White Sox trade Melky Cabrera to Royals for two pitching prospects

The Kansas City Royals acquired Chicago 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. . MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the White Sox will pay half of the roughly $5.2MM that Cabrera is still owed on this year’s $15MM salary.

This is Cabrera’s second stint with the team after he signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the Royals 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 red hot 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.

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