Question: What do you get when you cheat by taking performance enhancers, lie about taking performance enhancers, try to have someone convince folks you took performance enhancers by mistake by falsifying a website, get caught taking performance enhancers, then leave your team in the lurch in the middle of a pennant chase without so much as an “I’m sorry” or “goodbye”?
Answer: A pay raise.
That is the current state of Major League Baseball.
Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com reported Friday that the Toronto Blue Jays signed outfielder Melky Cabrera to a two-year, $16 million.
Given that the report came from ESPNDeportes, I first thought maybe something got lost in the translation. You sure it was 16 million DOLLARS and not $16 million PESOS?
Cabrera earned $6 million last year with the Giants in his final year of arbitration. He put up MVP-like numbers, hitting .346 with 11 HR, 25 doubles, 84 runs, 60 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 113 games when he was suspended for 50 games on Aug. 15 for testing positive for testosterone.
Then we didn’t hear a thing from Cabrera until late in the season when he withdrew himself from the NL batting title race, even though the rules would have allowed him to win the title despite missing the final 45 games of the regular season. Buster Posey ended up with the batting title.
If not for the suspension, Cabrera was likely headed to a free-agent pay day in the neighborhood of five years, $75 million. By comparison, this is a deal for the Jays.
But which Melky will the Jays be getting?
Some believe that Cabrera’s positive drug test is reason to throw out his 2012 numbers, as well his a his 2011 numbers with the Royals (.305, 201 hits, 18 HR, 87 RBI). The REAL Melky, they say, is the one who hit 4 HR, 42 RBi and .255 with the Braves in 2010.
I don’t quite buy that. And because of that, I was open to bringing Melky back on a cheap — almost conciliatory — one-year deal for, say, $3 million.
Yeah, I know, that was naive … wishful thinking.
Regardless of who he signed with, I thought for sure that Melky would seek a one-year deal, so he could prove to everyone that he could perform without the enhancers. Then cash in on the big contract he would have received without the suspension.
It’s also hard to take his 2012 stats on face value given the performance enhancers. If the drugs didn’t enhance his numbers, why did he take them?
But what kind of numbers can a PED-less Melky produce? Who knows.
Not sure why the Blue Jays are so confident Melky can produce again at the level of 2011 and 2012. Maybe they read it on the internet.
Guess we’ll find out in 2013. And at two years, $16 million, the Giants and their fans can easily say to Melky “goodbye and good luck.”
Or they can pull a Melky and not even bother saying anything at all.
Or they can just wait to say it in person. The Blue Jays will be a AT&T Park on June 4-5.
It will sound a lot like this: “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!”