clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Reactions to the Melky Cabrera trade

New, 61 comments

The Melk Man cometh.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera from the White Sox for pitchers Andre Davis and A.J. Puckett on Sunday. The Royals will pay just $2.5 million of his remaining salary, and get an upgrade in depth in their outfielder. Cabrera was hitting .295/.336/.436 with 13 home runs in 98 games. Here is what others had to say about the trade.

The Royals say Melky Cabrera will play mostly right-field with Jorge Bonifacio moving to DH, although they will shift things around as need be.

“The important thing is to focus on how he’s going to lengthen our lineup,” Moore said of Cabrera. “The fact is that we were searching for a hitter that could hit at the top of the order and get everybody in a more comfortable spot in the order.”

Yost credits the Glass family for doing what it takes to win.

"It just shows you how much [owner] Mr. [David] Glass and Dayton are committed to giving us everything that we need," Yost said. "Not only us, but the city. Giving us all everything that we can use to try to win."

The Royals didn’t seem to have much competition for his services.

Royals players know what to expect with Melky.

Hos is excited.

I don’t even know what this means.

Devan Fink at Beyond the Box Score sees it as a low-cost upgrade.

Still, though, the Royals needed to make this move. They can figure out the playing time situation later; too many talented players is a problem they want to have. Their outfield hasn’t been good enough to get them to where they want to go, and Cabrera will fit in nicely.

David Lesky at Baseball Prospectus Kansas City approves.

In all, giving that up for a player who can help the Royals reach the postseason and hopefully advance deep into the postseason is a deal you make every day of the week. It also highlights just how difficult a market it is for teams looking to sell rental bats as Cabrera isn’t great, but he’s certainly good enough to help just about every team and was only able to bring back this haul. I was worried they might give up too much for Cabrera if they traded for him, but I loved the idea of bringing him back.

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs likes the flexibility Melky provides.

Mostly, Cabrera gives the Royals options, as they can run an offense-first line-up on days they don’t expect outfield defense to matter as much, but keep Gordon on the field when guys like Jason Vargas pitch. With a Wild Card game potentially in their future, making sure you can match-up for a winer-take-all game is a pretty good idea.

Matthew Trueblood and Victor Filoromo write that Melky allows different matchups.

Instead, what will probably happen is that Gordon will give up just part of his job, playing against most right-handed pitchers while Cabrera takes at-bats from both Bonifacio and Moss, and Cabrera will actually displace Gordon only against left-handed pitchers.

Cabrera is an excellent fit in that regard, because Gordon is a left-handed hitter and has hit .201/.320/.301 against southpaws since the start of 2016. Cabrera, formerly an extremely balanced platoon split guy (never a guarantee, even for switch-hitters), has seen that split widen a bit, and is hitting .310/.340/.498 against lefties during that time. If Ned Yost can strike the somewhat delicate balance needed here, this should be a substantial move. Against teams (like the Indians, for example) with very tough lefty relief options behind good righty starters, Cabrera can be doubly useful off the bench, batting for either Gordon or Moss as the situation dictates. We'll see if Yost is capable of nimbly managing the matchups and egos required to get the most out of his bats down the stretch.

Sabermetric guru Bill James likes Melky.

Other media-types seem to be in favor of the deal.

There is always a dissent, though.

And then there’s rival exec.

Chris Mitchell at Fangraphs evaluates A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis, the players the Royals gave up in the deal.

Puckett is an A-Baller whose numbers don’t jump off the page, so it’s easy to see why KATOH isn’t enthused. But it’ll surely buy in if he performs similarly at the higher levels.

John Sickels at Minor League Ball thinks Davis is a reliever while Puckett needs to be more consistent.

On the right day he can breeze through any lineup keeping hitters off-balance easily, but he could use a bit more consistency. If that comes around he can be a solid inning-eating workhorse.

And A.J. Puckett was classy on his way to the White Sox organization.

What do you think? Where would you slot Melky into this lineup? How would you handle his playing time?