The Chicago White Sox have continued their big offseason as they have agreed to sign outfielder Melky Cabrera to a three-year, $42 million deal, according to 670thescore.com's Bruce Levine and CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.
Chicago has already signed Adam LaRoche, Zach Duke, and David Robertson, while also acquiring Jeff Samardzija this offseason. Cabrera represents yet another big addition for them, this time for their outfield. Right fielder Dayan Viciedo has reportedly been shopped, and now with the addition of Cabrera, it seems it is only a matter of time before he gets dealt.
The Mariners showed the most interest in Cabrera throughout this offseason, while he also had been connected to the Reds, Giants, Orioles, and Royals. No team reportedly wanted to go over three years for Cabrera, so it was almost a given that he would ultimately sign a three-year pact.
The outfield was a bit of a problem for Chicago last year. They finished 28th in baseball in fWAR from their outfield, while finishing 24th in wRC+. Their OPS ranked 25th. This year, left fielder Avisvail Garcia will get a full season's worth of playing time, center fielder Adam Eaton was excellent last year and is only improving, and now they get a veteran in Cabrera to help out in right.
This White Sox team won just 73 games in 2014, but a really solid offseason should put them in the hunt in 2015. Every addition they have made this offseason represented an upgrade, and as the young guys in their lineup and rotation continue to get better, it appears as if they could sneak their way into the playoffs come next September into October.
On the year, the 30-year-old Cabrera hit .301/.351/.458 with 16 home runs and 73 runs batted in over 621 plate appearances. He was worth 2.6 fWAR this season, while posting a 125 wRC+. Cabrera has never been the best defender in the outfield. He was worth -6 defensive runs saved this past year.
The Dominican Cabrera was signed as an amateur free agent by the Yankees in 2001. Over his career, he has hit .286/.339/.415 with 88 homers and 520 runs batted in over ten big league seasons with the Yankees, Braves, Royals, Giants, and Blue Jays. He tested positive and was suspended for PEDs in 2012.