Proving that any report is possible (and plausible) this time of year, the Giants have “expressed interest” in a “Melky reunion,” according to Ken Rosenthal.
There are baseball reasons to make this move, a reacquisition that once seemed impossible. For starters, the Giants’ best center fielder is Gregor Blanco (except he’ll play left field for Angel Pagan reasons), and the guys behind the top three are Juan Perez, Travis Ishikawa and Gary Brown.
Also, Melky Cabrera was freaking awesome here. Brian Sabean is a fairly emotional guy, and as such he might still be upset with Cabrera for how he handled his positive drug test and subsequent coverup. But even with all the crap he put the Giants through, Sabean probably looks on that trade before the 2012 season (Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo to the Royals for a half gallon of Melk juice) as one of his best.
That’s because Cabrera was tailor-made for AT&T Park. Just enough contact, just enough speed, just enough gap-to-gap power, just enough arm and more than enough swagger. The guy set a franchise record with 51 base-hits in May, he was on his way to a batting title, he had 10 triples with more than a month and a half left to go in the season, and he was the MVP of the All-Star game (I was in Europe at the time, so I still have trouble believing this happened, but Wikipedia and other outlets say it is so).
He was just OK as a Yankee, yet he became a star in San Francisco almost immediately.
So much has been made of Buster Posey’s postgame interview on Aug. 15 — the day Cabrera’s suspension was announced, and the PED testing policy violator vanished. That brief media session was kind of like Dave Dravecky’s comeback game at Candlestick Park — everyone claims to have been there in person. I was at both pivotal events in Giants history in person, and here’s video proof (of the Posey interview — I didn’t bring a video camera to the Dravecky game because I was 11):
What’s funny is that based on how this postgame gathering has been described and re-described over the years, you’d think Posey was foaming at the mouth with rage toward his dishonest teammate. It shows how thirsty we are for Posey emotion — he plays things so close to the vest that slapping his teammates’ hands kind of hard after his grand slam off Mat Latos was considered an outburst. Yet, compared to most Posey interviews, this one featured the highest degree of disgust from the Giants catcher. Then again, it probably didn’t help Posey’s mood that the Giants also had just lost to the Nationals after moving into a tie for first in the NL West the night before.
Then the Giants pulled away from the Dodgers, and Posey went on his MVP tear … JUST TO SPITE THAT JERK, MELKY CABRERA.
It’s a cool story, but it also makes Posey seem a little too obsessed with a guy he only played with for four-plus months. And who knows, maybe Rosenthal’s “current #SFGiants veteran” source was right on the mark. Maybe no one in the clubhouse would mind, including Posey.
So would the Giants brush aside the fake website and the link to performance-enhancing drugs (after all, they were ostensibly known as “the drug team” for most of the 2000s) sign Cabrera this month? Sure, if you believe the reports … except they’re only interested in Cabrera because they’re supposed to be interested in everybody. They were interested in Nick Markakis on Tuesday, remember? And Yasmany Tomas, and Pablo Sandoval before that …
Not being interested means relinquishing an opportunity to (1) get a bargain on a player who really wants to come to San Francisco (which only applies to pitchers and Hunter Pence), (2) raise the price paid by the team that eventually lands the subject of “interest,” and (3) let their fans know that there’s no such thing as a rainy day fund at 3rd and King.
Interestingly, the Giants were in a similar outfield predicament a year ago. Once the offseason started, they spent the bulk of their free agent money on pitching: Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson, Javier Lopez and Ryan Vogelsong. After the Hudson signing, Brian Sabean sounded almost like he was apologizing to Bruce Bochy on the conference call, because the Giants almost certainly weren’t going to extend themselves to purchase a full-time outfielder. They ended up adding Michael Morse, only because the commitment was short and the money wasn’t all that crazy for a guy with more power than 98% of the players in Major League Baseball.
Also, that team had Sandoval.
The Giants could certainly use and afford Cabrera. But you know who else makes sense in a lot of ways? Matt Kemp, who’s very much available and probably wouldn’t mind playing in San Francisco. But that’s never going to happen, because the Dodgers would rather pay Kemp to eat Pink’s Hot Dogs all day than deal him to the Giants.
And the Giants are probably a lot more worried about getting a real third baseman than “ham-and-egging it” for a while in left field if/when Pagan gets injured.
This post got off track, huh. Probably because I’ve laughed at any and all rumors linking the Giants to Cabrera since he bailed.
C’mon man, focus. You’re sounding like a hack want2be reporter here.
A “Melky reunion” is possible because … A “Melky reunion” is possible because … A “Melky reunion” is possible because …
— Those Guys (@Those_Guys_) December 4, 2014
With Panda Hats no more, maybe it’s time for a return to “Giants lore”?