CLEVELAND -- With an offense still working to find its rhythm in the season's first month and one outfielder currently on the disabled list, the Indians have added some experience to their depth chart.MLB.com confirmed on Monday night that Cleveland has agreed to a Minor League contract with veteran outfielder
CLEVELAND -- With an offense still working to find its rhythm in the season's first month and one outfielder currently on the disabled list, the Indians have added some experience to their depth chart.
MLB.com confirmed on Monday night that Cleveland has agreed to a Minor League contract with veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera, pending the completion of a physical. Cabrera will head to the Indians' headquarters in Goodyear, Ariz., prior to joining an affiliate.
As things currently stand, the Indians are featuring All-Star Michael Brantley in left field, Bradley Zimmer in center and Tyler Naquin in right, with Rajai Davis and Brandon Guyer getting playing time mostly against lefties. Lonnie Chisenhall, who opened the year as the Tribe's starting right fielder, is on the DL with a right calf injury and likely remains a few weeks from a potential return.
Collectively, Indians outfielders have posted a 66 Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) through 20 games, indicating that the group has played 34 percent below league average.
Cabrera, 33, spent 156 games between tours with the White Sox and Royals last season. The switch-hitting corner outfielder posted a .285/.324/.423 slash line with 17 home runs, 85 RBIs and a 98 wRC+. Overall, Cabrera had a combined minus 20 Defensive Runs Saved (minus 10 in 348 2/3 innings in right field and minus 10 in 878 innings in left) in 2017.
In parts of 13 Major League seasons, Cabrera has hit .286/.335/.418 in 1,676 games with the Yankees, Braves, Royals, Giants, Blue Jays and White Sox.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.