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Melky Cabrera’s suspension for performance-enhancing drug use will probably cost him “tens of millions” of dollars in lost contract and endorsement wages, former Oakland Athletics executive Andy Dolich said.
San Francisco Giants outfielder Cabrera, a free agent after the season, yesterday was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for testosterone.
Cabrera, whose .346 batting average was second-best in the major leagues, is being paid $6 million this season. Because of the suspension it’s unlikely teams will offer the 28-year-old more than a one-year contract.
“He’s taking a major hit in terms of what his long-term earning power is going to be,” said Dolich, who spent 1980-94 as president of business operations for the A’s.
Cabrera in a statement provided by the Major League Baseball Players Association acknowledged that he’d used a banned substance.
“I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants’ organization and to the fans for letting them down,” he said.
Cabrera’s agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, didn’t immediately return a message left at their Brooklyn, New York office.
Multiyear contract offers won’t be the only financial hit for Cabrera, who, including this season’s statistics, is a .284 career hitter. Cabrera, the All-Star game Most Valuable Player affectionately referred to as the “Melk Man,” can surrender any chance of aligning himself with a company seeking an athletic endorser, Dolich said.
“All it takes is one national campaign for a player to add several million more into a yearly take,” Dolich said.
After last night’s 6-4 loss to the Washington Nationals, the Giants are 64-54, one game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lead the National League West Division.
The Giants have 44 regular-season games remaining, meaning Cabrera’s suspension would stretch into the postseason if the club qualifies.
After learning of the suspension, the team in a statement said it was “extremely disappointed.”
Cabrera’s batting average is second to Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen, who is hitting .358. He can still win the batting title.
Cabrera, who joined the major leagues in 2005, played his first five seasons with the New York Yankees. He’s also had one- year stints with the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals.
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