The Royals acquired White Sox’ outfielder Melky Cabrera and cash considerations in exchange for minor league right-hander AJ Puckett and left-hander Andre Davis, the team announced Sunday. Cabrera, 32, is set to enter free agency following the 2017 season.
This is Cabrera’s second stint with the team after he signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with Kansas City in 2011. His breakout performance with the Royals established his prowess as a power hitter and set the stage for another impressive run with the Giants in 2012, albeit one that was shortened by a 50-game drug suspension. In 2017, he’ll return to the Royals as a seasoned slugger after slashing .295/.336/.436 with 13 home runs and a .771 OPS through 428 PA with the White Sox.
Puckett, 22, was ranked No. 4 in the Royals’ system (by Baseball Prospectus; Baseball America ranks him No. 5 and MLB Pipeline has him at No. 13) entering the 2017 season. He advanced to High-A Wilmington and found modest success on the mound, producing a 3.90 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 over 108 1/3 innings.
Davis, 23, failed to crack the Royals’ top prospect rankings, and has seen mixed results with a 4.83 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 9.1 SO/9 through 85 2/3 innings in his first campaign with Single-A Lexington.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.