As hard as it may seem, put aside any thoughts you have regarding Melky Cabrera and his PED suspension at the end of the 2012 season.
Regardless of his indiscretions, Cabrera is a viable option to play the outfield at Fenway Park.
As a reminder, in his 113 games in 2012, Cabrera owned a .346/.390/.516/.906 batting line with 159 hits, 25 doubles, 10 triples, 11 home runs and 60 RBI while walking 36 times versus 63 strikeouts.
His power and swing were seemingly built for Fenway. Taking a closer look at his 11 home runs in 2012, eight of them would have been towering shots over the Green Monster onto Lansdowne Street, as reflected on ESPN's Home Run Tracker website.
In his career, Cabrera has played in 39 games at Fenway Park, resulting in 141 total at-bats with 42 hits, seven doubles, a home run and 16 RBI while posting a .298/.348/.369/.717 batting line.
Additionally, against the Red Sox's AL East opponents, Cabrera has played in 213 career games with 719 at-bats, 196 hits, 42 doubles, four triples, 14 home runs and 92 RBI on the heels of a .270/.345/.496/.841 batting line.
Not bad numbers for a guy facing one of the toughest divisions in all of Major League Baseball.
While there is complete uncertainty in the outfield heading into the 2013 season, Cabrera could likely be had for relatively short money.
Would you give Melky Cabrera a one-year deal in Boston?
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman posted a blog whereby he and an "unnamed expert" take a shot at predicting what most free agents will end up signing for.
According to Heyman, Cabrera could possibly land a two-year deal, but both he and his anonymous expert foresee a one-year deal. The expert anticipates for $6 million while Heyman thinks $8 million.
Either figure would be one the Red Sox could easily afford and willingly embrace on a one-year deal.
As with the Adrian Beltre signing of 2010, the team could bring Cabrera to town to enhance his value and seek a larger contract after the 2013 season.
If Cody Ross should opt to go elsewhere, Cabrera could offer solid production at a fairly reasonable cost for a team that will still be in transition mode next season.