The Chicago White Sox have signed outfielder Melky Cabrera to a three-year, $42 million contract. Chicago's American League club has been incredibly active this winter, having already signed first baseman Adam LaRoche and relief pitchers David Robertson and Zach Duke and traded for right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija.
Cabrera got his start in the big leagues with the Yankees in 2006, but he never really flourished as a hitter until the 2011 season, which he spent with the Royals. Since then, he's been a good hitter, though a 50-game suspension for using a banned performance enhancing drug in 2012 and a down year at the plate in 2013 probably took some of the shine off of him. Still, Cabrera rebounded with a good year in 2014, as he hit .301/.351/.458. Even with the hitter-friendly confines in Toronto, those numbers were nothing to sneeze at given baseball's current run scoring environment.
Of course, as a capable major league outfielder, Cabrera seemed like a potential fit for the Mets coming into the offseason. But after the team signed Michael Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million deal, it seemed unlikely the Mets would sign an everyday outfielder like Cabrera, who is five years younger and will make a bit more per year for one more year than the Mets guaranteed Cuddyer.