Orioles discussing Cabrera as “fallback option”
The Orioles are reportedly viewing outfielder Melky Cabrera as a “fallback option” in the event they are unable to re-sign Nick Markakis, according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko. It appeared early this offseason as if the Orioles and Markakis were on the verge of reaching a new deal, though talks have apparently progressed rather slowly over recent weeks.
It’s still widely believed that the Orioles will ultimately bring back Markakis, but it seems as if they are at least exploring contingency plans behind the scenes.
Signing Cabrera would likely be a bit more expensive than Markakis, but he would certainly help fill the potential void. Markakis posted a .276/.342/.386 batting line this past season, while Cabrera put up a .301/.351/.458 line with the Blue Jays.
Along with Cabrera being a more expensive option, the Orioles would also need to surrender a draft pick in order to sign him due to the fact that he declined the Jays’ qualifying offer. That could become a moot point, however, as the Orioles would receive a compensatory draft pick of their own if fellow free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz departs to sign with another team.
Again, the Orioles’ priority seems to remain bringing back Markakis, but Cabrera is on the radar as a potential replacement, if it comes to that.
— Paul Casella