The Kansas City Royals need a right fielder and a middle of the order bat. They certainly appear to be active in attempting to fill those voids, having been linked to players such as Torii Hunter (who mercifully signed elsewhere) and Kendrys Morales. Now, the latest Royals rumors involve former Royal Melky Cabrera.
Originally with the Royals back in 2011 season, Cabrera put together what had been, at the time, a career season. After being cast upon the scrap heap, Cabrera posted a .305/.339/.470 batting line, hitting 18 home runs while stealing 20 bases. That season marked the first time that Cabrera posted an OPS+ over 100. Signed to a one year deal worth just $1.25 Million, Cabrera was truly a bargain.
Of course, we ll know how Melky Cabrera’s tenure in Kansas City ended. After the season, he was sent to the San Francisco Giants for Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo. Obviously, that trade was a disaster for the Royals, but at least Sanchez was turned into the serviceable Jeremy Guthrie. The story did not have a happy ending for Cabrera either, as he was suspended for PEDs while one plate appearance away from the 2012 National League batting title.
Now, fresh off his two years in Toronto that helped to rehabilitate his image, Cabrera is back on the free agent market. This time, he is looking to cash in, reportedly seeking a five year contract. However, considering that the Atlanta Braves just signed Nick Markakis to a four year, $44 Million contract, that may be the type of contract that Cabrera can expect. If so, such a signing may not be a bad move for the Royals, especially as Cabrera has proven that he can perform well in Kauffman Stadium.
Even though the Royals need multiple pieces this offseason, including a starting pitcher, it appears as though they have put a higher premium on improving the offense and bullpen than the rotation. Already, Jason Frasor and Luke Hochevar have been resigned, and the Royals have seemingly been linked with almost every right fielder available. Melky Cabrera would certainly prove to be an upgrade over the production they received in right last year, and with that type of a contract, may prove to be a solid investment.
It appears as though the Kansas City Royals will have a new right fielder on Opening Day. In this case, it may turn out that the new right fielder was their old right fielder in Melky Cabrera.