ESPN.com's Keith Law ranks Cabrera as the fifth best free-agent outfielder, behind BJ Upton, Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton and Nick Swisher, saying:
"Cabrera's 2012 season looked like a severe statistical fluke; he was thriving almost entirely on a spike in his batting average on balls in play, with his lack of patience and power exactly where they were prior to his trade to San Francisco. He isn't a selective hitter but has good plate coverage. His ability to convert more of that contact into hits is what changed, or seemed to change, this season. However, his suspension for testosterone use throws his entire performance into doubt. Some teams will assume his performance boost was due to testosterone and others will look at the BABIP jump and figure he would have eventually come back to earth. He's a poor center fielder who's just average in left or right. But despite the PED and makeup questions, every team should be willing to give him a one-year deal, as even a return to his 2011 performance level would allow him to play every day for some clubs"In a special report for ESPN.com, Jerry Crasnick surveyed 22 general managers, assistant GMs, advisers, scouting directors and talent evaluators for their opinions on seven questions that are likely to drive media coverage between now and New Year's Day.
In regards to Cabrera, how much money and how many years he will get as a free agent, most executives said they expect Cabrera to sign a one-year, make-good deal worth between $2 million and $10 million, plus incentives.
In a poll to MetsBlog on October 13, nearly 52 percent of voters said they would sign Cabrera to a one-year contract.
In my view, the Giants essentially kicked Melky to the curb when they didn't add him to the World Series roster. Also, I lost count of how many people implied it was mostly because of his role in the clubhouse. So, it seems the Giants might not be a player for him any more.
Despite that, I've changed my tune on Melky. I was against it, but the more I think about it, especially on a one-year, $4 million deal, I think I'd do it if I were the Mets - depending on how other attempted acquisitions go this winter. I think Cabrera will be motivated. He's done well enough in New York City.
Worst case scenario: He's a bust, a headache and more trouble than he's worth, and so they cut him.
Best case scenario: He's motivated, hits and is a bargain.
To me, that's worth a $4 million gamble, especially if the team frees up money by trading off salary.