Blue Jays extend qualifying offer to Melky Cabrera

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In a decision that comes as no surprise, the Blue Jays have extended a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer to outfielder Melky Cabrera.

Cabrera has until November 10 to decide whether to accept the offer. Of course, this is all just a formality. The 30-year-old will decline and look to cash in as a free agent after batting .301/.351/.458 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI over 139 games this past season.

The Blue Jays would like to keep Cabrera, but by making a qualifying offer, they have at least put themselves in a position to receive a compensatory draft pick if he signs elsewhere.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?