The Pirates made their minor-league contract with Melky Cabrera official Monday and invited him to major-league spring training on a non-roster basis.
With Gregory Polanco expected to begin the season on the disabled list while recovering from shoulder surgery, the Pirates were looking to add outfield depth. Lonnie Chisenhall, signed as a free agent in November, is expected to play right field until Polanco is ready, joining Corey Dickerson and Starling Marte in the starting outfield.
The switch-hitting Cabrera, 34, could serve as a platoon partner with the left-handed hitting Chisenhall. Cabrera's splits have been almost even throughout his 14-year career as he has hit .288/.338/.419 against right-handed pitching and .278/.329/.414 versus left-handers.
Cabrera played with the Indians last season and batted .280/.335/.420 with six home runs in 78 games.
He is a .286/.335/.418 lifetime hitter with 137 home runs and 99 stolen bases in 1,754 games with the Yankees (2005-09), Braves (2010), Royals (2011, 2017), Giants (2012), Blue Jays (2013-14), White Sox (2015-17) and Indians (2018).
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