Melky Cabrera, currently enjoying the finest season of his major league career, has just been suspended 50 games for the usage of a banned substance.
Cabrera would be eligible to play again in the sixth game of the postseason for the San Francisco Giants, but it’s unlikely that he would be in game shape at that point. For all intents and purposes, this suspension will effectively end the left fielder’s 2012 season.
It’s a shame, too. Cabrera was first in the majors in hits (159), second in triples (10), second in batting average (.346) and thirteenth in on-base percentage (.390). He was named the All-Star Game MVP for the National League and had also put himself into the early-season MVP discussion with his strong performance.
Cabrera, unlike many others who have been suspected of doping, owned up to his mistakes. He immediately came out stating his regret for making such a bad mistake, while also apologizing to the sport, the franchise and the game’s fans.
It’s unclear as to whether or not we can attribute his breakout last season with the Kansas City Royals to PED usage, but there’s no doubting the fact that Cabrera may not actually be as good as he has been this season.
This incident likely destroys the market for Cabrera this offseason. He was scheduled to hit free agency after the World Series ends, as he and the Giants agreed to hold off extension talks during the season.
He was considered to be deserving of a contract in the $50 million range, but he’ll likely receive no more than a one-year contract worth around $5 million at this point.
We’ll see if there are any new developments in this story within the coming weeks, but it seems as if this could simply be the end of seeing Cabrera as a top-flight outfielder in this league.