Once again, the White Sox have come out of nowhere and snagged a major free agent. The team has agreed to a three-year, $42 million deal with outfielder Melky Cabrera, as reported by Bruce Levine of 670TheScore.com and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Cabrera, 30, has drawn interest from the Blue Jays, Mariners, Royals and Giants this offseason, with Seattle seeming like the overwhelming favorite even after adding Nelson Cruz on a four-year contract earlier this winter. The White Sox were not said to be seriously interested in the slugger, though they appear to have quietly struck a deal in a way similar to how they have signed free-agents Zach Duke, Adam LaRoche and David Robertson this offseason. Those three moves, along with the additions of Cabrera and starter Jeff Samardzija, signify that the White Sox are looking to compete in 2015 and will be aggressive for the rest of the offseason.
For the White Sox, Cabrera will likely play left field, meaning that a trade of Dayan Viciedo is almost a foregone conclusion. Chicago was said to be in serious talks with the Mariners about a trade involving Viciedo earlier in the week, and it now appears very possible that the M's losing out on Cabrera means they will have to strike a deal for an outfielder.
In 139 games for the Jays last season, Cabrera hit .301/.351/.458 with sixteen home runs and 73 RBI, and was widely expected to re-sign with Toronto after the season. The team instead acquired Michael Saunders from the Mariners, causing Cabrera to seek work elsewhere.