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Blue Jays sign Melky Cabrera to two-year, $16 million deal

Nov 16, 2012, 2:04 PM EDT

melky cabrera getty Getty Images

In case there was any doubt left that the Blue Jays are pulling out all the stops following their blockbuster trade with the Marlins earlier this week, now Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com reports that Toronto has signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a two-year, $16 million contract.

Cabrera got the All-Star game MVP and was hitting .346 in 113 games for the Giants when he was suspended 50 games in August for a performance-enhancing drug and despite being eligible to return during the playoffs San Francisco opted to leave him off the postseason roster.

Without the positive drug test and subsequent suspension a 28-year-old switch-hitting outfielder coming off a breakout season would obviously have been in line for significantly more than a two-year, $16 million deal, so it’s certainly an interesting gamble for the Blue Jays that has plenty of upside.

Cabrera had a mediocre track record prior to 2011, but hit .305 with 18 homers, 44 doubles, and a career-high .809 OPS in 155 games for the Royals that year and then took his production to another level for the Giants. Combined during the past two years he played 268 games and hit .322 with an .849 OPS that ranked 13th among all outfielders over that span.

He joins a Blue Jays lineup that suddenly looks very dangerous with Jose Reyes in the leadoff spot and Cabrera, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion doing damage in the middle, with Brett Lawrie, Colby Rasmus, J.P. Arencibia, and Adam Lind around them.

  1. jaysjunkie - Nov 16, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Wow…just finding out about this signing now. AA has really answered the call on his critics that said he needed to make some bold moves and put his neck on the line. I was calling for the team to stick with Rajai Davis in LF – Cabrera (even a “clean” Cabrera) is a definite upgrade, though.

    I’m still cautious about next season, but admittedly also kind of giddy with excitement.

  2. gregbeau - Nov 16, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Man, I gotta try to nail down the juice concession in Toronto. Between Melky and Joey Bats I could make a fortune!

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      An analysis worthy of great minds such as Chipper, Luke Scott and The Donald.

  3. bills4 - Nov 17, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Oh Canada!!! It’s about time. Let’s go Jays!!!

  4. banggbiskit - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Tor making the huge push, Yanks been doing it with smoke and mirrors since 2008, they havent signed a ‘big name’ since then….time is not on NYY’s side until they start acting the NYY of old, signem up! Toronto has done this before where they made a big push and it didnt work out for them, the AL East has just gotten a whole lot more interesting!

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