Aug 23, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays player Melky Cabrera (53) hits an RBI double in the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Reds made a minor splash last week at the 2014 Baseball Winter Meetings when they traded starting pitchers Alfredo Simon and Mat Latos to the Detroit Tigers and the Miami Marlins, respectively, but general manager Walt Jocketty left San Diego without the left-field upgrade the team desperately needs. Now, the Reds can scratch Melky Cabrera off their LF wish list (if he was ever there), as the free agent is set to sign a three-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, according to Bruce Levine at 670TheScore.com.
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While Jocketty never publicly acknowledged that the Reds were interested in Cabrera, reports from a couple of weeks ago indicated that Cincinnati was considering making a run at the big-name outfielder for a 2015 playoff push. Of course, that was back when we didn’t really know what Jocketty had in mind for the upcoming season, but the team’s direction seems more clear now.
With Latos and Simon gone from a rotation that kept the team afloat in 2014, the Reds appear content to do what they can this season with a reduced payroll, so it’s not surprising that they quickly pulled back from the Cabrera talks.
What is slightly surprising, though, is that Cabrera could only wrangle three years and $45 million in a market starved for outfield production, especially from the right side (Cabrera is a switch-hitter). This is especially true considering that Cabrera is four years younger (30) than Nelson Cruz, who just signed a four-year, $57-million deal with the Seattle Mariners.
The Reds have obviously already turned their sights elsewhere, but watching Cabrera come off the board for a moderate dollar total is further indication that, if Cincinnati is to contend in 2015, it will be more a matter of luck than of any moves that Jocketty makes between now and Spring Training.