Braves Release Melky Cabrera

Melky Cabrera debuted in 2005 with a cherub face and as a dosage of imagination. At the time, the 20-year-old represented a better alternative to Tony Womack (although, with an on-base percentage of .276 and slugging percentage of .280, who didn’t?) and while Cabrera failed to capitalize in his six-game stint his return to the majors was all but ensured. Players who reach the majors at such youth usually reserve special futures. The aggressive manner with which the Yankees promoted him suggested they believed he could adjust quickly too.

Sure enough, the Yankees threw him into the everyday lineup starting in 2006 and he hit at a league average rate. All the signs pointed towards Cabrera becoming a regular – and he did – but rumors persisted that he became even more of a regular to the grandiose New York nightlife. Those rumors flare up about players throughout the league and only become worthwhile when the player begins to struggle. Unfortunately for Cabrera, his struggles began in 2007 and lasted until the 2009 season, when he once again hit league average.

The Yankees took advantage of the uptick by flipping him to the Braves in the Javier Vazquez deal over the winter and Cabrera’s slide took another hit today – fewer than 12 months later – as the Braves have officially released him. Poor conditioning reportedly set in this season and Cabrera showed little progress in any aspect of the game. He mostly remained static across the board, but his ISO slipped and his defense became reliant upon his arm strength and little else.

Concerns about Cabrera likely exceed his shoddy performances given Atlanta’s notorious behavior to cut bait on players they feel are not holding up their part of the bargain. He’ll be 26 when the 2011 season opens for play and some team is going to give him a job based on the promise and hope that he flips the switch. If changing teams for the third time in 15 months doesn’t do it, maybe the promise was misplaced to begin with.



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just guessing
Guest
just guessing
5 years 10 months ago

Atlanta’s notorious “reputatation”? (re cutting bait)

brendan
Guest
brendan
5 years 10 months ago

what is this supposed to say? “Melky Cabrera debuted in 2005 with a cherub face and as a dosage of imagination.”

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 10 months ago

I got to say, I’m still scratching my head over what a “dosage of imagination” is. Is that like a dose of imagination? … Even if it was, I’m still not sure where that metaphor is trying to go. How is a player an imagination in any quantity? Is that kind of like a twinkle in your daddy’s eye?

Travis
Guest
Travis
5 years 10 months ago

From the couple of times I saw him this season (in pre-game warmups and the actual games) he looked unmotivated and disinterested, unless you’re talking about picking out girls in the outfield bleachers that he thought were cute.

Seems like he has plenty of talent but little motivation. Unless I saw evidence of a change, I wouldn’t want him on my team.

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 10 months ago

Maybe Melky and Andruw Jones can start their own team. As an expansion team, they’d be entitled to a draft of some sort, where they can grab unfocused guys like Matt Kemp, Lastings Milledge, and Felipe Lopez. Then, they can sign Dontrelle Willis and Sidney Ponson to start, then sign Joe Beimel to close. Unless there’s a kegger, a buffet, or a celebrity girlfriend around within 2 days of the game, they can’t lose!

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 10 months ago

Well, except the starts where Willis is on the mound. It seems like he probably stopped clubbing so much after he left Miami, but somehow still didn’t improve. So, they might still lose those. And the starts where Ponson starts, because he’s generally just out of shape… and…

Hmm… maybe there’s something important about this whole “conditioning and focus” thing that many baseball players do.

annoying grammar guy
Guest
annoying grammar guy
5 years 10 months ago

“Disinterested” does NOT mean “uninterested,” if mean “unbiased.” So you want the umps to be disinterested, but you don’t want them to be uninterested.

NEPP
Guest
NEPP
5 years 10 months ago

Between this trade and dumping Yunel Escobar, has the Frank Wren tossed his hat into the ring for the title of “Worst GM in Baseball”?

bflaff
Guest
bflaff
5 years 10 months ago

Minaya’s gone, so everyone moved up a spot.

Sam
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Oh, please. The unrelenting praise that Alex Gonzalez received practically after his first game there from his manager and his teammates showed that something was wrong in the clubhouse with Escobar. That can’t be entirely discounted.

And has everyone forgotten about Arodys Vizcaino? It’s like he’s the forgotten man when it comes to the Vazquez trade. Even so, the Yankees are ahead in the WAR department .2 to -1.2 on that trade. Boone Logan has a .4.

Mr. Sanchez
Guest
Mr. Sanchez
5 years 10 months ago

Add in Mike Dunn too. The forgotten part of that deal was Logan and Dunn. Both are solid lefties, except Logan just finished his first arb year with only 2 more left. Dunn is still a minimum salary guy with at least 5, if not 6 years left of club control.

Kev
Guest
Kev
5 years 10 months ago

No, but you’ve gained the title of “Worst Baseball Knowledge in Baseball.”

Bronnt
Member
Bronnt
5 years 10 months ago

Arodys Vizcaino. Look that name up if you’re confused why I mentioned it.

drumzalicious
Guest
drumzalicious
5 years 10 months ago

I would suggest you look up Escobars numbers after moving to a more hitter friendly park . . . I believe he actually made it up to .600 OPS

Ben
Guest
Ben
5 years 10 months ago

Frank Wren the worst GM In baseball? He got a quality reliever in Dunn and an excellent pitching prospect in Vizcaino for when he would have gotten nothing from keeping Vasquez. He has made some questionable trades, but in no way is he the worst GM in baseball, there is always Dayton Moore.

Sam
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

That’s right.

I forgot Mike Dunn too. That makes the trade’s WAR total this:

Braves: -1.1
Yankees: .2

The Yankees have won so far, but if Vizcaino does anything for the major league team, the Braves will win the trade.

Ryan
Guest
5 years 10 months ago

Huh? Atlanta had a very good and full rotation for 2010 and didn’t have to pay $11.5 million dollars for a -.2 WAR starting pitcher they didn’t need. In fact, they got $500K back in the deal. Hudson replaced him in the rotation and had a great year himself. That trade was a win even if Vizcaino doesn’t do anything for the MLB team.

Z2
Guest
Z2
5 years 10 months ago

Dunn is a quality reliever? Dude had what 17 walks in 19 IP?

rawlingshoh
Guest
rawlingshoh
5 years 10 months ago

what are the odds the cardinals pick him up cheap in an attempt to potentially shore up second base with hopes he’ll turn things around?

ElsewhereOtherwise
Guest
ElsewhereOtherwise
5 years 10 months ago

What?

Ben
Guest
Ben
5 years 10 months ago

Maybe he is thinking of Orlando Cabrera? Melky at 2nd would be hilarious though.

DWrek
Guest
DWrek
5 years 10 months ago

Nah, it was a stab at the Cards creative attempt to shore up 2B. IE Schumaker.

Nick
Guest
Nick
5 years 10 months ago

He’s thinking of Robby Cano, he got called up after womack was well playing like tony womack…melky came up the next year i think

bonestock94
Guest
bonestock94
5 years 10 months ago

Totally looking forward to talk radio-type yankee fans pleading to bring him back this offseason.

Phantom Stranger
Guest
Phantom Stranger
5 years 10 months ago

Melky started the season fat and looked unhappy playing for Atlanta. It showed in his demeanor as he grounded out weakly, time after time. He can’t cover center anymore, and his power has evaporated.

Alex Remington
Member
5 years 10 months ago

Melky’s a fascinating player — he’s a worse hitter at 26 than he was at 21, a case of total offensive arrested development. He’s one of the worst age-relative-to-league busts since Andy Marte.

Dunno if it’s conditioning or what, but in Atlanta this year, he didn’t appear to have much in the way of talent, tools, conditioning, skills, or desire. Put it all together, and there’s a good reason he was arguably the worst player in baseball.

It’s understandable why Wren hoped he’d be more — he really was quite promising as a Yankee rookie, and it may have seemed like a change of scenery would be good for him — but instead he just regressed further.

Mr. Sanchez
Guest
Mr. Sanchez
5 years 10 months ago

It’s understandable from Wren in that if Melky actually cared, kept himself in shape and focused, he’d be a pretty good player. But he doesn’t, so he isn’t/. That and the salary savings, addition of an elite young arm, and an improvement in lefty reliever with savings to boot (Dunn from Logan).

The only question would be could Brett Gardner have been the third part instead of Melky. But then considering his age, cost, and the Braves need for speed, it’s highly doubtful that they’d have chosen Cabrera instead if both were available.

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 10 months ago

Yah, I think one would have been hard pressed to take Melky over Gardner. In addition to speed, Gardner has a solid eye at all levels- leading to respectable OBP. Melky never really had much OBP skills, nor much power (his one season with 10+ HR had an inflated HR/FB compared to other seasons). The only argument for taking Melky would be the bet that he would be growing into his power years or something. Even when Melky had solid defense, Gardner’s defense would be at least as good, so that seems like a push (generously).

So in comparing those two, you have:
A. Gardner: More speed, better OBP, more years under cost control
B. Melky: Entering prime years, might develop power

Personally, I’ll take the OBP over the “maybe power.” It’s the sure bet and with cost control factored in, it’s a slam dunk. To be quite honest, while speedy guys are a dime a dozen- speedy guys that draw enough walks to maintain a good OBP are actually quite rare.

Which is not to say I’m a huge Gardner fan, but his skill set seems more valuable than Melky’s was, even when Melky was decent.

Nadingo
Guest
Nadingo
5 years 10 months ago

“Melky’s a fascinating player — he’s a worse hitter at 26 than he was at 21, a case of total offensive arrested development. He’s one of the worst age-relative-to-league busts since Andy Marte.”

Sounds a lot like Yuniesky Betancourt too.

Phantom Stranger
Guest
Phantom Stranger
5 years 10 months ago

The rumors were that Melky was a very hard party-goer in New York as best friends with Robby Cano, and the Yankees dumped him for fear his bad habits and off-field behavior would permanently hurt Cano’s career. Is it coincidence that Cano has his best year with no Melky around?

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 10 months ago

Probably. Though on the flip side, Cano’s wOBA when hitting on chicks has taken a precipitous dive without Melky’s protection behind him. Losing Melky means that Cano’s striking out more, losing playing time, and has had a lot of trouble going first to third.

Now I’m not saying these problems aren’t correctable. Maybe if the Yankees can pull in Johnny Damon for a party time role, Cano can get his swing back. They could watch some tape, play the field, and work on their shagging drills. Plus, Damon brings intangibles and a veteran presence which is bound to help the team score.

Z2
Guest
Z2
5 years 10 months ago

“Is it coincidence that Cano has his best year with no Melky around?”

Yes. Because you’re acting like Cano sucked in 2009- when Melky was on the team.

Rob in CT
Guest
Rob in CT
5 years 10 months ago

Melky came up originally because the dessicated corpse of Bernie Williams hadn’t been able to play CF in some time and the team finally accepted it. He was terrible, but he came back up the next year when Matsui broke his wrist. He played reasonably well. He managed an above-average OBP and his defense was far superior to what the Yankees had been getting. That, and his youth, got our hopes up. Sadly, he’s gone backwards ever since.

Cano came up for Womack.

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