This is the strangest offseason in recent memory. The homegrown fan favorite snubbed us all because of spite and/or a need for change. The most popular third base coach in franchise history retired. The Giants are actually linked to all sorts of expensive free agents. And now they're apparently interested in Melky Cabrera.
/ takes milkmaid uniform to dry cleaners
It's true, it's true. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Giants "expressed interest" in the disgraced outfielder, whose mere existence set off a domino run that led to two surprise championships. Bringing that up isn't just me being an ass -- we'll get back to that point later.
Rosenthal also talked to a veteran on the Giants, getting this quote:
A current #SFGiants veteran says of Melky’s past, "I don’t think anybody in the clubhouse cares. He’d be a great addition."— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 4, 2014
I think we should speculate on which Giants player is giving Rosenthal quotes. Buster Posey would probably shake his head ruefully for 12 minutes instead of answering something about Melky being a great addition. Hunter Pence? Yeah, I'm going with Hunter Pence. Now picture him texting Rosenthal as he watches Big Bang Theory from his four-post bed. It's adorable.
Yesterday, we talked about outfielders who made sense, and Melky got a token sentence at the end, acknowledging that he was the best fit from a baseball perspective, but writing him off because them bridges done got burned. And how. Over at the mothership, I wrote about how he fit with the Giants like a puzzle piece, if not for the history:
From a baseball perspective, the Giants make a tremendous amount of sense. They're looking for offense with the departure of Sandoval, and they could use a switch-hitter to break up the righty/righty combination of Hunter Pence and Buster Posey in the middle of the order. They know that Cabrera isn't bothered by the spacious dimensions, and his high-contact, gap-power approach plays better at AT&T Park than the approach of other available hitters.
He makes the most sense of any free agent, and he always has. But there's that past, see. There's that shifty past. I figured that would eliminate him from contention, so that's why I wrote about ... Daniel Nava yesterday? Man, I started the rye early.
This shouldn't be a surprise, I suppose, when you remember the Giants considered Melky an option even after 2012. He's cosmically linked with this team, everyone.
The first step is to remember how much fun he was.
Oh, we were so simple and naïve back then, what with our one championship. What's happened since is why I think this might actually work. The Giants have had all sorts of success since Cabrera left. If the Reds sweep the Giants in 2012, and Yusmeiro Petit gives up three bloops in a row against the Nationals, maybe we're all still really, really bitter toward Melky. Maybe he's a combination of Shane Victorino and Jose Cruz, Jr. -- unpleasant and filled with memories of what could have been.
Instead, he's an old friend who stopped stealing cars, turned everything around, and has a neat business proposal for us. Hey, good for you, buddy. We'll listen. We'll listen to this proposal.
And just think of what happens if he flops worse than Aaron Rowand. Oh, goodness, that would be a long five years. The left-field bleachers would be fun, though.
It might happen. From a baseball perspective it should happen. I think I overshot the money in my prediction (I had him getting something close to The Pence), but at five years, I'm not too worried about a potential deal. He just turned 30, and the backend might be a mess, like all other free agent deals, but I see him being valuable for the next three years, which is when the Giants will need him.
I'm unabashedly on board, and I always have been. I just didn't think there was the slightest chance of it happening. According to Ken Rosenthal, though, those tires are being kicked. Oh, those tires are being kicked pretty danged hard.