According to several Major League Baseball sources the Toronto Blue Jays have signed outfielder Melky Cabrera to a two-year, $16 million contract.
Last season Cabrera had a tale of two seasons first setting the league on fire with his exceptional play then to only be suspended for 50 games due to the use of performing enhancement drugs. Cabrera not only led the Majors in batting average at .346 but also was named Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Game following his two for three with a homer and two RBI day in a 8-0 NL blowout. Next came the season ending suspension due testing positive for high levels of testosterone missing out on the San Francisco Giants World Series winning run.
Now the Blue Jays have signed a player whose talent is definitely in question in light of the 50-game ban but Cabrera along with the boat load of talented (and expensive) Miami Marlins awaiting deal approval could transform Toronto into a potential player in the AL East.
Ever since Cabrera first broke into the Show with the New York Yankees he has always been considered an above average outfielder with a quality arm. In eight seasons Cabrera has a fielding percentage of .988 with 66 assists while committing just 24 errors through 960 games. Prior to his tainted revolutionary season Cabrera was a pretty solid at the dish hitting .266 with 40 home runs, 117 doubles and 270 runs batted-in.
Cabrera occupying left field for the Jays and in a lineup with Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes and Colby Rasmus could mean that this team is ready to bump heads with the Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles now and the Boston Red Sox if they are ready to make things very interesting in late August and September. The Blue Jays are clearly willing to spend a ton of money this off-season so eight million per, at two years isn’t that much to gain a quality defensive player who has a batter than average bat along with baseball intangibles.
For Cabrera this is terrific because not only does he receive the opportunity to play for a team that is willing to compete at any cost and he can begin to rebuild his reputation and his natural skills. If the league approves the deal then Toronto will be equipped with a good starting rotation and lineup simultaneously for the first time in quite a while. The icing on the cake so to speak is the fact that Cabrera received much more financial backing than many experts predicted and to top everything off he now returns to the division where it all started for him playing in familiar parks.
Only time will tell if this move will pay off for both parties but in the initial stage of it the deal seems to be a win-win for both that could have the potential to improve substantially.