According to a Major League source telling MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez early Sunday morning, Melky Cabrera has agreed to a 3-year deal with the White Sox worth between $42-43.5 million; which is pending a physical. Its not exactly as official as other deals this offseason though, since Melky has a history with performance enhancing drugs. Surely though he will pass the physical due to being clean for 2 ½ years now after getting caught using steroids as a San Francisco Giant in 2012. He is now coming back home to the AL where he started his career with the Yankees back in 2005.
Melky Cabrera is yet just another add for the White Sox this off season as they have already added Jeff Samardzija, Adam LaRoche, Zack Duke, and David Robertson. Melky will most likely play in left, but could very well have a chance to play right too as manager Robin Ventura will have a decision to be made about Melky and current left fielder Dayan Viciedo. The last two seasons for the switch-hitting Cabrera have been played in LF for the Toronto Blue Jays. All around he is a good solid veteran outfielder who can play just about any of the three outfield spots (4560.2 innings in left, 4584.1 innings in center, and 625.2 innings in right). In the lineup he will most likely be the #2 man behind the lead off hitter Adam Eaton, who hit .300 this past season.
What Melky brings to the table are three good tools in hitting for average, speed, and a good glove. He also has good plate discipline as his on-base% was .339 this year, while the league average was .314. In his two years with the Jays he put up a .293 batting average with 267 hits, 50 doubles, 120 runs, and 384 total bases, while only playing in 227 games. The White Sox signed him to fit perfectly in the 2 hole behind their center fielder, Eaton, as Melky may not be as fast as Adam (15 SB and a league leading 10 triples for Eaton), Cabrera brings a bat that will produce 170 some hits, which is the role of the #2 hitter. Fielding wise he is also pretty good as he had a fielding percentage of .992 in 2014, while the league average was .986, and he also had 13 assists and only made 2 errors. All around he is a good player to have as he is still in his prime.
Overall this signing is an A because of how perfectly he fits into the White Sox lineup, but the negative is how much Chicago is paying him yearly. $14 million a year is a little high for Melky as he is not good enough to make more than $12 million a year, but its only a 3 year contract, which is a good length (not too long, not too short).