LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. —Two days ago, the Kansas City Royals didn't have a single right-handed-hitting option in their outfield.
Now, it appears, they're about to have two.
Switch hitter Melky Cabrera, 26, neared agreement Thursday on a one-year contract for a guaranteed $1.25 million with $250,000 in performance bonuses. The pending deal came less than 24 hours after the Royals signed right-handed- hitting Jeff Francoeur to be their starting right fielder.
Cabrera is expected to be given a chance to win the starting job in center field.
"That's how you convince these bounce-back guys to sign," one club official said. "They have other offers. So you give them a chance to play regularly. Now, what they do with it is up to them."
Any deal with Cabrera, as with Francoeur, is pending the successful completion of a physical examination. That means neither player has yet been added to the club's 40-man roster. Francoeur's exam is scheduled for Monday.
Cabrera fits the profile of what the Royals sought while bargain-hunting for a second right-handed-hitting outfielder: A still-young player looking for a bounce-back season after showing productive skills in the past.
He managed just four homers and 42 RBIs while batting .255 in 147 games for the Atlanta Braves.