melkyhighfive

In this guest post from Kyle Matte, he looks at the value that Melky Cabrera has provided the Blue Jays this year, and whether it’s realistic, or reasonable, for the club to make him a Qualifying Offer after the season. Follow Kyle on Twitter at @KyleMatte.

Statistics as of the end of the day, July 28th.

Through four months, Melky Cabrera has been the rock in a Jays line-up packed with injury, inconsistency, and underwhelming performance. He’s appeared in 106 of 107 games for the second place Blue Jays, leading off for 16 while Jose Reyes missed the first half of April with a wonky hamstring, and hitting third for nine games with Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind on the disabled list with lower body injuries. Save for one late inning pinch-hit opportunity in the nine-hole, Melky has spent his remaining 80 games in the two-spot, providing a line drive pumping bridge between the speedy Reyes and the dynamic Dominican duo.

For fans who watched their fair share of the embarrassment that was the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays, this comes as a shock. Melky was a shell of his former self, at least in the 88 games he was able to get himself into, looking more like an old man nearing retirement – Raul Ibanez comes to mind – than a 28 year old coming off back-to-back outstanding seasons with the Royals and Giants. On August 2nd, he was placed on the disabled list with what the team called a left knee strain, and the left fielder wouldn’t play again that season. “Good riddance” was a sentiment shared by many, as Melky was looking like a total waste of the guaranteed 16 million dollars he’d received just nine months prior. A boisterous minority were happy to proclaim him nothing more than a product of performance enhancing drugs, and slammed the General Manager for giving a known cheat who in their view had become lazy and complacent so much money.

Words were swallowed and jaws hit the floor a month later when the team announced Cabrera had undergone surgery to have a benign tumor removed from his spinal cord. It was believed this tumor had been pressing against his nerves, causing pain and weakness in his lower half. To say Melky was a wild card entering the 2014 season would be a massive understatement – no one knew what to expect.

Through 474 plate appearances Melky has produced a .313/.362/.487 slash line, contributing to a .371 wOBA and 134 wRC+. Among qualified MLB left fielders, those figures rank 4th and 5th respectively; thoroughly impressive for a player who was well below average offensively last season. His strikeout rate (11.4%) is the lowest it’s been since 2009 despite an upward trend across baseball, while his walk rate (7.0%) is right about at his career mark of 7.2%. His overall approach has shown improvement, too. If maintained, Melky’s current 43.9% swing rate would be his lowest since 2009, and while fewer swings isn’t necessarily positive, the fact that the decline has come predominantly on pitches outside the zone, is. His current 28.6% O-swing rate would be his lowest since, again, 2009, and is between 4% and 8% lower than his rates over his previous three seasons. Melky has the ability to drive just about anything he can reach, but being more selective is always a good thing.

Melky’s 14 home runs in 2014 have averaged 103.9 miles per hour off the bat, with an average true distance of 393.6 feet (per ESPN). In 2012, his last healthy season, he averaged 104.4 miles per hour and 393.1 feet. In 2011, it was 105.0 mph and 406.9 feet. Furthermore, at 21.1%, his line drive rate has remained consistent with the marks he has established since his breakout 2011 season with the Royals.

In terms of bat speed, Cabrera’s still got it.

Things aren’t all chocolate and roses, however. Despite playing arguably the second easiest defensive position on the diamond, Melky remains a below average defender. His UZR/150 in 2014 currently sits at -10.1, and while that’s a significant improvement upon his dismal -14.8 last season, it’s still a far cry from his passable -2.3 UZR/150 in left field for the Giants in 2012 and his -9.8 UZR/150 in center field for the Royals in 2011. He’s passing the eye test a lot better – largely due to the fact, you know, that his legs actually work – but the numbers still don’t particularly like him out there. He ranks 17th in defensive figures among the 20 qualified left fielders, ahead of only Nelson Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo, and Matt Kemp.

With Cabrera’s contract set to expire after the World Series, it creates an interesting profile to project moving forward, both in terms of potential value on a Qualifying Offer and a long-term deal. The left fielder is currently on pace for 3.0 WAR by the ZIPS and Steamer projection systems, and given that both are forecasting a slight improvement in rest-of-season defense and a decline in rest-of-season offense, the figure seems fair.

Referring back to my pre-season article on Colby Rasmus and his impending Qualifying Offer (aside: boy, that “floor” of 2 WAR I assumed sure seems absurd now), we can gain a rough estimate for average annual salary based on cumulative three-year WAR. The total for Melky would be 4.5 (2012) – 0.9 (2013) + 3.0 (2014) = 6.6 WAR, which correlates to an annual salary of around 12.8 million. This equates to a 60% raise on Cabrera’s previous salary, and while some may ask whether the Blue Jays can afford it with their freshly tightened purse strings, the better question may be, can they afford not to?

I’ve been a strong supporter of Rasmus for years now, but with each passing game it’s looking more and more like his days in a Blue Jays uniform are numbered. His defense has been shaky – both visually and statistically – and outside of the occasional home run, his offensive contributions have been unacceptable. He’s proven to be more of a platoon bat that requires a shield from same-side pitching than a true full-time starter, and in a healthy lineup it would be hard to argue he deserves to be hitting any higher than seventh.

Rasmus is a nice piece possessing potential, but when that potential starts costing eight figures per year, it’s probably time to let someone else try to tap into it.

Rasmus’ likely departure makes retaining Melky Cabrera essential, as an outfield that has Kevin Pillar in left and Anthony Gose in center – both as regulars – is simply an impossible scenario to justify. Should Pillar manage to mend the bridges he appears to have burned within the organization’s hierarchy, he and Gose could prove to be a more than adequate platoon in centerfield in 2015. The pair would provide an excellent internal stop-gap, earning around a million dollars combined while keeping the seat warm for the rapidly ascending Dalton Pompey.

Returning to Cabrera; the first step in the process is the aforementioned Qualifying Offer. The value of the Offer is the average of the 125 highest salaries in baseball that year. In 2012 that was 13.3 million, and last winter, it was 14.1 million. If we assume a similar 6% increase, the figure is likely to fall around 14.9 million for free agents this offseason. Completely coincidentally, the combined 2014 salary of Cabrera and Rasmus totals 15 million. There have been some whispers that the Blue Jays would be unable to make a Qualifying Offer to any of their free agents in fear they might accept, but if you consider the salaries of the outfield in a vacuum, the organization could theoretically afford to make the Offer to one without seeing a net increase in payroll. Of course, this ignores the 6 million dollar raise awaiting Jose Reyes, but if Anthopoulos needs an angle with ownership, there’s a decent start here.

By making the Offer, Anthopoulos would lock the Blue Jays into one of three outcomes. The first: that Melky accepts. It would be an awfully large sum on paper, but the saying “There’s no such thing as a bad one year deal” exists for a reason. Last offseason, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs looked into the value of a win on the free agent market and came up with a rough estimate of 6.0 million per WAR, while also noting the 10% or so annual inflation across free agency over the past decade. That would place the going rate at 6.6 million per WAR this offseason. Should Melky sign the Qualifying Offer at 14.9 million, the outfielder would need to produce 2.3 WAR — a plateau he’s reached in 3 of the last 4 years — for the club to get “fair” market value.

Outcome number two would be that Melky declines the Qualifying Offer and signs elsewhere, guaranteeing the Blue Jays a compensatory draft pick at the end of the first round. This would allow the Blue Jays to sign a different free agent with attached compensation — like Nelson Cruz, James Shields, or even Jon Lester — without crippling their draft bonus pool, or, plug Cabrera’s void with a non-qualified free agent or trade acquisition and enter a second consecutive amateur draft with a pair of high picks.

The third possible outcome, and probably the most desirable for both Blue Jays fans and the organization, would be for Melky to decline the Qualifying Offer and find himself in a depressed market. Should Cabrera and his agent discover that the grass isn’t always greener — like so many Qualified free agents did nine months ago — Alex Anthopoulos and friends would find themselves in the highly enviable position of possessing a massive amount of leverage in the market. The Blue Jays would have the opportunity to float a multi-year deal to retain the services of Cabrera in his remaining prime years at a below market rate.

As an example, let’s envision a scenario in which after finding lukewarm interest in his services due to the draft pick noose, Melky Cabrera signs a 3 year deal worth a total of 38.4 million to return to Toronto — the 12.8 million dollar annual salary I had estimated. Taking the projected 6.6 million per win discussed earlier, Melky would only need to produce 5.8 WAR over the course of the deal for the club to get “fair” market value. There’s a very real possibility that he comes up short as his defense falters and his bat is unable to sustain the production; but alternatively, it’s not difficult to see Cabrera reaching and/or exceeding 5.8 WAR in three years with relative ease, and it’s increasingly rare for teams to find surplus value in free agency.

Regardless of which result comes to fruition, it’s increasingly clear that the Blue Jays need to make Melky Cabrera a Qualifying Offer if they can’t get him under contract even sooner. He’s proven invaluable to this organization during its somewhat surprising playoff push, and the front office is in a position to protect both the short and long term aspirations in one fell swoop. Don’t screw this one up, Jays.

Comments (114)

  1. Nice work, young man.

  2. Considering someone like Ethier is making 17 million, Melk accepting a QO of $14 mil isnt the end of the world.

  3. Good article…good to see the score hasnt got rid of all the writers/bloggers! Although have a funny feeling that a Seattle/NYM overpay is in the books for the Melkman!

  4. It still kills be that Rasmus won’t be coming back (probably) but that’s only because I still daydream about the Rasmus that ‘could be’, not the one that apparently ‘is’.

    I fully agree with the sentiment above that given the current org depth in the OF Melky HAS to come back.

  5. Sign him

  6. Good article, great perspective on how Melky’s defence will likely keep his cost from getting out of control.

    A heads up, but Fangraphs is now showing WAR dollar values on players.

  7. Is it fair to say that keeping Melky will be a solid indication that the Jays and Rogers are making a real attempt at actually having a winning club? I can’t imagine an organization that’s, at least, trying to make the playoffs letting a player like Melky walk.

  8. There is no justification whatsoever to not give him a QO. If the Jays don’t make a QO to Melky, we will know beyond a doubt that ownership is fucking AA in every kind of way imaginable.

    • The reason to not give him a qo is because you’ve done the smart thing and already signed him.

      • Have a look at his history. This upcoming contract – for whoever gets him – will be his biggest payday. He won’t be talked into an extension or even a new contract with the Jays without testing the market 1st.

  9. If this team and ownership are serious about winning, giving both players at the very least a QO is a no brainer. Not bringing them back or letting them walk for nothing would be a huge step in the wrong direction.

  10. Well done Kyle.
    Not a big fan of UZR/150 due to inconsistancy and skewing WAR values but that’s me being picky.
    That said,before Melky got caught,rumors were that he could command 16 per year in a long contract.His acceptance of 16/2 from the Jays was to re-establish value for the next FA.Job done.
    While you may be correct at 3/38, I wouldn’t be surprised at some team offering 5/75 or more.If so,it’s doubtful that the Jays would go that length of term with him.Melky will get paid.
    IMHO

    • I know this is me being picky, but why is UZR/150 inconsistent?

      • Even Stoeten has begun to acknowledge this in his posts.
        UZR/150 is an extrapolation of a smaller sample size .While it’s better than nothing,most experts require 3 years for true UZR accuracy.And even then it’s a judgement stat.There’s quite a few articles on the subject.The use of it skews in-season WAR values. Stoeten seems to now gravitate towards using fWAR in his posts
        Don’t want to start a huge debate, cause there’s usually no compromise on it.

        It’ll all be moot and useless when MLBRAM comes out with it’s new metrics.We’re in the stoneage now.

        Anyways, I got a feeling Melky’s going for max money in the FA market.IMO

        • I fear you are right — I imagine there’s a reasonable chance we don’t get near a number he is willing to accept.

        • I’m all for compromise on this one, I just don’t get the argument that inconsistent results suggest a flaw in the stat. I understand the concerns about UZR and small samples and personal judgement factoring in, but with Melky we’re talking about five years of data suggesting he’s somewhere between below average and terrible defensively.

          Also, I’m not sure how using fWAR is an indictment of UZR, since UZR is incorporated as the defensive component of fWAR. We can’t just ignore defense altogether when we’re trying to evaluate a player, so we kind of have to use what we have available… right now all we have are a couple of decent but flawed stats and the eye test.

          • Well thought out response philbert.
            I didn’t want to hijack Kyles post.
            If I’m around tonight I can provide the links and continue the discussion.
            Sorry for my shitty response, for now anyway.lol

  11. Interestingly enough I was actually having this debate with my Dad at the game last night. The QO in my opinion is a slam dunk I then countered that I would be willing to go 3/40 for Melky, he countered with 4/50 and while I wasn’t a huge fane of 4 years I would probably have done that as well.
    It should make for an interesting off-season that’s for sure

  12. I don’t want to even think about my state of mind if for some reason Melky is allowed to walk. If that happens I’m setting the Ted Rogers statue on fire.

    • That would be an impressive feat.

    • meh, it all depends on what he is asking for. I wouldn’t want to go more than three years. Dude still looks like he is having a tough time running. Maybe I would do 4 if the aav wasn’t crazy. However, if he wants 4/70 or 5/75, then I’m fine if they let him walk.

  13. I will become a fan of another team if the Jays don’t resign Melky.

    • Neh. He’s a really good player, but he might cost more than he’s worth.

      • Highly unlikely. Consistent results barring his tumour year. Among all OF this year, he’s third in avg, 11th in OBP. And as per the excellent analysis above, the only weak point you can find is defence, which is more than mitigated by his offence (see Ramirez, Manny).
        Really would have to be outright extortion to justify not signing him.

    • I hear ya but AA will probably target pitching and need the cash Melky requires to reallocate for that.
      Love to have Melky back but will payroll parameters allow for it?

      • Let Rasmus and Morrow walk. That would free up the “payroll parameters,” even with arbitration eligibles getting raises.

        • here’s the thing,
          not a single person on this board knows what the budget is,
          we can guess, but its better not to stress about something you dont know.

          • True david.
            But to ignore all the signs and words that have been spoken on the subject wouldn’t be prudent.
            I choose to think that the budget was set for this year and additional funds were not made available.Based on that policy, I assume that there will be no increases.If there is an increase next year, that will be an unexpected bonus.
            Plan for the worst, hope for the best.Time will tell

    • That seems dumb. There are plenty of scenarios in which not signing Melky is definitely the thing to do (i.e., if he is asking for too much money, then you make the QO and wash your hands).

  14. Great article, really thorough.

  15. I’ve been a fan of Rasmus for a while now. While I, and all the chicken dog vendors in Toronto would hate to see him go, if it comes down to Cleatus or the Milk Man, I have to go with that delicious malk.

    #SignMelky
    #BrittleBones

  16. Good analysis, except for the “massive leverage” comment toward the end. In a scenario in which Melky declines a QO the jays really don’t have significantly more leverage than any other team, and they’ll actually have less than at least 9 others if were talking about draft picks.

    • No because the Jays won’t lose a pick if they resign their own player, as opposed to every other team in baseball that would.

      • I think the argument is basically that they lose the opportunity to gain a pick. Maybe.

      • But they also won’t gain one if he signs. i have a feeling he will want to stay, but the Jays will not offer enough compared to other teams, to make it happen.

        Ironically the PED history may help us somewhat afford him. Given the last year its hard to see us spending much money in the off season.

      • Exactly. As soon as he declines the QO the jays are set to get a pick (barring a Stephen Drew scenario), probably around 35th (?) overall. So the expected value of that pick has to be factored in when deciding to resign him. If you think about it that way they actually have more to lose than a bottom-10 team whose first rounder is protected, although less than the team that picks 11th since the expected value of pick 35 would be less than pick 11.

        It just bothers me when people say the player’s current team has all this leverage because they don’t lose a pick. They absolutely do. And you know AA will be taking this into consideration especially given how the jays have been among the craftier teams in moving draft budget money around. It’s not just the pick itself, it’s the slot money associated with it and the flexibility it provides.

        • The Jays won’t get a hypothetical pick that they never had. But every other team has to give up a pick that they DO have (unless it’s protected).

          • The only difference between those two scenarios is psychological. A pick is a pick. And every team loses one — having a protected pick just means you lose a second rounder. There’s still a value loss to be factored in. Obviously a sandwich rounder is worth less than a first rounder, and a second rounder is worth less than both. That’s the only way in which the calculations of the top 20 teams (lose 1st), the jays (lose sandwich pick), and the bottom 10 teams (lose 2nd) should differ.

  17. Any chance that the Jays can dump Buehrle’s contract on someone this offseason. He’s only got a year left on his deal so if you package him with a mid level prospect you should be able to get a bullpen piece or something back from a team looking for an inning eating starter to solidify the back of their rotation for one year.

    That opens up all sorts of room in the payroll limitations and then you hope that you can pick up a much cheaper version of Buehrle at 1/10th the price that performs 3/4 as well.

    • He is crazy expensive next year. Seems like a long shot.

    • Good luck with finding that mythical player

    • I challenge you to name this mythical 3/4 buerhle 1/10 the price. Giving him up leaves a huge hole, that will take fairly big money to fill in my opinion. Yes he makes a but more than he should next year, but there are unlikely to be pitching bargains on the open market. Think of what worse guys have gone for….

      • You could trade Reyes without giving up a prospect this offseason IMO
        Yankees need a shortstop and so could the dodgers

      • I guess it depends on which is the real Buerhle.

        My hopes are that we could pay someone $2 million to get through the 3rd or 4th inning, which he hasn’t done in 2 of the last 3 starts.

        I was probably low with the 1/10th price but 1/5th or 1/4 the price for 3/4′s the production may be doable and still saves over $10 million.

        Probably not doable but for a big market team without payroll parameters they may be willing to eat the excess salary in order to get the prospect.

        • The real Buehle is the one we’re seeing this season on the aggregate. Which is the same Buehle we’ve seen his entire career.

          If there’s one player I’m all of baseball that is a known commodity, it’s Mark Buerhle

    • We missed our window to trade Beurhle this year.having an all star year, Only a year and a half left….move him to the NL. Use the assets acquired to obtain a cheaper option (limited options I know, Tommy Milone comes to mind..)

      Our rotation takes a hit this year but helps us out huge next year. I know everyone was into Lester …. Coulda moved Beurhle n gave up Norris + for him in separate deals maybe.

      Maybe harder than it sounds but I think we could make it work with Dickey/Stro /Happ/Hutch/Morrow/Redmond……with whichever rental pitcher we would acquire in the separate trade.

  18. Sorry…if I had to choose between Melky and Rasmus – I’d sadly wave goodbye to Cletus.
    There’s no way I think he’s worth 14M (or whatever he’d command).
    While Melky is no defensive gem out there – worst case scenario is that you could DH him on occasion and put Pillar (FREE PILLAR!!!) in LF.

  19. As much as it pains me to say it Melky would be a perfect fit patrolling left field in front of the Monster. I really really really hope they don’t see things the same way.

    The way Melky has been maligned in recent years I kind of have a soft spot for him. He has taken a lot of PED abuse and has not fought back like some of the others. He seems to genuinely want to put it past him, as much as I really don’t know jack about him and his situation.

    Go Melk man!!!

  20. Read the article in the National Post on Colby Rasmus, it’s interesting. It’s an interview with his dad of course, but interesting none-the-less. Somewhat accusational of St. Louis messing him up, and yes blaming his 2014 season on La Russa.

    • Tony needs to shut his mouth IMO

      • The man’s standing up for his kid, I’d be hard pressed to find a dad that wouldn’t. He’s just more public than others.

        • I find it hard to believe that Colby used to be all fired up like Lawrie. If that’s the case, then it’s really sad what the game has done to his demeanor.

  21. Great article, I’d agree with the general consensus that keeping Melky (or at least making a QO) is essential.
    And I can’t imagine that the Jays would not consider bringing Kevin Pillar back – there’s guys who’ve done a lot worse.

  22. I didn’t read through all the comments, so someone else may have pointed this out….but I don’t think Jon Lester has draft pick compensation attached to him anymore, since his trade to the A’s. So cough* when *cough the Jays sign Jon Lester, they should not have to lose a draft pick.

  23. nice write up! Edwin & Jose signed mid season below mrkt value Melky unfortunately won’t..

    We can have a chocolate bar drive to raise funds to resign him.. the Melkay Way bar where .10 goes to resigning him and the rest to make the Roger shareholders not feel any $$ blemishes from not having the wild card game at the money dome..

    • I’m gonna pass around the hat and buy a bunch of Melkay Bars!

      Hope they taste better than a Reggie! Bar, though.

  24. Congrats to Drew Fairservice.

    David Cameron ‏@DCameronFG ·2 hrs
    The Score’s loss is our gain: happy to announce @DrewGROF is joining @fangraphs. Look for his debut soon

  25. Minor detail but bat speed NEQ ball speed. Quality of the strike, weather conditions on ball, etc have a pretty big impact on speed that ball comes off the bat.

    A little bird told me some valuators are more interested in MAX bat speed and swing path when it comes to power rather then what a player averages.

    Trackman does provide bat speed. Not sure what site you got your data from.

    Melky doesn’t really have an efficient swing. He’s a strong as a Ox and should have 30 HR power. The dude hits everything though, I wouldn’t change a thing….

  26. What about Option #4:

    No Qualifying Offer and he signs somewhere else.

    I think that possibility needs to be added to the mix based on what we’ve seen since last season.

  27. I had a horrible thought.

    The debate above operates under a rational premise…that the Jays will either resign Melky, or give him a QO and get a draft pick if he gets too expensive and use that money to fill other holes.

    Thing is…what if, somehow, the Jays let Melky walk, and then DON’T use the money to upgrade? What if the payroll reduction is just banked by Rogers?

    What makes the thought all the more scary is I could actually see it happen.

    • Me too.

    • This could absolutely happen.
      Remember that even to keep the exact same team as this year, the payroll will actually have to go UP significantly due to all the expected raises. Even if the FAs aren’t renewed, raises to guys like Buerhle and Reyes and others could still push the total payroll close to this year’s levels… The fact is we have no idea what direction AA has been or will be given in terms of dollars for next year.

      All we can right now is hope.

    • Wells money wasn’t reinvested so there’s a bit of precedence for that fear. Don’t think Rios was either

      • Bautista was extended about a week after the Wells trade so yes, it was reinvested. You could argue that extending Bautista was something they should have done regardless, but the fact is that they probably would have let him walk after his arb year if they had known they had Wells on the books for five more years.

        Needless to say, in that scenario EE likely doesn’t get extended either, and the Miami trade certainly doesn’t happen.

        I don’t think “reinvestment” exists in the sense of “we just saved $14M by trading this guy so now we have exactly $14M to spend on something else,” but I don’t doubt that there’s a number they’re supposed to hit, and saving in one area means they have flexibility to make other moves. I also think that if rogers decides next year’s number is $80m or $100m or whatever, that’s going to be the number regardless, not “if you can trade this guy it’s $100m but if not, no big deal it can be $110m.” And that’s why letting a Reyes or Buehrle go on waivers would probably make a lot of sense, because you’re maximizing the savings while minimizing the drop in production. It would suck a lot more if you had to save $20m by letting go of, let’s say, Melky and EE as opposed to just Reyes.

        • Holy shit they swindled Edwin of at least 10 million per year
          He gets 5/100 easy on the market today

  28. I think it is funny that Melk-Man still uses an interpreter. After this long, there is no way he doesn’t know enough English…if Muni can give interviews in English, so could Melky. That said, I totally respect his choice to conduct his affairs in the language of his choice.

    • Lol that last sentence is such a slice of Canadiana

    • I liked that story they told on the air the other day that at the end of an interview (conducted entirely in English), Kawasaki said to the interviewer, “(you speak) good English”.

    • He’d be the perfect new spokesman for Bob Bannerman!

    • I believe Melky can speak English but isn’t confident in speaking it to the media, which is understandable. Players have said Melky is shy and quiet, which is the complete opposite of Kawasaki.

      I can understand French pretty well, but speaking to a Quebecer in french, my confidence gets shot and I stumble with it.

      • After the Escobar thing, I’m sure every Latin player is a little gunshy with regards to public statements. Yun El (rightly) got killed for it, but I bet the vast majority of Latin players were bewildered by the uproar. Prob better just to stay silent, from their pov

  29. I like the idea of trying to get Melky back on a 3 year – 36 million or so deal

    Let Rasmus go …. As bad as Gose looks at the plate sometimes, it feels like he does as much as Rasmus (and occasionally flashes with his speed)

  30. Who are we kidding? Melky is not going to be a Blue Jay next year. He’s an elite hitter, and the Jays are not going to pay the $20 million / year it will take to keep him, plain and simple. Cabrera has earned himself a 5 year 100M+ deal that the Jays can’t afford and he will be off to a rich team.

    This is a team that had to get the players to chip in to pay Santana and a team that did nothing to improve itself significantly at the deadline, a team that despite what Anthopoulos says doesn’t have the money in the payroll to pay that kind of money, despite Rogers being the corporate whore that it is.

    I can’t see a scenario where the Jays will open the strings for a player with declining value and keep a player who probably wants to play for a contender on grass.

    Gose is your CF of the future, and the Jays will go with a cheaper (500K) option in LF next year.

    • “can’t afford”

      No, unwilling to afford.

    • I agree I don’t think he’ll be back. But Melky is not getting $20 million from anyone. His skill set (and Con text) places him in the $15-$18 range.

      I actually don’t think we should re sign him. He looks like he has trouble moving at age 28 ffs. Purely conjecture, but he strikes me as the kind if guy whose going to age horribly.

      • If they sign him, they should look at possibly DH-ing him. If his legs go to shit in the OF, the only other position on the field he’s capable of playing is first, and I doubt they move EE off the bag.

        • Free Pillar from the doghouse.

          • agree with fastball & Lawrie’s redbull

            get rid of Colby and Lind give $ to Melky and bring up Pillar to platoon with Gose.
            Than sign another rh outfielder, stick Francisco at. dh/1st. let Melky DH against lefties.

    • Even if all that speculation is true the scenario where the jays pony up to sign him is if they make it far in the playoffs and have the revenue to justify it

  31. You can’t be a contending team while only having a realistic payroll for only a few years, right now they are what, 8th best? After how many years of being middle of the pack, or bottom third? This payroll needs to at least be sustained over the long term, it should in fact be higher. Personally i think that in part at least, the jays didn’t want to trade any of these young pitchers because they see a very cheap rotation for the next few years, good or not. Going for it this year is less important than cheap controllable pitching for the next several years, winning as usual comes second to cost certainty.

    • Pitchers are very expensive unless they are coming from your farm or are in their early years. You figure the payroll was maxed out at the 5 SPs in Buehrle/Dickey/Johnson/Morrow/Happ last year (not to mention paying Romero) – that cost the Jays 50M in 2013 and 52M in 2014, and there’s no guarantee that the humungous payroll leads to results, which is why I see Stromann / Hutch / Redmond in the rotation next year (still paying Romero!).

  32. So is going to be only about how much money Melky can make or does he give any consideration to his supposed love of Toronto? What about all his buddies on the team, they seem pretty tight, wouldn’t he consider Bats and EE in his decision?

    At some point, I’d like to think the player thinks to himself yeah I’ve got millions and millions of dollars already and will make millions and millions more no matter where I sign and considers the other factors in his decision. It can’t always be only about the money can it?

  33. I love Melky, and I hope he stays. I remember having him on my fantasy squad in 2012, watching many of his games, and he was an absolute line drive machine (up until the suspension, of course), much like he is right now.
    My only fear is that he is all about the $$$. He seems to put on his best performance during contract years, and so after he cashes in this offseason, he could regress considerably. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s the pattern I see. The health problems might have coincided with an off year for him anyways last year, who knows. I just have this bad feeling he is more about the big contract than anything else, and as a pro athlete, who can really blame him? Should be interesting.

  34. Melky right now is the MVP of this team. At least IMO he’s got the most votes. If I’m AA, he’s the priority whatever happens this season. He could be the next face of the team.

    I’m not going to be an I-told-you-so guy with him. Watching him run made me skeptical if he was totally healthy. Couldn’t judge him completely. My hope was that the team would get 70 – 80% of the MVP production he showed as with the Royals and Giants.

    He’s producing those numbers and it still puzzles me whyTF he wasn’t at the allstar game.

    Two things that worry me. #1 Colby Rasmus holding the bat out in front of the plate. I liked when KS has him holding the bat on the shoulder. He was making better contact with the bat on his shoulder.
    #2. Losing Kevin Seitzer to a managers job. Guys been gold so far.

  35. […] Instead, the Jays need to invest in Melky Cabrera via a qualifying offer in the off-season. Last season, the qualifying offer sat at 14.1 million dollars, a six percent increase from the previous year’s $13.3 million. Following that trend, it is likely this year’s qualifying offer will be in the neighbourhood o… […]

  36. […] years and between $36 million and $45 million, or roughly $12 to $15 million per season.” The Score, last month, also said 3/$39 million. That’s all pretty consistent, and maybe it’s […]

  37. […] three years and between $36 million and $45 million, or roughly $12 to $15 million per season.” The Score, last month, also said 3/$39 million. That’s all pretty consistent, and maybe it’s […]

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