The Chicago White Sox, the last-placed team in the Al Central Division, continued to trade away players with the non-waiver trade deadline looming. The Kansas City Royals are the most-recent franchise to pluck a key player away from Chicago, following in the footsteps of the Tampa Bay Rays from days earlier.

The Royals traded for Melky Cabrera on Sunday, parting with two pitching prospects. Chicago will also pick up part of the tab for Cabrera's remaining salary.

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According to Spotrac, the left fielder will earn $15,000,000 in total this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent ahead of the 2018 Major League Baseball season.

Cabrera a rental for 2017?

That Cabrera will be an unrestricted free agent clearly makes him a likely rental. In parting with prospects, the Royals have shown that they are very interested in the season that is directly in front of them.

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There is certainly good reason for them to be optimistic about their chances this season. Not only do they have several players that were a part of the postseasons from 2014 and 2015, but the Royals have been playing well for months.

If you go back to May 1st, the Royals were a .333 team through one month of the season. However, with August now looming the Royals are 7 games above .500 and just two games back of the Cleveland Indians for the top spot in the AL Central division.

Neither the Royals nor the Indians have cracked much lately. They do seem to be heading toward a close pennant race as teams prepare for the last two months of the season.

The Royals add some power and fielding

“We are trying to give this team everything they need to win at this time,” Scott Sharp, the assistant general manager of the Royals, claimed (qtd. by the Kansas City Star/July 30th). In adding Cabrera, the Royals add a player with an OPS this season of .771.

Furthermore, the everyday outfielder has just two errors this season in 92 starts in Chicago's left-field position. Cabrera might hit 20 home runs in 2017 as he has 13 to date. That addition of decent power will make him a dangerous player in the Royals' lineup, even as a DH if need be.

In a recent series that Cabrera played at Kaufmann Stadium as a member of the White Sox, he went 6 for 10 with a home run and a walk.

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In his last game as a member of the White Sox, Cabrera went 4 for 5 against the Cleveland Indians. His month of July has been a strong one with a .933 OPS for the month. The Royals look much stronger with Cabrera in their lineup than they did prior to the weekend.

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