Report: Phillies May Be Suitors for Melky Cabrera

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This is not one of those rumors where there is a demonstrated link between the Phillies and Melky Cabrera.  This one comes from a New York Post column by Joel Sherman, which essentially looks at Melky Cabrera and whether or not he might be a fit for the New York Yankees or New York Mets.  It does, however, bring to mind whether or not Cabrera might be a fit.

Here is what he had to say about Cabrera and the Phillies, reflecting on what he heard from executive:

The Mets were one club that came up regularly as a potential landing spot for Cabrera, as were the outfield-needy Phillies. 

So, it's essentially speculation.

For many Phillies fans, the reaction is one that says, "Well, if he is cheap, I'll give him a shot…"  But, he may not be.   One thing Sherman does in the piece is look into what Cabrera might cost to sign.  Here is what he was able to get from various baseball excutives:

After the All-Star Game, there was talk Cabrera, a 28-year-old switch-hitter, would command a five-year contract worth as much as $75 million, maybe more. But in the group of executives with whom I spoke, one thought Cabrera could get two years at $10 million to $12 million, another said one year at $8 million to $10 million. But the large majority saw Cabrera having to take a one-year deal in the $2 million-to-$5 million range. He will have to use 2013 as a forum to prove he is a quality player.

Having been napped for PED use and with his production uncertain, many believe Cabrera will need to take that one-year deal to rebuild his value.  My thought is that Cabrera will sign closer to the $8 million to $10 million number than the $2 million to $5 million number.   My reasoning is that teams have showed a willingness to overpay for a one-year risk.  As long as a team is not committed beyond the one year, it might make for a worthwhile risk, depending on the upside.  

The difference betweet Cabrera and other PED users that have previously entered the marketplace is age.   From what I can tell, there have been no big-name first-time free agents suspended for PED use just yet.  We all know about Manny Ramirez, who did not get caught until the twilight of his career.   Cabrera is just 28 years old.

If – and only if – Cabrera can play capably play center field, I might like him as a fit for the Phillies.  Cabrera may have hit .346 while on PEDs, but Cabrera is a lifetime .284 hitter.   If he is capable enough to play center and move to right or left and John Mayberry enter for defense in the late innings, that is capable enough.  If the plan is to sign Cabrera and play him in left field, the Phillies better have picked up Ken Griffey Jr. in his prime, because they will need outfield offense, and I do not feel Dom Brown is a safe bet to provide a lot in right field.

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