Melky Cabrera cheated last season. He cheated Major League Baseball. He cheated the San Francisco Giants. He cheated the fans. He cheated everyone, and he got caught. But anyone who ever said that cheaters never prosper must have not been familiar with professional sports. After being suspended for 50 games and basically left for not by the Giants, Cabrera is about to sign a two year contract worth $16 million with the Toronto Blue Jays, who continue to revamp their entire roster this offseason.
The Blue Jays already acquired Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonafacio in a salary dump fire sale from the Miami Marlins, Now, they have added Cabrera to an already potent lineup. While they may teach children that winners never cheat, cheaters never win and cheaters never prosper, they may have to add an asterisk next to those teachings.
Cabrera cheated, but he is certainly winning and prospering a short few months later.
Cabrera was having a career year last season, leading the National League in batting average at the time of his failed drug test for PED use. While he had a good year with the Kansas City Royals the previous season, he was on pace to set career highs across the board in 2012. He never had that type of production with the New York Yankees or Atlanta Braves either.
So the Blue Jays are hoping to get the first half Cabrera from 2012. But will they?
Yes, Cabrera was an All-Star last season. He was the All-Star Game MVP, in fact. But you have to wonder, was Cabrera finally starting to put it all together, or were his numbers the result of taking a banned substance?
The Blue Jays are about to find out, although it will cost them $16 million over the next two years in order to do so.
I am not surprised that a team was willing to sign Cabrera and give him a second chance. I am, however, surprised that he received more than a one year deal loaded with incentives. We are not exactly talking about a perennial All-Star who got tempted to cheat one time and got caught.
Still heading to Toronto is probably a smart move by Cabrera, and a decent fit for both. He will not have to be one of the top hitters on this team, who not only feature Reyes, but also the likes of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. He will also not have the large market media attention that he may have had he signed with a different team. This is the spot that Cabrera can try to just be himself and move on from his failed PED test last season.
Of course, finding out who he truly is and what type of player he can be will be interesting.
The post MLB Rumors: Melky Cabrera Proves That Cheaters Really Can Prosper appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.