Toronto Blue Jays’ outfielder Melky Cabrera is far removed from the days of his positive test for a PED violation and his subsequent attempts to create a fake website to explain away said violation.
Cabrera’s 2014 numbers are outstanding. In 111 games played for a playoff contending team, Cabrera is batting .312/.362/.479 with 14 home runs and 50 driven in.
That outstanding production could make the outfielder a top priority for the Blue Jays this off-season, but will they struggle to sign him? Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe notes that a number of teams might be ready to make a run at Cabrera as a free agent:
While it appears the Jays will let outfielder Colby Rasmus go in free agency, will they go all out to retain Cabrera, who has had an excellent season? Cabrera, a free agent and two years removed from his PED suspension, is sitting pretty as one of the few impact outfielders on the free agent market. Cabrera, who turns 30 this month, could easily garner a four- or five-year deal.
Cabrera is playing out the final year of the two year, $16 million deal he signed before the 2013 season. He signed that deal with the stain of a PED suspension still fresh in everybody’s minds. Considering he still got paid well enough then, he should certainly be able to cash in this winter with more time passed.
It would ideally be Major League Baseball’s hope that cheating doesn’t pay. As they continue to craft those policies for the seasons moving forward, Cabrera’s situation will not help their case.