Reports indicate Royals interested in Melky Cabrera


Reports from Jon Heyman of CBS early Monday morning indicate that the Kansas City Royals are interested in 2014 left-fielder Melky Cabrera.

Cabrera has until 5 PM today to make a decision on his $15.3 million qualifying offer extended to him by his former club the Toronto Blue Jays. Obviously, if he accepts the offer (which would be shocking to most) the Royals would lose out on the opportunity to sign the left-fielder who had an impressive 2014 season posting a .301/.351/.458 slash with 16 home-runs producing a 2.6 WAR.

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Cabrera is familiar with the setting in Kansas City as he spent the 2011 season as a Royal before moving onto the Giants the following year where he was suspended for PED use. From there he spent two seasons in Toronto producing a combined 1.6 WAR over a two-year, $16 million dollar contract.

The Royals are still considering re-signing their 2014 outfielder Nori Aoki who had a solid year in the Royals outfield. With the determination that ace James Shields is leaving town, the Royals are looking for replacements on the mound and in the outfield as Heyman also reported their interest in free agents Ervin Santana and Torii Hunter. It should be noted that Santana, like Cabrera, will also cost the signing team a first-round draft pick (if the team’s picks are not protected) in addition to the contract which expectedly will exceed the fixed qualifying offer of $15.3 million.

If Melky does decline his qualifying offer he will officially enter free agency and will be available to any club willing to foot the bill.

Fortunately, this includes Toronto as GM Alex Anthopoulos has indicated his interest in re-signing Cabrera at the right price. In a radio interview on TSN Radio 1050 Anthopoulos stated he thinks the team does have enough money to re-sign Cabrera however there is a point in time where he would have to let Cabrera walk away just like he would with any other free agent. He notes that there are other players on the market which could impact the decision to sign Cabrera to a longer term, higher paying contract this off-season.

If the Royals or another team signs Cabrera, after he declines his qualifying offer, the Jays will acquire a compensation draft pick in next year’s Major League Baseball draft.

Stay tuned for Melky’s decision on his offer expected later today.