Report: Phillies, Royals involved in ‘serious’ Melky Cabrera talks

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Melky Cabrera’s last stint in the NL East was pretty much a disaster, but the Phillies are apparently looking to bring him back.  They’ve exchanged names in trade talks with the Royals, FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports.

Cabrera has been a very solid center fielder for the Royals this season, hitting .296/.333/.459 with 12 homers and 14 steals in 405 at-bats.  It’s a big turnaround from a 2010 season in which he hit .255/.317/.354 with four homers and seven steals in 458 at-bats for the Braves.

If they can’t land Carlos Beltran, the Phillies may well settle for an outfielder who can back up Shane Victorino in center and help out in the corners against lefties.  Cabrera, though, isn’t particularly well suited for such a role.  He’s not a stellar center fielder, and while he’s a switch-hitter, he’s been considerably weaker against left-handed pitching in his career (.684 OPS, compared to .735 against righties).

Morosi says no deal is particularly close at the moment.  Cabrera, though, likely will be moved prior to the July 31 deadline.  The Royals need to clear room for Lorenzo Cain, a product of the Zack Greinke deal currently hitting .319/.385/.525 at Triple-A Omaha.

Jesus Luzardo beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Pitcher Jesus Luzardo became the second player in two days to beat the Miami Marlins in salary arbitration and was awarded $2.45 million.

Miami had argued for $2.1 million during a hearing Thursday before a panel of John Stout, Melinda Gordon and Richard Bloch.

AL batting champion Luis Arraez, an All-Star infielder acquired by the Marlins from Minnesota last month, was awarded a $6.1 million salary on Thursday rather than the team’s $5 million figure.

Luzardo, a 25-year-old left-hander, was 4-7 with a 3.32 ERA in 18 starts last year, striking out 120 and walking 35 in 100 1/3 innings. He is 13-18 with a 3.59 ERA in 45 starts and 16 relief appearances over four big league seasons.

Luzardo made $715,000 last season and was eligible for arbitration for the first time. He can become a free agent after the 2026 season.

Players have won two of three decisions this year, with about 20 more scheduled for hearings.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first decision this year on Wednesday, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday.