Melky Cabrera: Why Re-Signing the Suspended Outfielder Is a Logical Move

Andy Liu@@AndyKHLiuCorrespondent IAugust 21, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 11: Melky Cabrera #53 of the San Francisco Giants bunts for a single against the Colorado Rockies during the third inning at AT&T Park on August 11, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the chances of the San Francisco Giants re-signing the switch-hitting Melky Cabrera "are close to nil."

Schulman also said that the anger from the "higher-ups" in Giants management would cause them to rescind any thoughts about taking on a contract, albeit likely a small one, to retain a once 200-hit outfielder. 

As has been talked about and analyzed ad nauseam for the past week, Cabrera was caught not only for elevated testosterone levels but also for trying to use a fake website in order to cover himself. 

It is impossible to determine whether elevated testosterone levels will actually help an already-accomplished major league hitter become a better hitter. The fact that he took the drugs, though, and compounded the mistake with the attempt at a fake website are not furthering his chances at a long-term deal in the Bay Area. 

With the recent happenings, there is probably no other team in all of Major League Baseball that will touch him. That seemingly foregone conclusion of a five--year, $100 million deal? Blown to smithereens. 

With that being said, Giants management doesn't have much to lose by re-signing him. The next part is pure speculation as there is no report on whether Melky did or did not take steroids in 2011 or any year besides 2012. If San Francisco can get him for around three years, $18 million, they will have locked up a hitter who did hit 18 homers a year ago when he—once again, pure speculation but there has been no evidence to the contrary—hopefully was not under the influence of elevated testosterone levels. 

His OBP ranged from .360 in 2006 to .337 in 2011 when he had his "breakout" year of 18 homers. Only this season did his OBP jump all the way up to .390, so one could see the argument that he just started "juicing." 

A cost-effective deal for a decent hitter—with a WAR (wins above replacement) of 4.1 before he took steroids—seems to be a logical step for this offseason. As for the moral side of the argument, there was nothing that management could do. Cabrera is a grown man, and he chose to do this. We can only hope he learns from his mistakes. 

This argument becomes superfluous if the Giants win the World Series without Melky taking a single at-bat. But if they cannot even make the playoffs, the offense will once again be the issue.

A starting outfield with only Hunter Pence under contract will ignite questions. And when GM Brian Sabean looks at his minor league options—and there are not many pending Gary Brown—he will be forced to revisit the idea of Cabrera in left again. 

We've seen this with another left fielder on the Giants before. If he produces again next year, most of the noise made in the stands at AT&T Park will be cheers. Winning doesn't hurt either.