Friday, November 16, 2012

Adios, Melky

Well, that was interesting -- the four and a half months that Melky Cabrera spent on the Giants, I mean.

Fans started out thinking, "Well, at least we got SOMETHING for Jonathan Sanchez" to being amazed that this guy was playing like an MVP to being stunned over his suspension to realizing that the team took off and began playing like a World Series winner once he left.

It all came to an official halt today with the Blue Jays signing him. The Jays seem to have realized that the AL East rivals can be had, given Bosox and Yanks are vulnerable and that the Orioles made it into the postseason. David Schoenfield of ESPN has a pretty good story posted -- 

The Toronto Blue Jays are taking this "build a contender" idea pretty seriously. On the heels of the multiplayer blockbuster trade with the Marlins, they signed outfielder Melky Cabrera to a two-year, $16 million contract. Cabrera, of course, comes with the baggage of his 50-game PED suspension in August, but he also comes with a .322/.360/.489 batting line over the past two seasons with the Royals and Giants.

Cabrera doesn't have to hit .346 again to make this deal worthwhile. Even if that offensive boost was stimulant-enhanced, he's a terrific signing at a low-risk $8 million per season, and I wouldn't be surprised if he turns into the best free-agent signing this offseason. But what I like most about the moves Alex Anthopoulos and ownership made this week: The Jays are finally acting like a big-market franchise. Despite a metro population of more than 6 million -- the sixth-largest among major league cities -- the Blue Jays have spent the past decade acting like a lower-tier midmarket club.

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