Today we learned that Melky Cabrera has been suspended for 50 games for violation of the MLB performance-enhancing substance policy for having tested positive due to elevated testosterone.
One cannot help but wonder if Dayton Moore (or someone else within the Kansas City Royals organization) had knowledge of Cabrera’s use of PEDs last season when he was a member of the club and enjoyed what was then thought to be a career year. It is absolutely speculation, but it is worth wondering just how far back Cabrera’s PED use goes.
Think about the timeline:
- Cabrera is sent to Atlanta after falling off significantly as a New York Yankee;
- Cabrera signs a contract with the Royals after Atlanta cuts him loose;
- Cabrera shows up to Royals Spring Training in 2011 having lost a serious amount of weight and puts himself into the “best shape of his life” category;
- Cabrera earns a starting job in centerfield and rakes for the entire season, turning in a career year at the plate;
- The Royals offer Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur matching 2-year contract extensions.* Cabrera rejects it and Francouer accepts*; and
- As a result*, the Royals trade Cabrera to the Giants in exchange for Jonathan Sanchez
Buster Olney (via Twitter) is also reporting that news of Cabrera’s suspension has been circulating in San Fran as long as 3 weeks ago. So, did Dayton Moore pull a fast one and dump Cabrera with knowledge of his PED use before the Melk Man’s bubble burst? While it cannot be argued that Cabrera for Sanchez was a good trade, it looks a lot better today than it did yesterday.
Today, the Royals are rid of a player who would have been a free agent after the 2012 season and they were instead able to get something in return for him via trade. Jonathan Sanchez f’ing sucked, but Moore was able to turn him into Jeremy Guthrie who, at least for the moment, looks like the serviceable pitcher Moore was trying to acquire when he dealt for Sanchez.
In the meantime, the Giants have lost their best hitter during the stretch run of the pennant race and will still likely lose him as a free agent at the end of the season. They might get a draft choice as compensation for that, but it hardly softens the blow of the gaping hole they now have in the outfield. The Giants’ trade deadline acquisition of Hunter Pence sure makes a whole lot more sense today, doesn’t it?
From a Royals perspective, so does the Cabrera trade if they knew about his PED use last season and THAT is why there was no contract extension. Note that the Giants haven’t signed him to one either. If any of this is true, the Royals have finally pulled a move that usually ends up with them holding the empty bag and leaving their beleaguered fan base to say, “Only the Royals!”
Well played, Mr. Moore. Well played.