Giants acquire outfielder Melky Cabrera from Royals

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The San Francisco Giants have acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez and minor league left-handed pitcher Ryan Verdugo, club Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean announced today.

Cabrera, 27, completed his first season with the Royals last year in tremendous fashion, setting career highs in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.305), runs (102), hits (201), doubles (44), home runs (18), RBI (87) and stolen bases (20). He ranked ninth in the American League in batting average and finished fourth in the A.L. in hits, seventh in total bases (309) and tied for eighth in doubles and in runs scored. He finished second in the Majors to the Yankees' Curtis Granderson with 85 RBI from the number two spot in the batting order.

The seven-year Major League veteran became just the sixth Royals player (seventh time) to reach 200+ hits in a season and the first since 2000. His 61 multi-hit games last season were tied for second-most in the Major Leagues and the fourth-highest single-season total in Royals history.

The switch-hitting outfielder played the majority of his games last season in center field, starting 143 contests in center, but he also appeared in 12 games in left and two games in right. His 13 outfield assists were tied for sixth-most in the Majors.

The Dominican Republic native was originally signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 2001 and spent five seasons in a Yankees uniform from 2005-09 before being traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2009. He owns a career .275 batting average (836-for-3,039) with 161 doubles, 20 triples, 58 home runs, 357 RBI and 71 stolen bases in 871 Major League games with New York (2005-09), Atlanta (2010) and Kansas City (2011).

Cabrera has appeared in the postseason in four of his last six seasons and owns a career .213 average (16-for-75) in 22 postseason contests.

Sanchez, who will turn 29 years old later this month, battled injuries in 2011, missing more than two months with biceps tendinitis and an ankle sprain. He finished the campaign by going 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA (48er, 101.1ip) in 19 starts.

Drafted by San Francisco in the 27th round in 2004, the six-year big league veteran has gone 38-46 with a 4.26 ERA (335er, 708.0ip) along with 376 walks and 736 strikeouts in 174 games (118 starts). His most memorable performance in a Giants uniform came three seasons ago when he ended the franchise's 32-year streak without a no-hitter on July 10, 2009 vs. San Diego, becoming one of just four left-handed pitchers to pitch a no-hitter for the Giants.

Verdugo, 24, went 8-6 with a 4.35 ERA (63er, 130.1ip) in 25 starts for double-A Richmond this past season, his first year pitching solely as a starter. Verdugo was selected by San Francisco in the ninth round of the 2008 draft.