CHICAGO -- New Chicago White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera made his mistake and served his punishment -- not to mention serving it with heavy doses of contrition -- so the club thinks it’s time to move forward.
Not only was it a surprise that the apparently budget-restricted White Sox agreed to a deal with Cabrera over the weekend to the tune of three years and $42 million, another eye opener was the fact that the added a player who had been suspended for 50 games and missed the end of the 2012 season because of elevated levels of testosterone.
Not only did Cabrera elect not to appeal his suspension for PED use, he had been leading the National League in batting at the time and asked that he be taken out of consideration for the batting title. By not participating in the postseason that year with the San Francisco Giants, he also missed out on playing in a World Series, which the Giants won.
“Obviously we’re aware of what happened in the past, and no one condones what he did,” Hahn said. “But we are talking about an instance where there was a mistake he made and took ownership for, and showed honest remorse about from three seasons ago. He’s already gone through the understandable and deserved public scrutiny and has not hid from his past actions.”
Although current executive vice president Kenny Williams has roundly criticized PED users in the past, the White Sox have not completely turned their backs on players with a questionable history. Manny Ramirez was acquired at the tail end of the 2010 season and played 24 games with the team.
Cabrera got his second chance the past two seasons with the Blue Jays, batting .293 over 227 games north of the border, with 19 home runs and 103 RBIs. The biggest draw for the White Sox was Cabrera’s .351 on-base percentage in 2014 and his .339 OPB over his 10-year career.
“Frankly, I respect the fact that he accepted and served his penalty and lived with the consequences, and he’s done his best to put it behind him,” Hahn said. “Obviously our (MLB drug) policy not only allows for the suspension and the punishment, but also the redemption. Melky has performed at the highest level on the other side of this issue and we’re optimistic he can perform at that level moving forward.”