After winning the World Series in 2015, the Royals are pulling out all the stops to reach the pinnacle once more. Earlier this month they fortified their pitching staff by adding Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer and Trevor Cahill from San Diego, and on Sunday afternoon added a little bit of punch to their lagging outfield.
With Alex Gordon and Brandon Moss slumping this year, the Royals pulled the trigger and welcomed outfielder Melky Cabrera back into the fold in a deal that sent two pitching prospects to the White Sox.
For the White Sox, this move continues their summer sell-off. So far, the team has dealt Cabrera, lefthander Jose Quintana (Cubs), third baseman Todd Frazier and relievers Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson (Yankees), reliever Dan Jennings (Rays), reliever Anthony Swarzak (Brewers) to fortify what was already a stellar minor league system.
|WHITE SOX ACQUIRE A.J. Puckett, rhp Age: 22
The Royals’ second-rounder a year ago out of Pepperdine, Puckett made it to high Class A Wilmington in his first full season. His fastball sits in the low 90s and he couples with an above-average changeup with excellent deception. He’s also got excellent command of his fastball and can throw it to both sides of the plate. He’s worked this year to improve his curveball, which is a loopy offering in the mid-70s. If he can further develop the curveball, he has a chance as a back-end rotation piece in the future.
|Andre Davis, lhp Age: 23
The Royals’ eighth-round selection in 2015, Davis was a two-way player at Arkansas Pine-Bluff whom Kansas City liked better as a pitcher. He’s gotten knocked around a little bit this year with low Class A Lexington, but he brings a low 90s fastball with downhill plane and a low 80s changeup from the left side. He also has a slider in his repertoire, but it lags behind his other two pitches.
|ROYALS ACQUIRE Melky Cabrera, lf Age: 32
After spending the early portion of his career with the Yankees, Cabrera has bounced around the league. He’s made stops with the Braves, Royals, Giants, Blue Jays and has been with the White Sox for the past three seasons. He’s a free agent after this season, and has performed to a .295/.336/.436 line with 13 home runs so far this season. His addition will allow the Royals a chance at more productivity from their outfield this season, where Alex Gordon and Brandon Moss have struggled mightily.