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White Sox Sign Melky Cabrera

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 15, 2014 7:10PM

Photo credit: Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images

As of the time this post went live, the Cubs are introducing Jon Lester to fans at a news conference downtown. But the wheeling and dealing for both of Our Town’s baseball clubs isn’t over.

The White Sox and free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera agreed to terms on a three year, $42 million contract over the weekend. Cabrera needs to pass a physical to make the deal official and joins first baseman/designated hitter Adam LaRoche, starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, closer David Robertson and reliever Zach Duke in an impressive string of offseason acquisitions by GM Rick Hahn.

Cabrera is a career .286 hitter with 88 home runs and 520 RBI. He spent the last two seasons in Toronto and hit .301 with 16 home runs, 73 RBI and a .458 slugging percentage in 139 games with the Blue Jays last season. The MVP of the 2012 All-Star Game with the San Francisco Giants, Cabrera comes with one heavy piece of baggage when he was suspended for 50 games that year for having elevated levels of testosterone. Cabrera and his associates went so far as to create a fake website and nonexistent supplement he hoped to blame for the positive test.

Cabrera’s offensive numbers are comparable to those of current White Sox leftfielder Dayan Viciedo. Defensively, however, Cabrera is a major upgrade. The Sox tendered a one-year deal to Viciedo, but he could be seen as a backup player at most now that the Sox outfield consists of Cabrera, Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia. Viciedo could be shipped out of 35th and Shields in a trade, with the Seattle Mariners the main target.

If Cabrera can stay healthy, out of trouble and perform to his career numbers, he would make a nice setup man for the heart of the Sox’ order. The hot stove season continues unabated on both sides of town.