As the Blue Jays continue to make offseason moves without Melky Cabrera in mind, the switch-hitting outfielder is garnering interest from a number of other ball clubs. It was recently noted Cabrera would prefer to not re-sign with Toronto because he doesn't want to play on artificial turf, so where will he go?
Three teams, including two of Cabrera's former clubs, are interested in his services. The Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants are two teams that Cabrera played for in 2011 and 2012. Cabrera notched his only All-Star season with the Giants in 2012, but was suspended for 50 games for performance-enhancing drug use. The outfielder also arguably had his best overall season with the Royals in 2011, when he batted .305 with 18 home runs, 87 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.
The final team that's reportedly interested is the Cincinnati Reds. All of these clubs have a need in the outfield and Cabrera would be a solid addition after batting .301/.351/.458 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs in 139 games this past season. He has the ability to play any of the outfield positions and has proven his bat is for real following his PED suspension, but he's said to be seeking a five-year deal, which might have many hesitating.
San Francisco, who has some money to spend after losing out on Pablo Sandoval, is also in the running for starting pitcher Jon Lester. If they manage to land Lester it's unknown if they'd be willing to pay Cabrera, who is projected to land a four-year, $64 million contract, according to ESPN's Jim Bowden. But Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes the team has expressed interest in Cabrera despite his PED suspension and a veteran Giants player said "I don't think anybody in the clubhouse cares [about the suspension]. He'd be a great addition."
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports noted on Wednesday that the Royals and Reds are considering Cabrera and that it's a realistic possibility for both because Kansas City's payroll is expected to increase after their World Series run and the Reds "may stretch" for him if they decide to contend rather than rebuild. The Royals have a vacancy in right field since Nori Aoki is now a free agent and the Reds don't have a definitive starting left fielder and could use Cabrera to join forces with Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton. There are other outfield options available in free agency, but Cabrera provides the best all-around talent.
These three teams are the latest to express interest in Cabrera, with the White Sox, Tigers, Orioles and others still possibly hanging around.