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Pirates add outfield depth by signing Melky Cabrera to minor-league deal

Kevin Gorman
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Cleveland Indians’ Melky Cabrera bats during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Pittsburgh Pirates are adding outfield depth by signing 14-year veteran Melky Cabrera to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, as first reported on Sunday by The Athletic.

Cabrera, 34, is a switch hitter who slashed .280/.335/.420 with six home runs and 39 RBI last season with the Cleveland Indians. He has played for the Yankees, Braves, Royals, Giants, Blue Jays and White Sox, and has eight seasons with 10 or more home runs.

Cabrera was an All-Star with San Francisco in 2012, when he batted .346 but drew a 50-game MLB suspension for testing positive for testosterone later that season.

If Cabrera makes the team he will be guaranteed $1.15 million with another $850,000 possible in performance bonuses, according to report by Jeff Passan of ESPN .

The addition of Cabrera gives the Pirates another outfield option amid the absence of right fielder Gregory Polanco, who will miss the start of the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. The Pirates signed free-agent outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall from the Indians, and he is expected to start in right until Polanco’s return.

Pirates pitchers and catchers report to Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla., on Tuesday.

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Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin at [email protected] or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.