Could Giants bring back Melky?
The corner-outfield free agent market has taken a hit recently. The Mariners are set to announce the signing of Nelson Cruz, the Braves agreed to a four-year deal with Nick Markakis, the Twins added Torii Hunter and the D-backs landed Yasmany Tomas.
So here’s a thought from FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal on Twitter: Might the defending World Series champs turn to Melky Cabrera? Rosenthal reports the Giants have “expressed interest” and quotes an anonymous player saying the switch-hitting outfielder would be a “great addition.”
The cause for concern, obviously, is that Cabrera received a 50-game suspension for taking performance-enhancing substances while playing for the Giants in 2012. Cabrera was eligible to return for the playoffs that year but did not, bringing an uncomfortable end to his time there.
Getting past all that, the question really becomes whether Cabrera is a good fit with the Giants. He hit .346/.390/.516 in 113 games for San Francisco in 2012, though some would call his performance that season into question considering the subsequent suspension.
But Cabrera, 30, is coming off a strong season for the Blue Jays in which he hit .301/.351/.458 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs in 139 games. He’s sure to be in demand this offseason, with some speculation that he could receive a five-year contract.
And the Giants could certainly use another hitter, whether that’s in the outfield to replace Michael Morse or at third base to replace Pablo Sandoval. Cabrera would fill a need, giving San Francisco an outfield of Cabrera, Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence with Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez as reserves.
There are several other options on the market if the Giants are wary of bringing back Cabrera or don’t want to pay up for him. MLB.com’s Chris Haft suggested free-agent outfielder Alex Rios as an intriguing option for the Giants. Atlanta’s Justin Upton and Boston’s Yoenis Cespedes are among the outfielders reportedly available via trade.
Of course, there are plenty of teams still looking for outfield help. The Mariners, Orioles, White Sox, Royals, Tigers, Rangers, Reds and Padres are among the teams that either have been linked to Cabrera or could use another outfielder.