The Kansas City Royals entered Sunday up 2 1/2 games on the Tampa Bay Rays in the hunt for the second wild-card spot in the American League.
The Royals are looking to add to that lead -- and went out and made a trade to try to make it happen, acquiring outfielder Melky Cabrera from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for two prospects, the teams announced:
We have acquired OF Melky Cabrera from the White Sox, in exchange for minor league pitchers AJ Puckett and Andre Davis. #Royals— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) July 30, 2017
Cabrera has hit .295/.336/.436 with 13 home runs this season. He'll qualify for free agency after the year. In the interim, Cabrera should serve as an upgrade over incumbent left fielder Alex Gordon, whose miserable 2017 has seen him produce a 57 OPS+. Cabrera could also see time at designated hitter, should the Royals want to get Brandon Moss and his 82 OPS+ out of the lineup.
This is Cabrera's second stint in Kansas City. He previously spent 2011 there, when he had one of the best seasons of his career.
In exchange for Cabrera, the White Sox received pitching prospects A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis. Puckett was ranked the 13th-best prospect in the KC system, per MLB.com, who noted he could develop into a No. 4 starter due to his plus changeup and good command. Davis, formerly an eighth-round pick, has posted a 4.83 ERA in A-ball despite strong peripherals.