Melky returns to KC in swap with White Sox

Royals trade Minors pitchers Puckett, Davis; option Gore

Melky returns to KC in swap with White Sox

BOSTON -- The Royals on Sunday beefed up their offense, acquiring outfielder Melky Cabrera and cash from the White Sox for Minor League pitchers A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis.

Cabrera, 32, played for the Royals in 2011, and he remains popular among the present Royals.

"It's the perfect fit for us," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said by phone from Cooperstown, N.Y., where he watched John Schuerholz's Hall of Fame induction. "He knows our guys. He will lengthen our lineup."

Cabrera, a switch-hitter, likely will be part of a left-field-right-field-DH rotation with Alex Gordon, Jorge Bonifacio and Brandon Moss. But manager Ned Yost said Cabrera likely will start out playing mostly right field.

"I will go there try to help the team win games," Cabrera told reporters through an interpreter. "They acquired me for a reason. I hope to help them."

Melky's four-hit game

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Royals designated for assignment right-handed Minor Leaguer Andrew Edwards. And after Sunday's 5-3 win over the Red Sox, the club optioned Terrance Gore to Triple-A Omaha to make room for Cabrera on the active roster.

Cabrera is hitting .288 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs. He also has nine outfield assists, tied for the Major League lead.

Cabrera is still owed about $5.16 million of his $15 million deal for 2017. The Royals will have to pay about $2.5 million of that, per an MLB.com source.

Gordon on win over the Red Sox

Royals players learned of the trade just a few minutes before game time on Sunday. There were still buzzing about the deal after the game. Cabrera is expected to join the team in Baltimore on Monday.

"It's a good pickup," shortstop Alcides Escobar said. "Everyone knows he can hit. Good guy in the clubhouse, and he wants to play for us."

In 2011 with the Royals, Cabrera set career highs in doubles (44), home runs (18), RBIs (87) and stolen bases (20).

"He's going to help our team a lot," left fielder Alex Gordon said. "He's having a great year. We all know his personality -- smiling, happy-go-lucky guy. Brings a lot of energy to the clubhouse. He's going to be comfortable in this situation. We know what he can do.

"Nothing ever bothers him. With a game like this, it can get you down. But he's always having a good time. Even with the White Sox, you could see him always goofing around. That's what we're about -- having fun."

Puckett, a right-hander who was a second-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, is 9-7 with a 3.90 ERA at Class A Advanced Wilmington this season. Davis, a left-hander, was an eighth-round pick in '15, and he is 5-4 with a 4.83 ERA at Class A Lexington.

"There were other teams interested [in Cabrera] so we had to step up and be aggressive," Moore said. "You have to be prepared to give up players that will hurt a little, too."

It was the second major deal that Moore pulled off this week: Earlier, the club acquired right-handers Brandon Maurer and Trevor Cahill, and left-hander Ryan Buchter, from the Padres.

"It just shows you how much [owner] Mr. [David] Glass and Dayton are committed to giving us everything that we need," Yost said. "Not only us, but the city. Giving us all everything that we can use to try to win."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.