Melky Cabrera Primed for a 2015 Bargain

Aug 31, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera (53) hits a home run in sixth inning against New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Melky Cabrera recently underwent surgery and is likely done for the season. It’s been a surprisingly good season for Melky (and your fantasy team if you drafted him late) and has set him up for an interesting off season.

Melky Cabrera hit .301 this year with 16 home runs, 6 steals, 81 runs, and 73 RBI in 139 games. These are the kind of numbers that look boring at first glance but are a huge boost to your fantasy team.

None of these numbers jump out at you, they’re all just above average, but they’re ALL above average. After not playing for about a week, he’s still ranked as a top 50 player in Yahoo leagues. Considering his ADP was in the late 200’s this year, that’s a huge profit.

So what can we expect from Melky Cabrera next year? This will depend on where he ends up playing. He derives a lot of his value from getting on base and scoring runs. Landing in the top of a big lineup is a huge boost for him. Toronto worked out very well for him; it’s a home run friendly park, in a run scoring lineup, on a team that isn’t afraid to let him run.

Toronto will likely offer him a qualifying offer, with ESPN’s Buster Olney calling it a “no brainer.”

This will lead to a very interesting off season. After the mess Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales went through this last off season, Cabrera may end up being the first person to accept a qualifying offer.

That would be very nice for his 2015 value. If he declines, he’s probably looking at a 3-4 year deal. He’s the type of player that is much more beneficial to a contending team than one at the bottom of the league. My guess is if he doesn’t end up in Toronto on a qualifying offer, he should end up on a good team in a good lineup.

I’d expect another year of around 12-18 home runs and 5-8 steals from Melky next year. In a good lineup, that will come with top of the league runs and solid RBI’s, and make him a top 100, maybe top 50 player. He’s unlikely have an ADP that high. He’s a great keeper for your team if that’s an option, and a guy to keep an eye on as a possible bargain going into 2015.

 

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