Melky Cabrera Signs With Kansas City Royals: Will Alex Gordon Be Traded?

Bill RobbinsCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2010

Adding Cabrera will give the Royals another likely starter in their outfield for 2011.
Adding Cabrera will give the Royals another likely starter in their outfield for 2011.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In the early morning hours of Thursday morning, there were some preliminary reports that free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera had signed a deal with the Royals.

Later on, it was confirmed as Cabrera has agreed to a one-year deal worth around $1.25 million.

His deal is much similar to that of recently added Royal Jeff Francoeur's agreement, with both being cheaper, one year contracts.

He is also closely related to a player like Francoeur, as they both have shown flashes of talent throughout their careers, but haven't been able to put it all together on a consistent basis.

Melky comes from the Royals via free agency, but last season he played for a familiar pipeline of current Royals GM Dayton Moore in the Atlanta Braves organization.

He was traded to Atlanta prior to the '09 season for starter Javier Vazquez but underperformed while with the Braves, as he batted just .255 with four homer and 42 RBI in 147 games.

He previously played for the New York Yankees for five seasons as a left-fielder and then center-fielder.

His best major league season was in '09 when he hit .274 with 13 homers and 68 RBI for the Yanks.

He is only 26, so he could still have some of his best baseball ahead of him if he starts to figure things out this year for the Royals.

This signing also brings to light the question of where Alex Gordon will play this year. Adding Cabrera could mean the Royals want him to start in left, with incumbent Mitch Maier to start in center and the newly acquired Francoeur in right field to begin the season.

Some have already speculated that signing Cabrera was simply a move to get another right-handed bat in outfield and that that he would likely platoon with Alex Gordon in left-field in '11.

I have a feeling that Gordon might be on the trading block. It might have something to do with the fact that he has batted just .244 in four seasons with the Royals and has looked lost at the plate and in the field.

Due to being a former-first round pick and only 26, Gordon could still net some value at this time although he has struggled to start his ML career.

Time will tell the fate of Gordon and the fate of this Royals outfield. Stay tuned.