Blue Jays “willing to offer at least a three-year deal” to Melky Cabrera

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Earlier this month the Blue Jays admitted to starting contract talks with free agent Melky Cabrera and now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that they’re “willing to offer at least a three-year deal” to the 30-year-old outfielder.

That’s quite a change from last time Cabrera hit the open market, when he managed only a two-year, $16 million contract coming off a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

Back then he was coming off a career-year that included a .346 batting average and .906 OPS. This time around he hit .301 with an .808 OPS this season and struggled last season, but whatever negative stink Cabrera had attached to his name following the suspension seems to have mostly vanished. (Nelson Cruz is in a similar situation after leading the league in homers for the Orioles.)

Toronto will almost surely make the $15.3 million qualifying offer to Cabrera if they can’t re-sign him before then, guaranteeing draft pick compensation if he declines and signs elsewhere.

Gallegos agrees to 2-year, $11M contract with Cardinals

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.