There has been much debate and speculation about whether the San Francisco Giants would or should add Melky Cabrera to their postseason roster, and Giants manager Bruce Bocky said on Tuesday the team will announce by Thursday whether it will consider adding him, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reported.
Cabrera is serving a 50-game suspension after testing positive for testosterone, but he would be eligible to play in the postseason in the Giants' sixth playoff game, if they get that far.
The Giants have a number of issues to consider when deciding on Cabrera's postseason fate.
One is whether he'd be capable of regaining his midseason form after a long layoff.
Under terms of his suspension, Cabrera is eligible to begin a minor league rehab assignment after serving the first 40 games of the suspension, so he'd be eligible to begin that rehab on Saturday. Minor league teams have completed their seasons, but Cabrera could face live pitching at the Giants' minor league complex in Scottsdale, Ariz.
So a decision needs to be made soon to determine whether Cabrera needs to initiate that rehab assignment.
"He needs to know and we need to know," Bochy said, according to CSNBA.
Teams are not allowed to punish a player further after the end of a suspension for violation of a drug policy. Leaving Cabrera off the postseason roster probably would not be construed as punishment, but the Giants might face a grievance if Cabrera is not allowed to prepare to play.
According to the CSNBA report, Giants upper management is believed to be opposed to bringing Cabrera back this season, because of the deception involved in Cabrera's positive test and subsequent cover-up attempt by Cabrera and his associates.
There is also the potential distraction that might be caused by having Cabrera in the dugout during the postseason, a situation that would draw considerable media attention.
The switch-hitting Cabrera has a .346 average, and probably would have won the National League batting title if he had not told Major League Baseball he wanted to be disqualified for that honor.
The Giants have gone 25-11 since his positive drug test was announced Aug. 15, so they have done just fine without him. They have to determine whether bringing him back might disrupt the chemistry they have established in their current run to the NL West division title.
Cabrera was the All-Star Game MVP in July and will be a free agent after the season.