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Pirates reportedly interested in Melky Cabrera

Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Pirates have some interest in outfielder Melky Cabrera. It’s not exactly a detailed writeup; this is all of it:

Melky Cabrera is a consideration for the Pirates.

Cabrera hasn’t drawn much interest this winter, but that’s not surprising considering that so many more prominent players are still on the sidelines. It makes a certain amount of sense, as the Pirates need a fourth outfielder and/or a starting left fielder. I have a lot of doubts whether they’ll be willing to commit to Jordan Luplow in left and the only other in-house candidate apparently is Adam Frazier, who in no way resembles a starting corner outfielder.

Cabrera also makes sense given the Pirates’ seeming reluctance to commit to a full rebuild. I’ve thought for some time that, with the free agent market nearly dead all winter, they’d probably wait until some super-cheap option was available near to, or after the start of, spring training. That’s how they signed David Freese and Matt Joyce. Cabrera is coming off a contract that paid him $15M this year, but he produced only a 99 OPS+ in a season split between the Royals and White Sox. He’ll open the season at 33 and managed a 118 OPS+ in 2016, so it’s possible he could bounce back a bit, as Joyce did. He’s played exactly one game in center since 2011 and, acccording to UZR, he’s a liability even in the corners, so he wouldn’t be all that useful as a fourth outfielder. All in all, he’s not an enticing option, but he’d fit with the team’s notion of “competing.”