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Melky Cabrera unlikely to sign long-term extension with Royals

Oct 26, 2011, 4:23 PM EDT

Melky Cabrera Getty Images

General manager Dayton Moore told Dick Kaegel of MLB.com that the Royals are unlikely to sign Melky Cabrera to a long-term contract extension because the 27-year-old outfielder wants to test free agency following next season:

We’ll probably go a year at a time at this point, but he was a terrific player for us and we’re very proud of what he accomplished and we’d be very open to Melky being here long term. But I don’t see anything right now. I think he’s at a point in his career where he wants to look at things. He’s just a year away from free agency.

Cabrera had a very strong season, setting career-highs in batting average (.305), homers (18), doubles (44), RBIs (82), runs (109), steals (20), and OPS (.809). However, he’s just one year removed from a miserable season with the Braves and came into 2011 as a career .267 hitter with a .707 OPS. In other words, Cabrera might be doing the Royals a favor by not wanting to sign an extension coming off his best year.

He’ll get a big raise on this year’s $1.25 million salary via arbitration, but if the Royals still want to keep Cabrera long term he’ll likely be cheaper to sign after next season even if they have to out-bid other teams for him on the open market.

  1. Kyle - Oct 26, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    One of the more surprisingly good performers of the season. Interested to see if he’s turned a corner and the power spike is for real.

  2. randall351 - Oct 26, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    I would of much rather they extended him than Francouer this season. I’m pretty torn on Melky, b/c I’d like to see what Cain can do, but then you don’t want to ditch Melky and Cain ends up being a bust. Either way I would rather have Melky or Cain for cheaper than Francouer for the price they paid him.
    I hope that they at least trade Melky or Cain for some pitching instead of getting nothing out of either one next year if Melky walks and Cain goes in a funk for being in AAA for yet another year.

  3. jdd428 - Oct 26, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    I think Lorenzo Cain has earned more playing time at the big-league level.

  4. purnellmeagrejr - Oct 27, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    Melky Cabrera is going the Juan Gonzalez overplay your hand route.

  5. uyf1950 - Oct 27, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    Just an observation, but Melky should let the Royals buyout the 1st 2 years of free agency. Get a 3 year deal 2012/2014 for say $25 to $30M (probably close to the $25M). He gets some guaranteed money and he can hit FA again at the end of the 2014. He’ll turn 30 in August 2014 still young enough to make a killing in FA especially if he has a “few” good years on his resume like 2011.

  6. Tyree Studio - Oct 27, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    DM took a lot of crap from folks for signing Melky last winter. Don’t really hear him getting many props for it:

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/12/09/greetings-from-the-last-day-of-the-winter-meetings/

    However, dollar for dollar Melky was probably the best OF signing (at least for one season) last year. I’m with randall351, kinda torn here. I don’t think you can sing Melky long term yet because of his shaky past numbers…plus KC already re-upped another risky OF (Frenchy) and they need to take care of the Dominator this off-season.

    IMO you have to shop both Cain and Melky and take the best deal you can get for one of them and roll with the other. Although they could keep both coming out of Arizona and maybe hope both play great and flip Melky at the deadline to a desperate team.

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