Brian Cashman Will Have Another Chance to Right the Melky Cabrera Mistake

Harold FriendChief Writer IMay 31, 2012

The Next Yankees Superstar?
The Next Yankees Superstar?Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Joel Sherman in today's New York Post speculates about Melky Cabrera, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Cabrera leads the National League in batting average (.373), hits (78), triples (6), total bases (115) and runs (38). He has a .417 on-base percentage and is slugging .550.

Since the beginning of 2011, Cabrera has the most hits (278) of any player in either league.

Sherman questions whether Cabrera has arrived as a star or if he is simply playing over his head.

Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers, one of Brian Cashman’s best friends, believes that Cabrera is for real.  He told Sherman,

“He has turned into one of the better hitters in the league. We haven’t figured out how to get him out this year going back to spring training.”

Brian Cashman traded Cabrera to the Atlanta Braves on Dec. 22, 2009 for Javier Vazquez. We all know how Vazquez’s second stint with the Yankees turned out.

Cabrera will be a free agent at the end of the season.  He is making $6 million with the San Francisco Giants. If Cabrera continues to excel, he will demand a lot of money for a lot of years.

The Yankees don’t have the reputation of stinting when it comes to signing players, but Cashman could have signed Cabrera to a contract before he signed with the Kansas City Royals. Cashman refused to guarantee the minor league offer.

The Royals signed Cabrera for $1.25 million for the 2011 season. He rewarded the Royals by batting .305/.339/.470 with 18 home runs and 87 RBIs.

The Yankees, at least one of the Yankees, helped Cabrera during the winter after he signed with the Royals.

Alex Rodriguez took Cabrera under his wing and they started working out together, Cabrera lost weight and he took his career more seriously. A-Rod and Cabrera continue to train together when possible.

Sherman states that scouts never questioned Cabrera’s talent. They say his attitude and exercise regimen with A-Rod is what turned him around.

If Randy Levine allows the money to be spent, the Yankees might have Cabrera on the team a second time. It might turn out better than having Javier Vazquez on the team a second time.

We hope you're listening, Mr. Cashman.