Mets could consider signing Melky Cabrera in the off-season

In his column for the New York Post, Joel Sherman says just after the All-Star Game, he asked a group of executives where Giants’ OF Melky Cabrera could wind up next year and how much he would command on the free-agent market.

“One thought Cabrera could get two years at $10 million to $12 million, another said one year at $8 million to $10 million. But the large majority saw Cabrera having to take a one-year deal in the $2 million-to-$5 million range. He will have to use 2013 as a forum to prove he is a quality player,” Sherman writes.

The Mets, Giants and Phillies were among the teams those executives thought Cabrera could sign with this winter, with the Giants being the most likely landing spot for Cabrera.

Cabrera, 28, signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Giants before the 2012 season. Cabrera was hitting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBI in 113 games before being suspended for 50 games for a PED violation – he was eligible to return to the Giants during the playoffs, but the Giants opted not to reinstate him to the roster.

In addition, a friend of Cabrera fabricated a website of a supplement company in an attempt to prove Cabrera purchased a tainted supplement containing the banned substance.

Michael Baron, Contributor

There are a ton of questions about Cabrera, none of which are positive.

First off, there is the issue of morals and maintaining a positive image, and what Cabrera has done both in using PED’s and creating a fake website in an attempt to prove his innocence isn’t representative of honesty and integrity.

Second, who is Cabrera? Is he the bad, unmotivated, out of shape player he was with the Braves? Is he the decent, part time player he was for the Yankees? Or, is he the above average, everyday outfielder he was with the Royals? Could he possibly come close to producing the way he did with the Giants before he was suspended? I don’t think there’s anyway to know, and that makes him a pretty big gamble for any team who considers him. The thing is, if he’s ultimately a fourth outfielder and he signs for somewhere between $2-5 million, the contract will likely be overvalued (keep in mind, Andres Torres produced as a secondary outfielder at best in 2012, and earned $2.7 million). On the other hand, if he signs within that range and both starts and produces at 70 percent of what he outputted over 113 games this season, he will be a bargain at that price. But, that’s the conundrum teams face – he is not a normal free agent by any means.

If I had to guess, I think the Giants will end up bringing Cabrera back next season – it makes the most sense at the moment. The Mets do need outfielders, so any and all possibilities should be weighed. But considering the mystery which surrounds Cabrera, he should not be at the top of the Mets’ shopping list, or any team’s list for that matter.

In a poll to MetsBlog on October 13, nearly 52 percent of voters said they would sign Cabrera to a one-year contract.