Melky's moment of leverage

July 13, 2012, 4:13 pm
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With the action fast and furious inside your heads as baseball resumes this evening, let me try and put one thing into perspective for you.Melky Cabreras next contract.Specifically, this: Hes not signing one any time soon, unless he and his agent are idiots. The Giants are talking, and they may even offer, and Cabrera may even be excited about the possibility of finally putting down roots in one city. But hes not signing anything yet.Why? Because this is his MOL his Moment Of Leverage, and his moment requires other suitors, none of whom can get involved to drive the price up until the off-season.Many of you already understand this, but some are already growing impatient, wondering why the Giants havent already lavished him with money for the glorious future. And the answer is a simple one.These things progress at their own pace, and the Giants are not in control of the process. Not, that is. They can make the first offer, but the rules of free agency clearly state that nobody ever takes the first offer.RELATED: Melky Cabrera career stats 2012 game logs News
What the Giants can do, and what they are doing, is show Cabrera how much they value him. What they can do, and what they probably need to do more often if they are going to catch his eye, is win more often than they currently are. What they can do is show him the best possible time they can, make their offer, and hope that come November and December he sees the wisdom in staying.As opposed to the wisdom in going.All the not knowing is nerve-wracking for those of you who like your answers six minutes ago, but thats how it works in the real-time world. And while Cabrera may be the most coveted outfielder in this off-seasons market, he wont be the only one. Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton, Carlos Quentin, Nick Swisher and Shane Victorino will also come into play.The difference, of course, is that the Giants fan base hasnt developed a costume-based attachment with any of them, and each of them will seem a poor substitute if Cabrera leaves.That logic, though, is not part of either his, nor the teams, thinking. And when we say team, we dont include the marketing department, which would probably hold an in-office wake as it burns all the MelkMan-related paraphernalia it would like to develop.So what we are left with, then, is three more months of watching him play, to see if he can maintain the absurd pace he has been on since the start of May. He has carried San Franciscos outfield, and been the most productive part of the batting order (and you all remember last year, when they had no batting order at all, right?). And you have showered him with love and attention he didnt get in New York or Atlanta or Kansas City. You may have made him a home.But there are homes, and then there are summer homes, and none of that will be determined until the winter. Because Melky Cabrera and his agent are not fools, and the Giants are realistic about the way these things go. Nobody gives up their MOL these days. Nobody in his right mind, anyway.Ray Ratto is a columnist for

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