Free agent Cabrera signs with Mets


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Melky Cabrera celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a single by Elias Diaz off Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz in Pittsburgh, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019. - AP

Former Pirates outfielder Melky Cabrera has found a new home, signing a minor league deal Monday with the Mets. He will be added to the team's 2020 player pool.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Cabrera was one of three players from outside the organization brought in Monday by the Mets. Right-handed reliever Hunter Strickland, who was released in March by the Nationals, and former White Sox and Tigers infielder Gordon Beckham also were added.

Cabrera, who was not with a team during spring training, spent the 2019 season with the Pirates, appearing in 133 games with a .280 batting average, .715 OPS, seven home runs and 47 RBI. The Pirates were the eighth team Cabrera has played for in his 15-year major league career.

He is a .285/.334/.417 hitter over the course of his career, and he helped the Yankees win the World Series in 2009. Cabrera also was the All-Star Game MVP in 2012, the same year he was suspended 50 games for violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. That season, he batted .346 with a .906 OPS.

Cabrera was one of several players who left the Pirates during an offseason roster purge, which reportedly helped slash the team's payroll to $54.3 million for the 2020 season. Jung Ho-Kang, Lonnie Chisenhall and Francisco Liriano also left in free agency. Starling Marte was traded to the Diamondbacks for prospects.

If he makes the Mets roster, Cabrera, who struck out at only a 10.3 percent clip in 2019, could be used as a designated hitter. He has not batted below .273 in the past decade.

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