Seven or eight years ago, the Orioles may have been the type of team to sign Melky Cabrera. There was a time when lots of suspicious characters: Miguel Tejada, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Jason Grimsley, were all on the Orioles.
Cabrera tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in August at a time when he was leading the National League in hitting. Even when his 50-game suspension was over, the San Francisco Giants didn’t want him in the NLCS or World Series.
They were afraid he’d disrupt the team’s chemistry. Obviously, the Toronto Blue Jays, who reportedly agreed to a two-year, $16 million contract with him aren’t afraid of that.
These days, character matters for the Orioles. They passed on Manny Ramirez last year and will presumably be wary of disrupting their happy clubhouse with players of questionable background.
It will be interesting to see what a clean Cabrera hits next season.