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The past and present value of Melky Cabrera

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 07, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The New York chapter of the BBWAA had its annual postseason meeting today, and thanks to traffic, I just got back to my apartment. I could write an entire blog post about the experience, but I won’t. Instead, let’s focus on Melky Cabrera.

If you haven’t heard, Melky was traded today. The Royals used his outstanding 2011 season to swing a deal with the Giants for left-handed starter Jonathan Sanchez. The Giants needed a hitter, the Royals needed pitching, and so the deal makes sense. Of course, it also begs the question:

If Cabrera is worth this — a straight-up swap for a 28-year-old left-hander with good stuff — why didn’t the Yankees get that for him? Did the Yankees miss out?

The trade to Atlanta
When the Yankees got rid of Cabrera, he was part of the package that brought Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan from the Braves. The Yankees also lost a legitimate pitching prospect (Arodys Vizcaino) and a good young lefty (Mike Dunn) in that deal, so it’s hard to pinpoint the return value of Cabrera alone, but it’s important to remember that it’s still too early to fully evaluate that deal. Logan for Dunn was something of a wash — L0gan’s slightly older and more expensive, but ultimately it’s lefty for lefty — and although Vazquez was a massive disappointment, it’s important to remember two things about him: 1. He had considerable trade value at the time, and 2. As a Type B free agent, he netted the Yankees the draft pick they used on Dante Bichette Jr. Have to consider Bichette part of that haul as well.

The value of Cabrera
In his five years with the Yankees, Cabrera hit .269/.331/.385, and his value was slightly diminished when the Yankees no longer needed him to play center field. He was good enough, but rarely great, and the Braves didn’t want him back after he hit just .255/.317/.354 during his lone season in Atlanta. Suddenly, he showed up in Kansas City and hit .305/.339/.470 in a breakout, age-26 season. Cabrera is young enough that there might be more of this to come, but I’m not sure the Yankees did a bad job by selling low on him. I think the Royals might have done a good job of selling high.

The value of Sanchez
Sanchez is a nice pitcher who should be just entering his prime, but let’s not build him into Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum. After a terrific 2010 season, Sanchez had a 1.44 WHIP and was limited to just 19 starts this season. He was considered a non-tender candidate before the Giants traded him to the Royals. He made $4.8 million this year, and he’s due for a raise through arbitration. None of that is to knock Sanchez — obviously the Yankees would be happy to have him — but he’s not cheap and he doesn’t have a clean health record, so there’s some risk involved. The Giants and Royals simply matched up, swapping two players they could each afford to lose.

Associated Press photo

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75 Responses to “The past and present value of Melky Cabrera”

  1. BD (Boston Dave) November 7th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Cano pleaded with the front office to sign Melky after Atlanta but they passed.

    Oh well.

  2. Bret The Hitman November 7th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    The Royals should trade Butler for another starter. They can sign a cheap DH.

  3. Erin November 7th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    The Melk Man :)

    Nick, did you keep your Got Melky T-shirt??

  4. Gary November 7th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Gary November 7th, 2011 at 4:23 pm
    blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:01 pm
    I would trade Swisher for Hudson…he’s good and has an affordable deal. I wouldn’t do the Cubs deal though because Dempster isn’t very good anymore……like Marshall though.

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Blake as much as I would like to see him gone, I don’t believe he is going anywhere. I think Cash has been signaling that he happy to have Nick out there. If the guy would just do anything in the PS I think alot of us would be pretty happy also. My read of the tea leaves he wants to get a pitcher, but beyond that he’s happy with the guys he’s got in the field and at the plate. I think the preference is to buy somebody as opposed to trading bodies for. Yet to be proven how this all works out, we will find out next year.

  5. Erin November 7th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    BD (Boston Dave) November 7th, 2011 at 4:23 pm
    Cano pleaded with the front office to sign Melky after Atlanta but they passed.

    ********************

    He had to try to get his BFF back on the team. ;)

  6. m November 7th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Good luck to Melky!

    Chad,

    Who do you think we could have sent for Sanchez? I don’t think we have any comparable player. Though, if it’s true they were going to non-tender him, maybe they would have taken someone less. But it seems like their needs are major-league ready offense. Same as ours!

  7. Gary November 7th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    BD (Boston Dave) November 7th, 2011 at 4:23 pm
    Cano pleaded with the front office to sign Melky after Atlanta but they passed.

    Oh well.

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Good move, the Yanks track record on bringing back guys that they already thought was a good move to ship out has been pretty bad. In recent history we have the Nick Johnson and Javy V returns. Boy those worked out well.

  8. Gary November 7th, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Cano is Melky’s buddy. I would not have expected Robinson to not be a proponent for his buddy.

  9. Chip November 7th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Bret The Hitman November 7th, 2011 at 4:23 pm
    The Royals should trade Butler for another starter. They can sign a cheap DH.

    —————

    After starting pitching the hardest thing to find is Right Handed Power. They have that in a young, cheap, option in Butler.

    They have a lot of young position player prospects that they can move for pitchers too.

  10. Yogi Mantle November 7th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    It wasn’t Cano who was trying to get the Yankees to sign Melky, it was Rodriguez who had worked with him in the off season and said he should be signed.

  11. Bret The Hitman November 7th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Butler is a free agent in 2 years.

  12. Gary November 7th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Surprise, Dr Murray is guilty!! I guess you have the money, you can find a doctor that will do most anything to you even sending you into the next life.

  13. DavidL November 7th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Getting rid of him got Cano to reach his potential. Have to consider that part of the deal.

  14. blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    The Yankees let Melky go 2 years ago because he wasn’t any good 2 years ago and he proved it by being not any good the next year with Atlanta……kudos for him for getting it together in KC and good luck to him.

  15. DaSaint007 November 7th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Workmanlike deal for both clubs. Melky showed potential. Sanchez is a lefty, and has potential. Both make a few million and are expendable. A wash.

    That said, Melky is turning into the position player version of Edwin Jackson. Both have just enough talent to trade, but can also help a team while they are there.

  16. Nick in SF November 7th, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I’ve been waiting for Melky Mesa this whole time, so yes, I kept the shirt.

    I’ve also heard good things about Penn League prospect Melky Gehrig.

  17. DaSaint007 November 7th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    BTW, I like Melky, and wouldn’t have mined him back in place of Andruw Jones, but I don’t think the Yankees wanted to reunite Cano and his BFF.

  18. Chip November 7th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Bret The Hitman November 7th, 2011 at 4:30 pm
    Butler is a free agent in 2 years.

    ————

    So you trade him in a year or in July…right now though you have to give Royals fans a reason to show up. Give them half a year of Butler, Cain, Gordon, Hosmer and Moustokis and maybe soften the blow by having Wil Myers come up as you’re dealing Butler.

  19. Gary November 7th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:34 pm
    The Yankees let Melky go 2 years ago because he wasn’t any good 2 years ago and he proved it by being not any good the next year with Atlanta……kudos for him for getting it together in KC and good luck to him.

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    I can still remember all the K’s and chasing bad pitches. He made Vadimir G look like he had a great batting eye.

  20. Chip November 7th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Royals are going to be an interesting young team

    Alcadies Escobar
    Billy Butler
    Alex Gordon
    Eric Hosmer
    Lorenzo Cain
    Mike Moustokis

  21. blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    How a doctor would agree to administer a drug like propofol in a home setting like that and think that is ok is beyond me…….but even if you get past the ethical portion of it…..the 150,000 a month he was paid to do it safely didn’t do the trick….glad the jury did the right thing.

  22. Erin November 7th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Nick in SF November 7th, 2011 at 4:34 pm
    I?ve been waiting for Melky Mesa this whole time, so yes, I kept the shirt.

    I?ve also heard good things about Penn League prospect Melky Gehrig.

    *********************

    :D

  23. Chip November 7th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    What the Royals should do isn’t trade Butler – but instead deal Soria for a young starter. Something like Soria to the Phillies for Vance Worley and a prospect

  24. Nick in SF November 7th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    blake, hat tip to you. Listening to some post-trade coverage on local sports talk, it was more likely that Jonathan Sanchez would have been non-tendered than I had thought. Good call.

  25. Benny Blanco November 7th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Blake,

    Are the yankees seriously considering CJ or are they trying to make Texas sweat a bit?

  26. Gary November 7th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Benny Blanco November 7th, 2011 at 4:42 pm
    Blake,

    Are the yankees seriously considering CJ or are they trying to make Texas sweat a bit?

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    I’d say they have to be. If the Matra is pitching, pitching, pitching and your not a player on the few FA that are out there it is going to be a disappointing outcome.

  27. blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Nick,

    Good move for the Giants I think …..good trade for both teams really

  28. Chip November 7th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:46 pm
    Nick,

    Good move for the Giants I think …..good trade for both teams really

    ————–

    Agreed.

  29. blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Benny,

    My guess is that Cashman will have interest but not at the prices being discussed now…..if his market declines than maybe……but I can’t Cash being in at 85 million……maybe just trying to test the waters with those comments.

  30. Chip November 7th, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    And it’s a good move for the Royals for two reasons:

    One, gets them a pitcher with some upside
    Two, frees up a spot for Lorenzo Cain to play

    My guess is that sometime this year they deal Frenchy to free up a spot for Wil Myers or move Frenchy to DH and move Butler.

  31. Gary November 7th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:40 pm
    How a doctor would agree to administer a drug like propofol in a home setting like that and think that is ok is beyond me…….but even if you get past the ethical portion of it…..the 150,000 a month he was paid to do it safely didn’t do the trick….glad the jury did the right thing.

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Money talks, you just find it over and over whenever one of these guys or gals leaves us the abuse that went on behind the scenes. Interesting that there wasn’t a dentist connection here, they usually always go to their dentist that helps them out. I was reading Walter Payton’s book he was poping more pain killers than Dr House. He got them from the Dentist for that toothache that never went away.

  32. Chip November 7th, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:48 pm
    Benny,

    My guess is that Cashman will have interest but not at the prices being discussed now…..if his market declines than maybe……but I can’t Cash being in at 85 million……maybe just trying to test the waters with those comments.

    ————-

    Yeah, I think if Cashman is looking at 5 years $85 and a draft pick for Wilson vs. $110 mil (including posting fee) for Darvish he’ll go with the latter.

    Though just as likely is spending small money on some of the third level options. I personally would be thrilled with them signing Harden and Buhrle.

  33. Gary November 7th, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:48 pm
    Benny,

    My guess is that Cashman will have interest but not at the prices being discussed now…..if his market declines than maybe……but I can’t Cash being in at 85 million……maybe just trying to test the waters with those comments.

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    I wonder how much the Darvish situation might again have people on hold awaiting his decision.

  34. Hassey November 7th, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    If Melky starts every day in that huge outfield, he’ll get plenty of chances to throw out guys trying to stretch for doubles and triples…I bet he’ll lead the NL next year in outfield assists

  35. mick November 7th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Mike and Kim all over the Penn St tragedy.
    Joe will have to go.

  36. blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    “He got them from the Dentist for that toothache that never went away.”

    Darn dentists

  37. mick November 7th, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Sandusky ran a camp for boys in 09?
    Un-freakin-believable.

  38. Chip November 7th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    mick November 7th, 2011 at 4:53 pm
    Mike and Kim all over the Penn St tragedy.
    Joe will have to go.

    ————–

    An earthquake or tornado are tragedies…what went on at Penn State is a disgusting, criminal disgrace.

  39. mick November 7th, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Kim, a Penn St grad, is all broken up about this.
    As she should be.

  40. backbench November 7th, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    The real loss in this deal was Arodys Vizcaino. The Braves people are gushing praise on this guy.

  41. blake November 7th, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Im withholding judgement on Joe Pa……not enough info yet.

  42. mick November 7th, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    chip, don’t parse words, inappropriate.

  43. mick November 7th, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    blake, if you don’t think he knew, which he admitted, then I have a bridge I’d like to show you.

  44. Erin November 7th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    ?He got them from the Dentist for that toothache that never went away.?

    *********************

    Couldn’t the dentist have just fixed his tooth? :P

  45. mick November 7th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    this place is as lame as ever…

  46. Erin November 7th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Yankees Yankees GM Brian Cashman will be on @MLBNetwork’s new show, @CHConfidential, tonight at 5:30 and 7:30 ET.

  47. blake November 7th, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    “Couldn’t the dentist have just fixed his tooth?”

    Phantom tooth pain that only percoset will fix is endemic in this country.

    Mick,

    He admitted he knew? I hadn’t seen that. I just like to hear all sides before judging.

  48. blake November 7th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Brian kenny is doing the new show…..should be good.

  49. Yankee Trader November 7th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Teams will probably have to make their decisions on starting pitching before waiting until the process unfolds if Darvish asks and is granted permission to jump to the US from the his Nippon team

    It might take 5-6 weeks, from the time he requests to be posted.

    Once the team allows him to be posted and notifies Bud Selig, the silent auction is held for 4 days. Once the winning team is notified they have 30 days in which to get a contract hammered out. Posting period is from the 1st of this month until March 1st.

  50. mick November 7th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    According to the indictment, in 2002 assistant coach Mike McQueary, then a Penn State graduate assistant [18], walked in on Sandusky having anal intercourse with a ten-year-old boy. The next day, he reported the incident to Paterno, who informed Curley. Ultimately, the only action Curley and Schultz took was to order Sandusky not to bring any children from Second Mile to the football building, an action that was approved by school president Graham Spanier. The indictment accused Curley and Schultz of not only failing to tell the police, but falsely telling the grand jury that the graduate assistant never informed them of sexual activit
    ============================================
    Here Blake.

  51. Yankee Trader November 7th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    The entire posting process until a contract is signed might take 5-6 weeks. I don’t think that was clear above.

  52. blake November 7th, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Mick,

    Yikes. But is it true? If everything in that report is true though……then yikes.

  53. Gary November 7th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Yankee Trader November 7th, 2011 at 5:05 pm
    Teams will probably have to make their decisions on starting pitching before waiting until the process unfolds if Darvish asks and is granted permission to jump to the US from the his Nippon team

    It might take 5-6 weeks, from the time he requests to be posted.

    Once the team allows him to be posted and notifies Bud Selig, the silent auction is held for 4 days. Once the winning team is notified they have 30 days in which to get a contract hammered out. Posting period is from the 1st of this month until March 1st.

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Wow can you imagine the time and the posts that could go on during that. Doesn’t look like a fan friendly process, I would agree you could never sit on your hands waiting for that soap opera to unfold.

  54. lounge lizard November 7th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    1. Melky 2009 (pre-arb year)

    .274BA 13HR 68RBI .752 OPS

    Upshot: Cashman determined not to pay him.

    2. Gardner 2011 (pre-arb year)

    .259BA 7HR 36RBI .713 OPS

    Upshot: Gardner won’t even have to bring an agent to the arb negos; Cashman will throw money at him.

    Yes, the dWAR stats can be trotted out but it’s not about that. Cashman sees a reflection of himself in Gardner. Not so with Melky.

  55. Gary November 7th, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Yankee Trader November 7th, 2011 at 5:07 pm
    The entire posting process until a contract is signed might take 5-6 weeks. I don’t think that was clear above.

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Well now that they have grown somewhat bored with Greek Debt and might have a solution, it’s time to move onto Italian Debt. I’ve heard that Italian Debt may have bigger portions and have more spice to it than the Greeks did. So the 5-6 weeks could go by fast watching that play out while everyone waits for word. :-)

  56. RhapsodyInBlue November 7th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Someone other then me liked Melky. :-)

  57. SoS November 7th, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Sorry in advance.
    does godfather pizza have to change its name to kibbles and bits or pizzafme? Offer was obviously refused.

  58. Nick in SF November 7th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    •Bochy on Cabrera: “He crosses home plate, and that’s a need here.”
    •This sounds a lot like the Pablo Sandoval story. Cabrera got fat and out of shape and had a terrible 2010 season, then rededicated himself to working out last offseason. Cabrera and Sabean said that was they key to his career year offensively, and Cabrera pledged to maintain his workouts this winter.
    •Bochy acknowledged what a lot of you saw on TV from the Taiwan tour, saying he thought Sandoval looked as though he gained weight since the end of the season. Sandoval swore he didn’t, said the uniform made him look big and promised to come into camp weighing less than he did last spring. Sandoval also will play about 10 games in Venezuelan winter ball in December.
    •Cabrera said he can cover center field at AT&T Park.
    •Sabean said he has no regrets not trading Sanchez before, when his value could have been higher, because they needed his arm. “In this case, given the player available and given our acute need for more offense, this was the time to cross that bridge.”
    •Sabean has no plans to go after Cuben defector Yoenes Cespedes, an outfielder.

  59. UnKnown November 7th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Cash on MLB Network right now.

  60. jacksquat November 7th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    •Bochy on Cabrera: “He crosses home plate, and that’s a need here.”

    .339 obp. I wonder if some of these guys even look at that, or know it exists. They better hope his average stays high.

  61. LGY November 7th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Cash say anything interesting?

  62. LGY November 7th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    @BenBadler: Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes had a private workout with the Yankees today.

  63. pat November 7th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Kind of surprised Cashman picked Clemens for who he is handing the ball to with 1 game on the line.

  64. blake November 7th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Clemens? Yea don’t get that one

  65. blake November 7th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    SI_JonHeyman 30 mins Signs suggest 1 mystery #dodgers bidder for #mets could be hedge fund giant stevie cohen. hed shown some interest in mets

    Lol….so we have mystery bidders now.

  66. ron November 7th, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Just can’t see taking a big risk with darvish til we know what he can do against ml hitters.

    I would just wait til after the 2012 season & sign hamels & or cain.

    The most important thing is pitching debth & we have plenty of that til a fa pitcher is available.

  67. RadioKev November 7th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    This Melky trade is nothing to be frustrated about. The Royals sold high on him, the Giants sold low on Sanchez. It’s not a bad trade on paper for either team. Sanchez has all of that upside and the Royals desperately need pitching.

    Sanchez is a fixer uper and Cabrera is still an unknown. The Yankees don’t have much of a need for either guy right now.

  68. RadioKev November 7th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Ron, what’s to say Cain or Hamels hits the market? Darvish is also cheaper than what Cain or Hamels would get on the FA market. Yanks don’t lose picks, posting fee doesn’t go to lux tax, and his contract with posting few could still end up cheaper than Cain or Hamels.

  69. Giuseppe Franco November 7th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    It’s tough to compare Darvish with guys like Hamels and Cain because Darvish has never thrown a pitch in the big leagues.

    We don’t know if he’s truly a front end kind of starter, a #5 starter, or another Igawa.

  70. ron November 7th, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    The luxury tax,not losing a pick or a cheaper contract bthan cain or hamels won’t make a difference if darv pitches to a 4.5 era & is clogging up a roster spot.

  71. RadioKev November 7th, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    The Yankees got burned by Igawa, but did it actually prevent the team from winning over the long haul? It didn’t.

    The fact is Darvish could be available to help us now. Cain and Hamels can’t and they may never.

    There’s a huge opportunity to acquire a talented young arm to an unprohibitive contract. CJ Wilson would cost more, and a trade would cost more.

    There’s risk with Darvish, but the upside? His career ERA is sub 2.00. How poorly can that translate? We will probably see.

  72. RMS November 7th, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Good luck to the Melkman. With the Giants he has a chance at the post season.

  73. sousuffer November 7th, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Sanchez is the next Oliver Perez. He is overrated because he’s a lefty and throws hard. He also has no idea where the ball is going half the time and a move to the AL will be detrimental to him.

  74. Duh Innings November 8th, 2011 at 2:44 am

    The Yanks should offer Mark Buerhle three years at $14M per year for $42M total.

    Rotation: Sabathia/Buehrle/Burnett/Nova/Hughes

    Bullpen: Rivera/Robertson/Soriano/Logan/Chamberlain/Noesi/Wade re-signed

    Whoever wins the final bullpen slot in spring training in place of Chamberlain if Chamberlain isn’t ready yet.

    Starting Nine/Batting Order:

    Gardner/Jeter/Cano/Rodriguez/Teixiera/Granderson/Swisher/Martin/Montero

    Montero bats higher the better he hits.

    Bench: Romine/Nunez/Chavez re-signed/Jones re-signed

  75. Duh Innings November 8th, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Correction:

    Whoever wins the final bullpen slot in spring training as Chamberlain will not be ready to start 2012, so scratch Chamberlain. I could’ve swore I read somewhere that he could be on the Opening Day roster.

    Or the Yanks could sign a second lefty for the pen.

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