Cabrera signs with Royals

It’s official – Melky Cabrera is part of the Royals’ outfield.

The Royals confirmed the signing of the free agent from the Atlanta Braves to a one-year contract on Friday morning, pending a physical examination. A report the two sides were close emerged on Thursday, the last day of the Winter Meetings.

This development comes two days after the Royals signed right-handed-hitting Jeff Francoeur, who started his career with the Braves. Francoeur will play right field.

Cabrera last season hit .255 with four homers and 42 RBIs in 147 games. That was his only season with the Braves who released him on Oct. 18.

A switch-hitter who could play center field or left, he previously had some productive years with the New York Yankees, batting .269 in five seasons with 36 homers and 228 RBIs. He was traded to the Braves after the 2009 season.

Cabrera could figure as the right-handed half of a platoon arrangement in left field with Alex Gordon. In his career, Cabrera has hit .251 from the right side in his career but has done better from the left side at .273.

Cabrera also might be in the battle for center field with Jarrod Dyson, Mitch Maier and Gregor Blanco.

–Dick Kaegel

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