Twins questioning Melky’s offensive abilities

Jason Lane is in their ears and in their eyes
Winter Ball Update

The article about the Mets I briefly mentioned at the end of this post contains a little tidbit about Melky Cabrera worth examining. The Twins are not impressed with Melky Cabrera and think he would struggle out of the Yankee lineup. As Joe wrote in September and November, we at RAB are not that enthusiastic about Melky’s future either. It took the Twins long enough to make their thoughts on Melky public.

Jason Lane is in their ears and in their eyes
Winter Ball Update
  • RobertGKramer

    But I remember that Melky failed miserably his first time in NY. Then hit a blistering .385 in AAA to earn a second chance. WOW. Motivation at the highest level. I’m impressed.

  • steve (different one)

    could this be the Twins just making noise b/c they know their fans would prefer Phil Hughes, but they really prefer to send him to the mets?

    publicly smear Melky to sell the Mets package to the fans?

    that’s what it sounds like to me.

  • Glen L

    Melky’s OPS+ was 89 last year … that’s really not very good

    his WARP was 4.4 .. decent but torii hunter (the man he’d be replacing and someone many feel is overrated) had a 5.5 WARP

    in reality .. melky is pretty decent and i’m more than happy to have him as our CF .. but I can see why the twins geniunely wouldn’t be too high on him .. really that OPS+ is just bad

  • Ivan

    Edited by RAB: The following is from a BP chat with Joe Sheehan.

    bjlevy34 (Santa Clara, CA): “You’re trading for one year of a player and the rights to sign him to a market-value contract for six or more seasons.” I’ve seen several smart people make this as argument against trading for Santana. It seems to me, however, that having exclusive negotiating rights is actually worth something. With the game “swimming in cash” there is a real advantage to not actually have to bid against other teams. Isn’t this something like the opposite of the winner’s curse? Just curious for your thoughts.

    Joe Sheehan: Those rights are worth something. However, they’re not worth much when there’s no discount to be had, and at that, they’re not worth the price being paid.

    We can see Santana’s past. We can’t see Philip Hughes’ future. It takes a strong will to argue not only that you’re not trading for A, but that B might end up looking like A.

    Throw in $150 million with B now. Is that worth the risk? Throw in two other players.

    Everyone is acting rationally.

    I suppose the one lesson to be learned here is that no-trade clauses aren’t worth it. Pay more in cash and retain your flexibility. If Smith could trade Santana for a package that reflects his one-year value, he’d get a lot further than he has been getting.

    Good point.

    • Ben K.

      Further proof that BP reads RAB :-D

      That’s what we’ve been saying for months!

  • Rich

    I would consider trading Melky when A-Jack is ready to play CF, which could be by the AS break.

    • Rich M.

      Austin Jackson is at least a year, more likely a year and a half away from sniffing the major leagues. He is 20 years old and has had one above average half season in professional ball. He will most likely play the entire year at Trenton and start in Scranton in 2009 if everything progresses well.

      • Rich

        The Tigers promoted Maybin pretty quickly. If the light has in fact turned on for A-Jack, I think we could see something similar.

  • barry

    Not for nothing but I think you are all discounting Melky way to quickly. Bernie Williams wasn’t an offensive powerhouse his first few seasons but he developed into the Bernie we know today (OPS: 1991=686, ’92=760. ’93=733). So why jump on a 22 year old ballplayers back he could still develop into a fine hitter and hes better in Center than any option for the next couple of years.

    • Count Zero

      On one level I agree — it’s hard to project a 22 year old. It’s quite likely that the best of Melky is yet to come.

      However, Melky is not Bernabe physically. While you could envision the young, tall, lanky Bernie bulking up and driving balls into the black somewhere down the road, it’s unlikely that Melky will ever be a guy who hits more than 15 HRs in a season. So I don’t think comparing them is actually fair.

      What you may see Melky become is a .310/.380/.460 kind of guy who steals 20+ and plays excellent defense. Which would make him a great CF. But, I don’t see him as a .900 OPS guy ever.

      • Geno

        I think we’re selling Melky short. He’s the next Puckett, without the wife beating!

        • Moose

          hahah, Puckett huh? That was rich.

          Melky is never going to be a very good hitter, and I’ll tell you why…HE HANGS OUT WITH CANO TOO MUCH.

          Is it just me, or has Melky done everything in his power to emulate Cano’s swinging/reckless approach to hitting? Unfortunately for Melky, there remains a glaring difference b/w himself and Cano – Cano can actually hit the balls that he swings at (except for the ones over his head). Cano is a pure hitter, so he can afford to be overly aggressive since he has a smooth swing and can drive the ball. Melky’s swing is too violent and inconsistent – he rarely is able to get the bat through the zone with a level swing, its either popped up in the air or on the ground.

          If you watch their approaches, Melky and Cano are nearly the same hitter. The sooner Melky learns to be more patient and shorten up his swing, the better off he’ll be.

    • Raf

      You saw Bernie’s potential in the minors; he had the ability to get on base, I don’t think anyone saw the power developing the way it did.

  • Missing Baseball Really Badly

    And yet the Twins like that garbage package from the Mets including overrated Humber and Pelfrey. Disgusting.

  • Bill

    Don’t tank on Melky, CF is not a power position and the Melk Man has a friggen hose in center. All the runs he doesn’t score in popping the ball into the black seats and to the porch in RF he makes up for by gunning runners down at home. Defensivly he’s our best CF and with the Yankee lineup Melky doens’t need to hit .350 with 30HR and 110RBI. With a lineup that includes A-Rod, Matsui, Posada, Jeter, Abreu, Giambi, Cano, etc. there really is no let up. Last season even after an aweful start we finished with the best offense again, pitching is where our problems are and thanks to the genious of Brina Cashman Joba will now have to move to the pen because he got starstruck and chased Santana rather than dealing with actual issues, the Bullpen. Thus, Mussina will now have to be a regular starter along with Wang, Pettite, Hughes, and Kennedy. My hope is Sanchez can get into Major League shape earlier than projected and join the big club before the All Star Break and let Joba go to the rotation.

    • jsbrendog

      did you just include giambi in there with “a lineup that includes….no let up?”

      dude….be realistic

    • steve (different one)

      Last season even after an aweful start we finished with the best offense again, pitching is where our problems are and thanks to the genious of Brina Cashman Joba will now have to move to the pen because he got starstruck and chased Santana rather than dealing with actual issues, the Bullpen.

      did you just wake from a 2 month coma? you do realize that it’s not Cashman chasing Santana, right?

      i guess every single report saying otherwise was too hard for you to understand.

  • Nick-YF

    In my view, this is a pretty transparent attempt by the Twins to try to get Austin Jackson in the deal.

    • Mike A.


      I think the rumored Martinez-Guerra-Gomez-Mulvey deal is the best out there. Three potential superstars, and only one has to work out to break even.

      If that deal goes down, Eddie Kunz would be the Mets’ top prospect. Yikes.

  • Adrian-Retire21

    I hear on Mike and the Maddogg that Mike called The Mets and they say that Reyes in what the Twins are being asked.

    Also only Hughes is the pitcher the Twins can put in their rotation that can be a #1 stater.

  • Realist

    Melky’s arm compensates for his lack of range in CF….he actually is better suited at left but doesn’t have the power to be a corner outfielder.

    He is a .280 10 hr 20sb guy right now and that is largely due to benefiting from the Yank’s offense. He may be able to get better but I really don’t see him being much more than a decent player……keeping CF warm for AJax.

  • Realist

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm the plot thickens? If Melkey isn’t moved to minny (which appears to be unlikely) , what have The Yank’s in mind?

    • Travis G.

      this make so little sense. what does Cameron bring that Gardner couldn’t for $8 mil less? and since Cash said at this point they’re going with their current roster (in terms of not going after Santana), what does it mean for Melky? has it been mentioned Cameron will miss the first 25 games of 08?

      Jason Lane has been signed as a non-roster invitee.

      • steve (different one)

        Travis, you seems like a sharp guy, but i think you are MASSIVELY overrating Gardner.

        the Yankees would most likely be signing Cameron to trade Melky, even if it’s not to the Twins, maybe for bullpen help.

        Cameron would be the starting CFer for the next 1-2 years until Jackson is ready.

        Gardner is NOT a starting CFer in the major leagues. Cameron is an above average major leaguer, i don’t think Gardner is much more than a 4th or 5th OFer.

        i don’t understand why you are calling Cameron “no bat”. he has a career OPS+ of 106 and has been at least 103 for the last NINE seasons.

        not sure what you are talking about???

  • Travis G.

    if Ajax develops as hoped/expected in 08, Melky will become far more expendable. BUT, right now for the coming season, he’s our best CF option. otherwise it’s Damon with his fusilli arm or Cameron and his no bat and $8 mil.

  • Realist

    The only thing I can see with this , Travis , is that ARod wanted him on the team and they want to appease him? Plus , possibly a move is in place that includes Melkey?

    I personaly agree with you concerning Gardner as his speed could be an asset as a pinch runner and a late inning defensive replacement.

  • Realist

    Btw , loved the fusilli reference! Makes me think of Seinfeld and “fusilli jerry”……………….one in a million Doc!;-)

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Thank you, Twins. We’ll gladly keep BOTH Melky and Hughes. You’re making not making that trade rather easy.

  • Jeff

    The Cameron trade is the stupidest thing I ever heard… batting under .250 Maybe they want to hire him to carry A-Rods bags – but not to join the club. Trading Melkey would have some impact on the team chemistry, especially Cano. Not worth it for a loser like Cameron. I would be pissed if this one goes down.
    I imagine if this report is true (which I doubt) there would have to be other players involved.
    Back to the original string of this post… Twins have really lost their chance for the best deal if they have reservations about our package. Melky on top of Hughes not good enough? What are the Twins thinking? If they did want to make this trade and were hoping for the deal to get better I think they are going to kick themselves… cause with all their dicking around they’re going to wind up with a team next year that is going to suck.

    • jsbrendog

      its not a trade its a free agent signing meaning they give up nothing for your ears bud

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  • Gus

    santana to the yanks AFTER the ’08 season six years 160 mill, NOT pitching opening day at the new stadium. Andy P. will be afer winning yet another title in the bronx this coming year and deciding to keep the light on another year.