As I wrote about yesterday, the San Francisco Giants face an interesting decision once Melky Cabrera’s suspension comes to its conclusion. Will the team add him to their playoff roster, assuming they’re still in the playoffs; or will a 50 game layoff combined with the distraction he’s bound to cause be considered too much of a hindrnace?

By all reports, the Giants are leaning toward excluding Cabrera from their playoff run, and they’re expected to announce as much either today or tomorrow. This is a tricky bit of business, because the team can’t be seen to be further punishing the player beyond his 50 game suspension. According to Section 7 of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Policy:

No Club may take any disciplinary or adverse action against a Player (including, but not limited to, a fine, suspension, or any adverse action pursuant to a Uniform Player’s Contract) because of a Player’s violation of the Program.

So, essentially, if San Francisco was challenged on their decision by Cabrera and his representatives they would have to prove their belief that the outfielder wouldn’t produce as much value for the team as other players that they selected for the roster. Considering Cabrera’s success this season, that could be a challenge.

Certainly, missing almost a third of the season will cause some delays in maximized ability, but not so much that it can’t be fixed by training, which he would be allowed to do at the team’s Minor League facilities ten days before the end of his suspension, and being eased into the lineup. Is Xavier Nady or Aubrey Huff really an upgrade over a rusty Cabrera?

It’s also interesting that the Giants would decide the fate of Cabrera at this time, likely more than two weeks before he’d even be eligible to play. While I understand the benefits of answering a question that has the possibility to loom over the team and cause a distraction from duties, what would happen if Angel Pagan or Hunter Pence or Gregor Blanco were to be injured in the final games of the season? What would happen if Nady or Huff were to go down? What if one of the team’s outfielders becomes injured in the Division Series?

Wouldn’t it be better to have Cabrera go through all of the steps necessary to be ready, and then decide whether or not he’d be useful to the playoff run?

There could be a fall out from San Francisco’s decision here, and it could affect the team in several different ways, including their actual playoff performance, a possible grievance being filed, and the relationship between the club and Cabrera moving forward, as it might pertain to a qualifying offer being made, and compensation being received for him signing elsewhere or even his return to the Giants next season.

This is no easy decision, and let’s hope that the team has not taken it lightly.

And The Rest

The Detroit Tigers are tied for first place in the American League Central after yesterday’s victory over the Kansas City Royals. [Bless You Boys]

The Chicago White Sox are tied for first place in the American League Central after yesterday’s loss to the Cleveland Indians. [South Side Sox]

The Atlanta Braves clinched a spot in the Wild Card play-in game with a victory last night over the Miami Marlins. [Capitol Avenue Club]

Former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne claims that 80% of his teammates used steroids. [ESPN]

The Baltimore Orioles lost. [Camden Chat]

However, the New York Yankees lost as well, meaning that the Orioles remain 1.5 games behind. [River Avenue Blues]

The intersection of ignorance and arrogance. [Crashburn Alley]

Jack Wilson announced his retirement yesterday, and he has many faces. [Old Time Family Baseball]

The Milwaukee Brewers are unlikely to catch the St. Louis Cardinals, but they can take solace in the success of rebuilding a team in essentially two months. [Disciples Of Uecker]

The Toronto Blue Jays will be aggressive this off season in pursuit of veterans. [DJF]

The Tuesday Timmy Takeaway. [Baseball Prospectus]

The Los Angeles Angels tied a strike out record in their game against the Seattle Mariners last night. [Baseball Nation]

Washington Nationals middle infielder Ian Desmond notches a milestone in his career year. [Washington Post]

Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz bought a fire truck for his hometown. [Big League Stew]

Scott Boras has a new client. [MLB Trade Rumors]

Hail to the chiefs. [Sports On Earth]