With a void in right field, many consider the Mariners a natural fit to sign free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera. However, it’s far from a sure thing.
Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners “appear unwilling” to offer a contract beyond three years. In addition, they aren’t expected to give Cabrera a higher AAV (average annual value) than they already gave Nelson Cruz ($14 million per season over four years). If that’s the case, their max offer for Cabrera could be $42 million over three years, which likely isn’t good enough. Still, Dutton writes that “many in the industry believe he will sign eventually with the Mariners.”
With previous trade targets like Matt Kemp and Yoenis Cespedes now off the board, some of the alternatives to Cabrera include Dayan Viciedo of the White Sox, Justin Upton of the Braves, Seth Smith of the Padres, and free agent outfielder Alex Rios.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.