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.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.