When the Royals traded for Melky Cabrera, I expected him to deepen the lineup and carry the Kansas City Royals to the Wild Card Game. Instead, Ned Yost batted him in front of the team’s best hitter and the Royals completely fell apart down the stretch.
Cabrera is still a productive MLB hitter with a couple of years left to contribute to a playoff team. It makes no sense for the Royals to re-sign him, because he doesn’t make this team younger, more athletic or even cheaper. The Kansas City Royals already have too many in-house options for the two corner outfield spots. And I expect Cabrera to sign elsewhere.
With that being said, there are a few different teams I think could use Melky’s services.
It makes no sense for the Royals to re-sign him, because he doesn’t make this team younger, more athletic or even cheaper.
One of those teams is the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay’s outfield this season consisted of Steven Souza, Corey Dickerson, Kevin Kiermaier, and bits of Mallex Smith and Peter Bourjos. Dickerson only started 87 games in left field this season.
I would guess the Rays would look for someone who can rotate between left field and designated hitter with Dickerson. Melky Cabrera fits that description perfectly.
The Rays will be looking to get into the playoffs in 2018 after coming up just short of a Wild Card spot. I’ll be looking for Tampa Bay to add some veteran leadership, as well as an impact bat to help strengthen its already potent lineup.
Prediction: Melky Cabrera signs with the Rays for two years and $20 million.