Melky Cabrera has withdrawn his name from consideration for the World Baseball Classic rosters according to Dionisio Soldevila of ESPNDeportes.com. Cabrera, who spent last the season with the Giants and generated ample controversy after getting suspended for 50 games for PED use, has already notified the Dominican Republic of his decision.
Cabrera, 28, was in the midst of a career season in 2012 before being suspended. The outfielder hit .346/.390/.516 in 133 games for the Giants, and were it not for the suspension and subsequent controversy, he might have signed a contract for considerably more than the two years, $16 million he wound up getting from the Blue Jays. FanGraphs values Cabrera’s season at 4.6 WAR, a career best despite having played in so few games.
It’s not know exactly what Cabrera’s motivations for withdrawing are at this point, but the outfielder likely doesn’t want to be a distraction in the WBC tournament, and with his name continuing to come in PED conversations, that’s an understandable desire. Provided he manages to stay out of headlines for the wrong reasons, he has a very good chance of providing Toronto with a solid return on their investment, and perhaps in time he can begin to repair his reputation.