>>Sox Move OF Cabrera To Royals
Looking to bolster their offense for a run for a playoff spot, the Kansas City Royals acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera from the Chicago White Sox on Sunday for two minor-league pitchers.
The Royals entered the day three games behind the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians. Kansas City holds the second wild-card spot by 2½ games over Tampa Bay.
The Royals had their season-high nine-game winning streak snapped by Boston on Saturday night - 9-8 in 10 innings.
The 32-year-old Cabrera was batting .288 with 13 homers and 56 RBIs for the White Sox. He's also is tied for the majors' lead with nine outfield assists.
In his 13th season in the majors, Cabrera, who also with the Royals in 2011, is a switch hitter. He's second amongst active switch hitters with a .286 career average.
Kansas City sent a pair of Single-A pitchers in the deal: 22-year-old right-hander A.J. Puckett and 23-year-old left-hander Andre Davis. The White Sox also sent Kansas City cash considerations in the deal.
Puckett was the club's second-round selection in 2016 and Davis was picked in the eighth round in 2015.
>>Cubs Add RP Wilson, C Avila
The Cubs acquired lefty reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila from the Tigers in exchange for third baseman Jeimer Candelario and minor-league shortstop/third baseman Isaac Paredes, multiple reports indicate -- including Jon Morosi of MLB.com and every Cubs beat reporter.
The assumption is that the teams are waiting until Monday morning to officially announce the deal.
Wilson, 29, is in the midst of a great season for the Tigers. He took over as closer and has saved 13 games in 15 tries with a 2.68 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 55 strikeouts against 16 walks in 40 1/3 innings.
Wade Davis remains the closer, but Maddon has a bevy of guys he employs in late-inning, high-leverage situations, including Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop, Koji Uehara, Hector Rondon and lefty Brian Duensing. Mike Montgomery is a lefty like Duensing and Wilson, but he remains the long guy. Justin Grimm may be in trouble of being designated for assignment here, as he's the likely guy squeezed out the presence of Wilson.
The look of the Cubs' bullpen was already strong. The stable currently boasts a 3.34 bullpen ERA, which is good for fourth (tied with the Yankees, actually) in the majors, trailing only the Indians, Dodgers and Red Sox.
Even more bonus for the Cubs is that Wilson isn't hitting free agency until after 2018.
Avila, 30, is hitting .274/.394/.475 with 11 doubles, 11 homers and 32 RBI in 264 plate appearances this season. Youngster Willson Contreras is firmly entrenched as the starting catcher, so Avila will presumably be used in order to rest Contreras. Keep in mind that Contreras can handle left field, too, if the Cubs wanted to use him out there with Avila behind the plate.
Rookie Victor Caratini will be sent back to the minors to make room for Avila.
Candelario, 23, is a career .136/.240/.250 hitter in 50 major-league plate appearances. He's hitting .266/.361/.507 with 27 doubles, three triples and 12 homers in 81 games for Triple-A Iowa this season. He's considered a high-upside prospect and was ranked as the number 96 prospect in baseball heading into the year by MLB.com.
Paredes is an 18-year-old shortstop and third baseman currently playing in Class A. Through 91 games, he's hitting .261/.341/.399 with 25 doubles, seven home runs, 49 RBI, 49 runs and two stolen bases.