Prepare for certain Jays fans to lose their minds: Melky Cabrera is going to the Chicago White Sox.
Or so tweets Bruce Levine of Chicago’s 670 The Score, who says that it’s a three-year deal, pending a physical. No dollar figure has been reported just yet (Update: MLB.com’s Scott Merkin tweets that his colleague, Jesse Sanchez, has been informed that the deal is between $42- and $43.5-million), but that no team was willing to go to four years, and that Melky was willing to settle on three and not keep waiting, maybe says something about the soft market for his service — one that said certain Jays fans will be upset that the team didn’t get harder in on, despite the fact that they already have filled his position much more cheaply, and with a player who has been more valuable on a per-plate-appearance basis, and that Melky has a say in it too.
Even if the Jays were close, if you’re Melky, do you want to bash about on the Rogers Centre turf for three years before hitting free agency again at age-33? Probably not.
It was a good run here — especially 2014 — and a good bit of business that Alex Anthopoulos did in taking a chance on Cabrera the way that he did coming off his P.E.D. suspension in 2012, but he just wasn’t as invaluable to the club as a lot of folks want to believe. A really good player, mind you, but one whose defence and base running pissed away enough of the value of his bat to make him, in the overall, not quite as great as just the offensive statistics alone made him look.
Which isn’t to say that the Jays wouldn’t have been better off bringing him back — they certainly would be — it’s just not as bad as it seems. Nor was it their choice anyway (theoretically, at least, though they did choose to not offer him enough money above and beyond his value to make him change his mind).
And this, of course, means that the Jays have added back a decent draft pick — it will fall between the end of the first round and the beginning of Competitive Balance Round A (which precedes the second round) — after having lost theirs for signing Russell Martin.
All that simmering down stuff said, though, it really sort of does look like a pretty damn nice deal for Chicago, and one the Jays probably ought to have been in on, Saunders or not. If, y’know, the money was there to do it — COUGH — and everything else they still need to do. COUGH COUGH
But before you get too conspiratorial about it, so should a bunch of other teams at that price, no?
Image via Keith Allison/Flickr