CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly had this two weeks ago, and now it’s close to being made official. Here is Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Manager Bruce Bochy said the Melky Cabrera decision will be announced “before the end of the homestand,” but not today. I can see why they’d wait. The Giants, Major League Baseball and the Players Association had a press conference at the ballpark today to outline plans for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. News on Cabrera’s fate would overshadow the WBC announcements. My best guess is Thursday.
Just like Baggarly suggested on September 14, Schulman says that all indications point to Cabrera being told that he can’t come back when his 50-game PED suspension ends five games into the postseason.
It’s an odd decision given how productive Cabrera has been in a Giants uniform. And when you consider that Guillermo Mota — who served a 100-game suspension earlier this year — is currently on San Francisco’s active roster, it seems a little hypocritical. But the Giants are 25-11 since the Cabrera punishment was handed down by Major League Baseball and clearly believe that they can keep rolling without him.
Cabrera was batting .346/.390/.516 with 11 home runs and 60 RBI through 113 games this season.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.