Toronto initially was showing interest in resigning outfielder Melky Cabrera, but with the Blue Jays acquiring Michael Saunders from the Mariners on Wednesday night, Cabrera returning is not likely. Cabrera, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, is seeking a five-year deal, and a reunion with the San Francisco Giants remains possible.
In addition to San Francisco, both Kansas City and Cincinnati are interested in the 30-year old outfielder, who posted a .301/.351/.408 batting line in 139 games with the Blue Jays last season. Nelson Cruz received a four-year deal, and Cabrera may request a similar contract.
Multiple teams could make sense for Melky
Kansas City is looking to add a bat this offseason, however considering the defending American League Champions are a smaller market team, a move might have to be made if the club sees signing Cabrera as a realistic goal. The departure of Billy Butler, who signed a three-year, $30 million contract with Oakland, should create some extra payroll room. Heyman notes that the Royals' payroll is expected to be around $100 million in 2015, and a five-year contract could become too expensive.
The Royals were unsuccessful in their pursuit of Torii Hunter, and as a result could be encouraged to add a notable bat.
While Cabrera might be too expensive for Kansas City, the Reds' interest will be based on the club's long-term plans. Cincinnati has four starting pitchers who will become free agents at the end of the season, and rebuilding remains an option. The Reds have also been linked to Michael Morse and Norichika Aoki this offseason, but do not have a set left fielder, making Cabrera attractive.
Does Melky still fit with the Giants?
Cabrera hit 16 home runs and drove in 73 runs last season with the Blue Jays, and a reunion with the Giants is becoming increasingly plausible. San Francisco lost a key middle of the lineup bat in Pablo Sandoval, and is familiar with Cabrera, who spent 2012 with the club.
Major League Baseball suspended Cabrera in 2012 after he tested positive for PED use, but Ken Rosenthal notes on Twitter that the Giants, and other major league clubs, would not refuse to sign Cabrera because of his past.
A current #SFGiants veteran says of Melky’s past, "I don’t think anybody in the clubhouse cares. He’d be a great addition."— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 4, 2014