The Kansas City Royals are trying to make one last push for the playoffs with their current core. The team continued to add Sunday, picking up Chicago White Sox outfielder Melky Cabrera in exchange for two pitchers.
The 32-year-old Cabrera has posted a .295/.336/.436 slash line, with 13 home runs, over 428 plate appearances this season. Cabrera is in the final year of his contract, and will be the free-agent at the end of the year.
The Royals could use a boost on offense. The club ranks 22nd in the majors with a 90 wRC+, an advanced stat that measures offensive performance. Cabrera has typically been used in left field, and could cut into Alex Gordon’s playing time. Gordon, 33, is hitting just .201/.294/.296 over 362 plate appearances. He’s been one of the worst regulars in the majors this season.
Gordon is still owed over $40 million from the Royals, so the team may opt to keep playing him and hope he gets back on track. In that instance, Cabrera could see time as the team’s designated hitter. Brandon Moss has filled that role this season, and is hitting .210/289/.410 over 256 plate appearances.
The White Sox continued their extensive rebuild, picking up pitchers A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis. Puckett, 22, has a 4.40 ERA over 108 1/3 innings at High-A. The right-hander the season as the Royals’ No. 5 prospect.
Davis, 23, has a 4.83 ERA in Single-A over 18 starts. The lefty has struck out 87 hitters in 85 2/3 innings. Davis did not rate among the team’s top-30 prospects at the beginning of the year, according to Baseball America. Neither player is considered a top-100 prospect currently.
After a middling start, the Royals have come on strong. Fueled by an eight-game winning streak, the club propelled its way into the second wild card spot. Though the Royals have a number of players set to hit free agency in a few months, the team has decided to make one final push while Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer are still around.
Cabrera is the team’s most significant add, though not the only player they’ve acquired at the deadline. Kansas City was also involved in a six-player swap with the San Diego Padres that netted them three pitchers.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –