Royals sign Melky Cabrera to one-year, $1.25M contract

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Jeff Francoeur and Melky Caberera in the same outfield?  It’s like Christmas for snarky baseball bloggers.

From Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes comes word that Cabrera has reached agreement with the Royals on a one-year, $1.25 million contract that includes $250,000 in performance-based incentives.

Cabrera was released by the Braves two months ago and drew very little interest on the open market this fall and winter.  He batted just .255/.317/.354 over 509 plate appearances for Atlanta in 2010 and had trouble covering ground in the outfield by the end of his tenure.

Most of Melky’s recent failures have to do with his poor level of conditioning.  That’s a mental thing, not a physical thing, and the Royals will have to hope that he decides to stay in shape and commit himself to his talents.

At $1.25 million, it’s not a terrible deal.  The Royals have to take chances to fill some holes.  With a farm system bursting in potential, maybe they won’t have to in the near future.  For now, though, it’s all aboard for guys with question marks.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”