The Melky Cabrera era for the Toronto Blue Jays may end before it truly ever got its legs going.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2013
That can be taken quite literally, of course, considering that the left fielder has basically played on one leg for a majority of the 2013 season. Still, the idea that GM Alex Anthopoulos would be looking to pull the plug on the experiment with one year and $8 million left on Cabrera’s contract might hint at something more coming for the team other than a “shed unnecessary pieces” kind of sale.
The team’s supposed answer in left has been, much like the team, a disappointment this season.
Currently a -0.7 fWAR player with a .684 OPS through 369 PA, it’s as if all of the worst-case scenarios that the Blue Jays could have envisioned when they took a chance on him coming off a PED suspension came true in one swoop. His production at the plate been disappointing, and the injury to his lower body likely only exacerbated the issue.
Oh, and he might be facing a second suspension for his link to the Biogenesis scandal too.
So yeah, I think it’s hard to imagine exactly which contender would be chomping at the bits to acquire Cabrera. Still, it’s not as though the Blue Jays necessarily came into the deal knowing that he’d be playing with a bum leg for so long, and the deal remains team-friendly for the upside the outfielder can bring. If the Jays were still looking to see what this core can do when healthy, there’d be little reason to trade him now.
Perhaps this is a not-so-subtle hint that the team might be ready for some thing more in line with what Anthopoulos might call an ‘adjustment in payroll parameters’?
That, in laymen’s terms, might translate to ‘Rogers spent the money to win, and now they don’t want to be stuck with an expensive loser’.
So, could the team be headed for that dreaded R-word that fan’s weren’t supposed to hear anything about this season? Dumping what’s left of the $10 million-plus owed to Cabrera and Emilio Bonifacio this year would be a start. Then again, you could probably make a pretty good argument against the validity of this rumor by simply asking this question:
Why would any team want to take on the injury/suspension risk of Cabrera now, and why would any team want Bonifacio’s .569 OPS at this point?
The Blue Jays might be looking to sell, but finding buyers … well, that’s a different story.