Melky Cabrera arrived in San Francisco as a hope and a wish. He hoped to repeat his 2011 performance in Kansas City. The Giants wished he could revive a dormant offense.
Melky has responded like a champ. He has been the team's most consistent offensive force. He clearly was the team's MVP in the first half of the season.
He won't be in the second half.
Cabrera took himself out of contention for such unofficial honors when it was revealed Wednesday that he had failed a drug test. The resulting 50-game suspension means he's out for the remainder of the regular season.
This means several things for the Giants, the most obvious and immediate being they probably don't have enough offense to stay in the thick of the National League race over the final seven weeks of the season.
It also means the price of Melky just went down.
Moreover, it means the Giants have to ask themselves if they really want to deal with another player whose reputation is tarnished by failed drug tests, admissions of taking drugs or suspicions related to drugs.
Can you blame them if they don't want the drama?
It was disclosed just a few days ago that the Giants and Cabrera's representatives had decided to table until after the season negotiations for a contract extension. The Giants could not have known how well it would work out for them.
It's not that Cabrera won't find suitors, or that he won't be able to land a fat contract.
Instead of something in the range of $14-15 million per year, Cabrera more likely will have to fight to get $10 million.
That's what happens when your numbers come into question, when it's evident they may have been artificially enhanced. Testosterone is the culprit, in this case. Cabrera on Wednesday made a brief statement of apology in which he acknowledged taking the substance.
He's done for the season. And the Giants are in deep trouble.
If there is any comfort for the Giants it is in knowing Cabrera, should they want him beyond 2012, will be a lot cheaper than he would have been last week.