By Rob Steingall
Andres Torres, Mets: On a bit of a tear on the bases, stealing five during the past week, and a total of seven the previous two weeks. His batting average stinks, as does just about everything else he does, but he deserves a shot to help you while he's on a good run.
Jon Jay, Cardinals: He's never been a burner in the minors, but did steal 20 bases back in '09, and has consistently reached double figures during his career. With six already on the season, a run at 15 seems possible, along with his steady batting average and production.
Gregor Blanco, Giants: Blanco is getting extended playing time this season, and is really making the most of it on the bases, accumulating 14 steals to this point. If he keeps his job moving forward, he could double that total during the second half. You'll suffer in batting average with him in your lineup. But if you can afford to take the hit, he's a nice cheap option.
Drew Stubbs, Reds: Stubbs returned from his stint on the disabled list and promptly stole three bases in his first week back. The batting average is still abysmal, but you're going to live with that due to his tantalizing power and speed combination. If he stays healthy, there could be another 20 steals in his legs during the second half.
Alex Presley, Pirates: Not a burner by any stretch of the imagination, but he did swipe five bags in June and a combined 31 bases in '11 between Triple-A and the majors, so the pedigree is there for him to be a category asset. His total sits at eight on the season, but could easily rise to 20 by the time the season comes to a close.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox have offloaded more pieces in the past eight months than that furniture store that always seems to be going out of business.
Everything. Must. Go.
Even so, the team hasn’t found any takers for veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera, who finished with four hits in Saturday night’s 7-2 White Sox loss to the Kansas City Royals. Cabrera finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in two runs. That Cabrera still resides on the South Side is a surprise to White Sox manager Rick Renteria.
“Honestly yeah, to be honest,” Renteria said. “To me he’s a premier Major League baseball player who has been playing outstanding defense. And he has been for us one of the two or three guys who has been timing his hitting in terms of driving in runs when we need them, putting together really good at-bats when we need them. Just playing the game. Yeah, kind of surprised.”
Despite making their intentions known that everyone short of Tim Anderson and Carlos Rodon are available, Cabrera’s name has barely registered a blip on the radar when it comes to trade rumors.
Several factors have probably prevented Cabrera from being dealt, the biggest being his salary. Cabrera is still owed roughly $6.3 million of his $15 million salary, which makes him an expensive option.
Defensive metrics also don’t have much love for Cabrera despite his eight outfield assists. Cabrera’s lack of range has produced minus-6 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-4.7 Ultimate Zone Rating.
Those figures likely would like have teams lean toward making Cabrera a designated hitter. While he’s been one of the team’s most consistent and prominent offensive performers, Cabrera’s .786 ranks only about 38th in the American League.
As FanRag’s Jon Heyman noted earlier Saturday, to trade Cabrera the White Sox would likely have to eat most of the outfielder’s remaining salary.