Jeff Blair has a post up asking why the Blue Jays haven't signed Melky Cabrera yet. It is a good question. I can understand them wanting to see him play it to the end of the season, but, now, his season is over, why not get it done?
There are a couple of points that Blair games that I'd question:
He says that Melky "had played solid defense". Now, your view of solid and mine might be a different thing. I think Melky has been much much better than last year, which is understandable since he was carrying around a tumor with him last year. And I do think Melky really looked like he was working hard out there, especially the last month or so. But FanGraphs has him at a -5.3 UZR/150, which matches what my eyes tell me. He's not exactly great with the glove. 'Solid' would be an exaggeration in my mind.
I don't think he'll get getting any better than what he is now. He's 30 now, I think there is a move to DH in his future. But, compared to last year, he's Willie Mays out there.
Blair also says:
He has been the organization's most consistent offensive performer
Well, I don't know. Melky's OPS by month:
We'll ignore the 4 games he played in September. Slugging by month ranges from .387 in August to .567 in April. He's been good, but he hasn't been any more consistent than anyone else.
Blair has an interesting bit:
At least one National League team has had one, sometimes two scouts following the Blue Jays for three weeks, focusing on Cabrera. One of those scouts said he thought his team would do a four-year deal for Cabrera - something approximating shortstop Jhonny Peralta's four-year, $53-million contract signed last winter with the St. Louis Cardinals.
If I was an NL team, I don't think I'd be wanting to offer him 4 years, since they can't put him in at DH. It might be just me, but I'd be worried about what his defense will be like at age 34. Blair does suggest a more front loaded contract.
Fangraphs has Melky at a 2.5 WAR for this season. Considering that the most likely internal replacement for Melky is Kevin Pillar, who I'd rather be used as a 4th outfielder/platoon partner with Anthony Gose than an everyday left fielder, I'd like to have Melky back. There isn't much for good outfielders coming up as free agents this off-season, so Melky would likely be much wanted on the free agent market.
If I'm the Blue Jays, I guess I'd offer a 2-year deal, hitting around the $15 to $16 million a season area, considering the Qualifying Offer will be something like $15 million this off-season. I'd offer him about $32 million over 2 years and see where that goes. I think it is a fair offer, I guess we'd see if he does really want to stay or not. I'd likely go 3 years if I had to, but I doubt I'd go four.
What would you offer Melky?
There is a bit of news, just as I was about to hit post. Melky and Chad Jenkins each had surgery on their injured fingers this morning. Melky was put on the DL today, not that it really matters with the roster expanded.