How much money did Melky Cabrera cost himself by testing positive? We'll never know, obviously. But execs we surveyed saw Melky as probably the No. 2 outfielder on the free-agent market this winter, behind only Josh Hamilton, and a guy who was likely headed for a five-year deal that totaled somewhere between $60 million and $80 million.
So now what is he worth? We did hear one prediction that there might still be a three-year, $30 million deal out there for him. But that was clearly a minority view. One exec went as far as to say teams now had to ignore everything he's done the last two seasons and say instead: "Whatever type of hitter you thought he was before, you have to look at him as that type of hitter now. You can't trust that what he was the last two years, he'll ever be again."
Uh-oh. If that's the case, this guy just watched $50 million to $75 million fly out of his cash register -- because before last year, he was a .267 lifetime hitter with a .707 career OPS who hit eight or nine home runs a year, got non-tendered because of it and had to sign a one-year, $1.25 million contract with the Royals. He'll get more than that this winter, theoretically. But he won't be setting up future generations of Cabreras for life anymore. That's for sure.