Some late night Blue Jays news as the Chicago White Sox have signed free agent Melky Cabrera. The switch-hitting outfielder was of course a Blue Jay in 2014 and declined a qualifying offer from the team before testing the market. This means the team will receive a draft pick at the end of the first round after losing their original first round draft pick for signing Russell Martin. Bruce Levin broke the news:
Source tells me Melky Cabrera agrees to three year deal with WhSox pending physical .— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) December 14, 2014
Cabrera came to the Blue Jays as a free agent before the 2013 season signing a two-year $16 million contract. The team gave him a second chance after he was suspended for a positive testosterone test during the 2012 season with the San Francisco Giants. His first year in Toronto wasn't very memorable as a variety of ailments, including a tumour, made him fairly ineffective both at the plate and (especially) in the field. Thankfully he turned it around in 2014 and posted a wRC+ of 125 and a fWAR of 2.6 despite some bad defensive numbers.
The 30-year-old was thought to be heading for a four or five-year deal, but last night many people expected this three-year deal to carry a higher average annual value. Not true apparently as the reports are that the contract with the White Sox will be three years in length and worth $42 million. With an annual value of $14 million, that really doesn't seem to be that much higher than what he was expected to get with a longer deal.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>melky cabrera agrees to three-year deal with white sox for $42M. <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBBruceLevine">@MLBBruceLevine</a> 1st w/chisox</p>— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) <a href="https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS/status/544142694172594177">December 14, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Overall his time in Toronto will be remembered as a tale of two years where he made a horrible first impression and then earned nearly the entirety of his contract in the second year. It would have been nice to have him back in Toronto for a few more years, but the team went in a different direction and gained a pick from it.