Minnesota Twins: 5 undervalued free agent hitters to pursue
Melky Cabrera, OF
Age on Opening Day: 33
2017 Salary: $15 million
2017 Stats: .285/.324/.423, 666 PA, 17 HR, 1 SB, 5.4% BB, 11.1% K
Info: Cabrera was signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Yankees, and by the time he got to the major leagues, he had plenty of “New York hype” behind him. When he hit .280 for the 2006 Yankees as a rookie, that hype train got even louder, but he never improved on that season with the Yankees, leading to his trade to the Braves before the 2010 season.
Cabrera showed up to the Braves incredibly out of shape and never could get going in that season. He left for the Royals after 2010, where he had his first big season before heading to San Francisco and having his one All-Star season, leading the league with a .346 when he failed a PED test and was suspended for the remainder of the 2012 season and part of the 2013 season.
The Blue Jays waited out the end of his suspension and saw Cabrera bounce back with the bat in 2014, hitting .301/.351/.458 with 16 home runs. He signed with the White Sox after that season and just finished out a three year contract with them having been traded back to Kansas City for the final few months of 2017.
Cabrera is a career .286/.335/.418 hitter with excellent line drive power, and he can pop the occasional home run, likely maxing out with 15ish. He has lost his ability to be a competent defender, but he still can hit, and he’s a switch hitter, which would allow him to contribute for the Twins as a DH and rare outfield fill-in.
Cabrera is likely not going to make what he did with the White Sox in that contract, but gauging his value is difficult. I’d wager a 2/$16 million deal would more than get his attention.