New York Mets ink outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

The New York Mets have taken the veteran free agent market by storm since they published their 60-man player pool on Sunday evening. Kidding aside, they have made a few depth signings that will sure come in handy during the shortened calendar and in the event that injuries strike.

Earlier on Monday, the Mets announced the return of right-handed jack-of-all-trades pitcher Erasmo Ramirez, who pitched the spring training with them; and deals with pitcher Hunter Strickland and infielder Gordon Beckham. Now, they are also reinforcing the outfield corps with veteran Melky Cabrera.

Cabrera, who started his career with the New York Yankees and then played for the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates, is now a 35-year old veteran who is capable of hitting for average, but not much else.

The Mets are betting on Cabrera’s contact ability

For his career, he has slashed .285/.334/.417 with 144 home runs and 101 stolen bases in 1887 games. He has a 101 wRC+, which is essentially average production. However, last season he had an 85 wRC+ mark and a rather mediocre .280/.313/.399 line with the Pirates.

He didn’t play the spring training with any team this year and is hoping to earn some at-bats in a crowded New York Mets offense.

Cabrera’s best asset at this point is probably his ability to make contact. In his career, he has a very low 11.8 K%, and last season, it was 10.3. However, it comes at the expense of his power, as evidenced by his .119 ISO in 2019.

The Mets’ outfield corps are very deep this season, as they have Brandon Nimmo, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Jake Marisnick, Ryan Cordell, Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis and now Cabrera under contract. Johneshwy Fargas and Jarret Parker are also in the 60-man player pool, which means that the team has the position covered by at least 10 players.