You know the news, you’ve had nearly a good half-day to digest the news of the Giants OF now being vacant of a certain hit-generator, laser arm, and wry-smile guy Melky Cabrera. Yes, he’ll be gone for fifty games which includes the rest of the season and would also include the first five games of the postseason if the Giants even get that far. We know that, so now what?
If the Giants get to the NLCS, does he play?
Theoretically, if the Giants play a one-game playoff, he’d be eligible for NLDS Game 5, too, but let’s just say NLCS for argument’s sake. Melky Cabrera would have to train on his own to be in game-ready shape. Most of the time, like Guillermo Mota would get to, and Manny Ramirez got to, players get to rehab in Minor League games but unfortunately those MiLB games will be over and therefore why Melky would have to be relatively self-reliant to get ready.
I believe the Giants would do their absolute best to get Melky ready for an NLCS and/or World Series appearance if the Giants get lucky enough to get that far (not because they’re an unskilled club, but let’s remember how predictable baseball can be). I say in the NLCS, Melky becomes a bench player; World Series, a regular.
This is not a predicting piece saying the Giants will make the postseason. I want to make that clear, just spelling out what I think if the opportunity presented itself.
What happens to Melky and the Giants?
Say what you want about Melky lying to Andrew Baggarly about the rumored drug use, keep in mind though it’s not the first time in history a person has lied to a journalist trying to do their job. I’m not backing Melky, but if you’re going to get mad, make sure you get mad at everyone else.
The Giants save $1.666MM with Melky’s suspension. Melky is a free agent after this year, and while the Giants will have an exclusive negotiating period with Cabrera, it’s anybody’s guess as to what they will do, but a no brainer to the heart-strings if he becomes a postseason hero. Melky is 28 right now, but he will be entering what they call his age 28 season next year, which is supposed to be when players are still within their prime.
I wish we knew how long Melky’s been using the PED, and he’s in a bad situation: if you tell the Giants/MLB how long you’ve been using it, your sticker price goes down; if you don’t tell organizations how long you had been using and they feel they can’t trust you, the sticker price may be even lower.
In the end, I’d expect a 2-year, $8MM deal offer assuming no postseason heroics. “Offer” does not mean he signs it.
The roster moves from here?
Let’s start with this: there are two rosters for an MLB organization that are pretty important — the 25-man, which we know as the MLB squad, and the 40-man roster which encompasses those 25 and includes others the Giants can protect from other clubs. Admittedly, I am not an absolute expert on the rules of moving guys to and from, and who and who is not protected, but let’s start with this:
This means that the Giants don’t have to designate a player currently on the 40-man and risk losing him to another team, I mean, not that teams are on the hunt for Justin Christian or anything, but he’s there for a reason. I’m guessing Melky will be on the Restricted List tomorrow because:
Poor Dan Otero came up for a short bit then goes back down. This opens up two spots on the 25-man roster, and there’s already one open on the 40-man. However, just because there’s a spot open on the 40-man doesn’t necessarily mean someone will be moved onto it. Brett Pill and Justin Christian could come back and my whole next one sentence paragraph could be just a waste of imagination. One option in Roger Kieschnick who is on the 40-man already got eliminated today:
So now we’re left with choosing between the obvious guys of Justin Christian, Brett Pill, and the you-wouldn’t-be-surprised in Xavier Nady (who’s doing horribly in AAA) or even Francisco Peguero (who’s doing better, but not “WOW” better), and the end of the spectrum of surprise in top-prospect Gary Brown.
My guess based off of 100% pure guessing of a guess I’m making in my head: Brett Pill and Francisco Peguero, while the spot in the 40 stays open.
A day off tomorrow probably won’t help matters, but the roster moves will help everyone move on. Winning against the Padres and Dodgers in the next six games will cure many cuts should that winning happen and really there’s no reason why it shouldn’t. If the Dodgers can put together a hot streak with Matt Kemp out and a mediocre roster, why not the Giants?
Really, why not them?