Melky Cabrera is now a member of the New York Mets organization, but the chances of seeing him play a regular season game are slim.
Like most people, I kind of forgot Melky Cabrera was still in Major League Baseball. Last year, he was buried on the Pittsburgh Pirates where he hit .280/.313/.399. It wasn’t a bad year at the plate, but defensively his -2.0 WAR tells us Cabrera is best suited for a pinch-hitting or DH role.
This has been a trend for a good portion of Cabrera’s career. He has maintained a good batting average for several years while his work on defense has continued to get worse.
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When the Mets signed him, I’m not sure what cheesy reality show I was watching on Hulu. It was unexpected to see the Mets snatch up so many veterans while the other 29 teams were practically dormant in their roster finalizations.
I gave it some time to sink in and try to understand why Cabrera is a member of the Mets this year. It seems to me that he’s the emergency plan to the emergency plan. Most likely, he’s getting an audition at camp to possibly extend his baseball career a little further, possibly even in another city.
It’s no secret that Cabrera has a good friend on the Mets, Robinson Cano. And considering Cano was once represented by General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen, there’s surely a map to his ear.
The addition of Cabrera isn’t anything to really get up-in-arms over or try to justify as a smooth move by BVW. He’s like any other spring signing with a non-guaranteed contract. He has been given a “baseball favor” and it’s up to him to make the most of it.
In a more normal year, I’m not sure how well Cabrera would fit with the Mets. I suppose he could be this year’s Carlos Gomez. We saw how poorly that worked out in 2019 aside from a small number of at-bats.
Any outrage fans are feeling right now comes from the fact that Cabrera once wore New York Yankees pinstripes. There’s something about Yankees scraps that can make even the most levelheaded Mets fan go berserk.
The chances of Cabrera remaining with the Mets through camp is incredibly slim. Even slimmer, he sees a plate appearance with the team.
In a 162-game scheduled season with minor leagues and dog days of summer, it’s different. Cabrera could have earned his way onto a minor league deal with an opt out and worked his way up from Syracuse to Flushing.
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This year has been anything but normal. And because of it, Cabrera feels like one of those people whose names you don’t have to bother learning. He’ll be gone almost as soon as he got here.