According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Desportes, the Toronto Blue Jays have signed former San Francisco Giants free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a two-year contract worth $16 million, pending a physical.
More updates to come.
A source reported to Rojas that Cabrera had already been tested this past Monday.
As many already know, the 28-year old's 2012 season was ended early because he was suspended 50 games after he tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. It is considered a performance-enhancing drug and if Cabrera is caught again then he will be suspended for 100 games. Blue Jays prospect Marcus Stroman is currently serving a 50-game suspension after methylhexanamine was found in his system.
Prior to his suspension, the switch-hitting Cabrera was enjoying a career season with the Giants, batting .346/.390/.516, 149 wRC+ in 501 plate appearances with 11 homers, 25 doubles, and 10 triples with a BABIP of .379. He accumulated 4.7 brWAR in just 113 games. Cabrera was named All-Star Game MVP after going 2-3 with 2 RBI from a two-run homer off of AL's Matt Harrison, and was a frontrunner for the NL MVP race at the time of his suspension.
Cabrera spent 4 full seasons with the New York Yankees before playing single seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, and San Francisco. His career numbers are average, with a .284/.336/.414 slash line and a 100 wRC+ and a BABIP of .309. His most disappointing season 2010 with the Braves, when he suffered a major power shortage, hitting .255/.317/.354 with 4 homers.
Melky Cabrera is not known for his defense but should be more than suitable as Toronto's starting left fielder. Even if his numbers regress towards career average, he just needs roughly 1.6 wins to reach his contract value of $8 million. The two-year, $16 million commitment is good value for someone who performed as well as he did in 2012. There is no word about whether the two-year contract also contains a team option year.
His character will of course come into question. After testing positive last season, Cabrera allegedly created a fake product--even making a fake website--to convince Major League Baseball that he unknowingly took the testosterone. When Cabrera became eligible to join the Giants in the playoffs after his 50-game suspension, they chose not to place him on the postseason roster.