The Toronto Blue Jays put the gloss on a blockbuster day of acquisitions by signing free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a two-year $16 million (Dh 58.8m) deal last night.
Hours after gaining official approval on a massive 12-player trade with Miami, Toronto added another key piece with the former San Francisco slugger, who served a 50-game suspension this past season for using a banned substance.
All Star Cabrera, 28, was leading the National League in batting with a .346 average and had 11 homers and 60 runs batted in at the time of his suspension.
Dominican Republic native Cabrera is an eight-year veteran who has spent time with the Yankees, Braves, Royals and Giants. He has hit a combined .284 with a .338 on-base percentage, stealing 84 bases and hitting 69 home runs.
The move came just hours after Toronto's $160m (Dh 587.7m) trade with the Marlins, which saw shortstop Jose Reyes and pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle heading north to Canada.
In exchange, Miami receives shortstop Yunel Escobar, catcher Jeff Mathis, infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, pitcher Henderson Alvarez, minor league pitcher Anthony DeSclafini and a pair prospects — outfielder Jake Marisnick and pitcher Justin Nicolino.
"We've finished in last place the past two years, and that is unacceptable to our fans, to us as an organisation, and to me," said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.
"We want to get back to our winning ways, and we want a winning baseball team for our fans. It's incumbent on us to make the changes necessary to make us a winner again."
In Miami, the deal set off controversy, upset the fan base and prompted Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado to write a letter to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to closely examine the reasoning for the transaction.
"After a thorough examination of this information, it is my conclusion that this transaction, involving established major leaguers and highly regarded young players and prospects, represents the exercise of plausible baseball judgment on the part of both clubs," Selig said in a statement.
"(It) does not violate any express rule of Major League Baseball and does not otherwise warrant the exercise of any of my powers to prevent its completion."
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