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Report: Phillies, Royals involved in ‘serious’ Melky Cabrera talks

Kansas City Royals v Colorado Rockies

DENVER, CO - JULY 03: Melky Cabrera #53 of the Kansas City Royals looks on from second base after an RBI double off of pitcher Matt Belisle #34 of the Colorado Rockies in the sixth inning during Interleague play at Coors Field on July 3, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Royals defeated the Rockies 16-8. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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Melky Cabrera’s last stint in the NL East was pretty much a disaster, but the Phillies are apparently looking to bring him back. They’ve exchanged names in trade talks with the Royals,’s Jon Paul Morosi reports.

Cabrera has been a very solid center fielder for the Royals this season, hitting .296/.333/.459 with 12 homers and 14 steals in 405 at-bats. It’s a big turnaround from a 2010 season in which he hit .255/.317/.354 with four homers and seven steals in 458 at-bats for the Braves.

If they can’t land Carlos Beltran, the Phillies may well settle for an outfielder who can back up Shane Victorino in center and help out in the corners against lefties. Cabrera, though, isn’t particularly well suited for such a role. He’s not a stellar center fielder, and while he’s a switch-hitter, he’s been considerably weaker against left-handed pitching in his career (.684 OPS, compared to .735 against righties).

Morosi says no deal is particularly close at the moment. Cabrera, though, likely will be moved prior to the July 31 deadline. The Royals need to clear room for Lorenzo Cain, a product of the Zack Greinke deal currently hitting .319/.385/.525 at Triple-A Omaha.