CHICAGO (AP) — The White Sox finalized a $42 million, three-year contract with free agent Melky Cabrera on Monday, bolstering their outfield with their latest big move in an impressive offseason.
Cabrera will make $13 million in 2015, $14 million in 2016 and $15 million in the final season of the contract, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal. The agreement also includes limited trade provision for the 30-year-old left fielder, who hit .301 with 16 homers and 73 RBIs in 139 games with Toronto last season.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the contract. The busy White Sox scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to introduce offseason acquisitions Jeff Samardzija and David Robertson, and the team could announce Cabrera's deal at the same time.
White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton welcomed Cabrera in a tweet on Saturday night, and then Cabrera retweeted the message — signaling a deal was imminent. WSCR-AM 670 was the first to report the agreement.
Cabrera could slot in behind Eaton in the No. 2 spot in the lineup. He made his major league debut in 2005 with the New York Yankees and is a .286 career hitter with 88 homers and 520 RBIs in 1,211 games.
Cabrera had his best season in 2012 with San Francisco, when he batted .346 with 11 homers and 60 RBIs in 113 games. He also was the MVP of the All-Star game that year, but missed the last part of the season when he was suspended for 50 games for a positive test for artificial testosterone.
The Giants went on to win the World Series, and Cabrera reached a $16 million, two-year contract with Toronto in November 2012. The Blue Jays extended a $15.3 million qualifying offer to the free agent last month, which was not accepted. Because of the offer, the White Sox will lose their second-round pick in June's amateur draft. Chicago's No. 8 overall pick is protected because it's in the top 10.
The lost draft pick is of little concern to the White Sox right now. They hope they are poised to contend in the AL Central after a 73-89 record and fourth-place finish this year.
Chicago has been one of the majors' most active teams this offseason. General manager Rick Hahn strengthened Chicago's beleaguered bullpen by signing free agents Zach Duke ($15 million, three years) and Robertson ($46 million, four years). The White Sox also signed Adam LaRoche ($25 million, two years) to provide some lefty power.
Samardzija was acquired in a trade with Oakland, giving Chicago another strong starting pitcher to pair with ace Chris Sale. The right-hander has made 33 starts and pitched more than 200 innings in each of the past two seasons.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.