4. Melky Cabrera, OF, Chicago White Sox
A couple of teammates have been more frequently rumored to be on the move, but White Sox outfielder Melky Cabrera checks several boxes for the general criteria believed to make him one of the 30 MLB players most likely to be dealt at the trade deadline.
First of all, he’s a good hitter, having posted a .287/.333/.418 slash with 10 home runs and 51 RBI this season – right on line with his 13-year career average of .286/.336/.417. Cabrera also has value as a switch hitter, and his contract situation is an asset as well. At 32 years old, Cabrera isn’t a youngster anymore, and whatever team trades for him probably doesn’t see him as a long-term fixture in its organization. Therefore, Cabrera’s contract, which runs out after the 2017 season, is a plus as well.
Cabrera isn’t a good defender in left field, but his value lies in his bat. Cabrera has hit very well from the right side of the plate this season, with six of his 11 homers coming in just 95 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. He is also hitting .315 right-handed. For comparison’s sake, Cabrera has five homers in 275 plate appearances left-handed, and is hitting .283 against right-handed pitching.
Therefore, an American League team that could play Cabrera as a DH, especially against lefties, would be the best fit for Cabrera’s services. The Royals (one of the six MLB teams for which Cabrera has played), rank dead last in DH fWAR so far this season. Kansas City’s left fielders also rank dead last in the majors in batting average (.195), on-base percentage (.290) and slugging (.302), making Cabrera a perfect fit.