Melky Won’t Return to Blue Jays

The Blue Jays acquisition on Wednesday of outfielder Michael Saunders from the Mariners all but guarantees Melky Cabrera’s exit from Toronto.

The team had interest in re-signing Cabrera, but the two sides were never able to come close to an agreement on a multi-year contract. Saunders will likely take over for Cabrera in left field.

With a number of teams interested in the former All-Star, multiple media outlets have reported that the Royals have been in contact with Cabrera. Other teams said to be in the mix include the Reds, Mariners, Orioles and White Sox.

The Royals need a proven hitter after Billy Butler signed with the A’s earlier this off-season. The team could get that in Cabrera, who hit .301 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs, along with 35 doubles in 2014.

Already familiar with Kansas City, Cabrera spent the ’11 season with the club, which marked one of the best of his career. He hit .305 with career-highs in home runs (18) and RBIs (87).

Cabrera is reportedly looking for at least a five-year contract, similar to that of fellow outfielder Nelson Cruz, who signed with the Mariners this week for four years and $57 million. Cabrera earned $8 million this season.

Quinn Roberts

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