How much of Melky Cabrera's last two years am I paying for?
The former New York Yankee, Atlanta Brave, Kansas City Royal and San Francisco Giant has already served his 50-game suspension for PED use, so roto managers needn't take it into account this coming season. Of course, they'll be, justifiably, plenty skeptical about his .305/.339/.470 line from 2011 and his .346/.390/.516 line in 113 games last season.
Cabrera, still only 28 years old, made no effort to deny his use of performance-enhancers. But he's also in the prime of his career and made his most significant gains in some intangible factors of the game, mostly his dedication to it. He finally began putting what had already been a solid foundation for batting average and a 20-20 skill set to use, and he did so because of his commitment to preparation, something he'd thoroughly lacked prior to his breakthrough with KC.
The switch-hitter saw no exorbitant spike in home run production (29 home runs in 1,117 at-bats from his past two seasons). He rapped out those round-trippers while playing half of his contests in two of baseball's least homer-friendly yards, and Rogers Centre is a virtual launch pad. The sum effect on his power marks may be a scratch.
The crowd will be interested only in a marked-down Cabrera, so an enthusiastic buyer should win out, and he stands a decent chance to earn it back. But here's the catch: Drugs can enhance not only a player's ability to recover from strenuous activity but also other elements of his physical prowess, such as hand-eye coordination and reaction time. His 2013 owner will be taking some leap of faith, because Cabrera probably won't be dirt-cheap.
How does one handicap this remade rotation?
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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