Melky Cabrera was on pace to easily record 200 hits for the second-straight season, challenge for the National League batting title, and cruise into free agency where a truckload of money would await him.
And then he went and got suspended for 50 games for testing positive for testosterone and cost himself millions and millions of dollars.
Cabrera, the 2012 All-Star Game MVP, was one of the most fascinating stories in baseball because of his late emergence. Last year as a Royal he performed well, but this year as a Giant, he was the driving force for them remaining in contention during the first half of the season.
And for that, he was going to be rewarded. There were rumors recently of a three-year deal worth $27 million that the Giants had proposed to Melky's camp. Those numbers weren't going to cut it at the rate Cabrera was raking the ball, though, and the two sides decided to stop talking about an extension.
That's clearly a move Cabrera will regret now; it's hard to imagine many teams looking at his sudden leap in production in 2011 and 2012 and not immediately point to him testing positive for testosterone.
Cabrera was likely in line for something Jayson Werth-ish in terms of a contract. Werth, at 31-years-old, signed a seven-year, $126 million deal with the Nationals after hitting .296 with 47 doubles, 26 homers and 85 RBI.
Maybe that's a stretch. Whatever, the MelkMan was still getting something in between those two offers. Now he ain't getting $9 million a year from someone who doesn't know just how much his improvement had to do with the excessive testosterone in his body.
Instead, he might actually end up coming back to the Giants on a ridiculously cheap contract, because it's going to be hard for Cabrera to find buyers out there. Either way, Cabrera just cost himself many, many millions of dollars in free agency.