Kansas City Royals: Keeping Melky Beyond 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 6: Melky Cabrera
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 6: Melky Cabrera /

The Kansas City Royals acquired a handful of players at this year’s trade deadline. Dayton Moore made these trades with the intention of reaching another postseason. Could a certain outfielder still be around next year?

Melky Cabrera has performed well since reuniting with the Kansas City Royals. So far the Melk Man is slashing .299/.351/.522 in his second stint with the club. He has also collected 15 RBIs and three homeruns in 17 games.

Cabrera has been the solid contributor that the team was looking for. If he finishes the year strong he should be in the mix of possible players Moore looks to sign in the off-season. While the Kansas City Royals may not be able to afford all of their upcoming free agents, Melky could be a fitting piece to the 2018 puzzle.

Next year will be his age 34 season. While the team will undoubtedly be getting younger, you still need a nice balance of veterans on the roster. Being able to pencil Cabrera in at DH would make sense. Re-upping Cabrera could result in the Kansas City Royals parting ways with Brandon Moss…a move few would argue with.

As a switch-hitter Melky helps to bring flexibility to the lineup.

While primarily getting at bats in the DH spot, Cabrera could rotate into the corner OF as well. At this moment Alex Gordon, Jorge Bonifacio, and Jorge Soler look to be the outfield starters for next season’s Kansas City Royals team.

Assuming the Jorge’s are in left and right, Cabrera could spell them from the field while keeping their bats in the lineup. Remember the mystical “rotating DH spot”? Hard to do with a player like Moss who has next to no value in the field.

At least Melky still has the ability to make decent plays:

Of course the biggest question from the view point of the Kansas City Royals comes down to the question of money. They are a small market team who has seen their payroll rise significantly. Regression next season is expected as it tends to be a part of any youth movement.

For Cabrera I would expect to see him landing a contract in the neighborhood of $11 million per year. That number should not be one that scares off GMDM, even if payroll reduces.

Another positive factor is that Melky will probably be looking at one or two year deals. Not many teams are going to be willing to commit to three or more seasons on a player who is entering the later stage of his career.

A shorter term deal provides the Kansas City Royals with flexibility as they structure their next contending team.

Melky has been a great fit into the clubhouse. Along with Gordon and Salvador Perez the trio would make a nice veteran group that could mentor a new wave of Kansas City Royals. If the team wants to continue their recent success that leadership is key.

Next: Is There a Battle for Time Behind the Dish?

So my hope? Inking Melky Cabrera to a two year deal in the $22 million range feels like a good fit. What do you think? What would you like to see the Kansas City Royals do in regards to the Melk Man?