CHICAGO -- Melky Cabrera became the seventh veteran to be traded from the White Sox since the All-Star break, with the switch-hitting outfielder sent to the Royals on Sunday along with cash considerations in exchange for Minor League hurlers A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis.The White Sox picked up half of
CHICAGO -- Melky Cabrera became the seventh veteran to be traded from the White Sox since the All-Star break, with the switch-hitting outfielder sent to the Royals on Sunday along with cash considerations in exchange for Minor League hurlers A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis.
The White Sox picked up half of the remaining $5 million from Cabrera's three-year, $42 million deal, per a Major League source. The switch-hitting left fielder joins Jose Quintana, Player Page for David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Todd Frazier, Anthony Swarzak and Dan Jennings as the group moved over the past 2 1/2 weeks, with 11 prospects coming back, along with veteran reliever Tyler Clippard.
"We are pleased. I don't want to say we are surprised. This was our mission," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn following Sunday's deal. "This is what we set out to do. This is what we felt was important to the long-term health of the organization. We had a plan and a method to go about achieving what we set out to do.
"With that said, you do need to respond to the market, and you do need to find fits. It's not always the easiest thing to get across the finish line, but thanks to the hard work of our scouts and fellows in the front office, we've been ready to move on multiple fronts and get these things done as the opportunities have arisen."
A market for Cabrera was pretty quiet as of Friday, but talks with the Royals came together over the pst 48 hours, according to Hahn.
Cabrera picked up his third four-hit game of the season Saturday. He is batting .341 with seven home runs, 25 RBIs and 26 runs over his past 44 games and is hitting .335 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs over his past 58 games. The left fielder also is tied for the Major League lead with nine outfield assists.
Not only is Cabrera a strong contributor on the field, but he has been characterized as a popular clubhouse presence. While Cabrera had expressed a desire to remain with the White Sox, he now returns to a team where he played in 2011, a team in contention for the American League Central title and the AL Wild Card.
"As I told Melky directly this morning, he has been outstanding for this organization since he first put on our uniform," Hahn said. "Not only in terms of his performance between the white lines, but what he did in the clubhouse. He's obviously a great ambassador for the game, a very enthusiastic, passionate player. And he will be missed."
"Honestly I wasn't expecting this because I love the city," said Cabrera through interpreter Billy Russo. "I love the team, but at the same time, you are seeing what's happening around the team with all the moves."
Puckett, 22, was the Royals' second-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, the No. 13 prospect for the Royals per MLBPipeline.com and now the No. 25 for the White Sox. He has a 3.90 ERA over 20 starts with Class A Advanced Wilmington this season, striking out 98 batters and walking 46 over 108 1/3 innings. The White Sox also get the 23-year-old Davis, who is 5-4 with a 5.46 ERA and 87 K's in 85 2/3 innings at Class A Lexington.
Hahn sees Davis having starter or reliever potential. Puckett is seen as a starter with a three-pitch mix who has a clean delivery and command to both sides of the plate.
"Certainly no reason not to project him as part of a rotation," said Hahn of Puckett. "You've seen us acquire a fair amount of power-arm types. He's not that type. He has more pitchability than stuff. He knows how to pitch, and he's the type of guy who conceivably could come quickly because of that."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.