The Toronto Blue Jays, awaiting official approval on a massive 12-player deal with Miami, may have added another key piece by coming to terms with free-agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, according to multiple reports on Friday.
Cabrera would earn $16 million in the two-year deal for the former San Francisco Giants slugger, who served a 50-game suspension this past season for using a banned substance, ESPN reported.
The Blue Jays, intent on trading their berth in the American League East cellar for a role as division contender, would not confirm or comment on the reports.
Cabrera, 28, was leading the National League in batting with a .346 average and had 11 homers and 60 runs batted at the time of his suspension.
The signing would add to the potentially significant investment made by the Blue Jays in their blockbuster deal with the Miami Marlins, which is pending approval by Major League Baseball.
That deal would send shortstop Jose Reyes and pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle to Toronto as part of a swap in which they would take on about $160 million in salary.
Cabera 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.
(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Gene Cherry)