more and more money these days, which means the Giants will have to figure out a way to give Cabrera more than $9 million per season, especially considering how much his statistics have increased over the last two seasons. He is just entering his prime and there is no indication he is going to slow down at the plate.
In 430 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is batting .353 with 78 runs, 23 doubles, 10 triples, 11 home runs, 56 RBI, 35 walks, and 12 stolen bases. His batting average and triples lead all of baseball while his triples rank second and runs rank third.