Asdrubal Cabrera to sign with Rays
Free agent shortstop/second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera has agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Rays. Details of Cabrera’s contract are not yet known.
Cabrera, 29, hit .241/.307/.387 this past season in 146 games (616 plate appearances) split between the Indians and Nationals.
The Mets were connected to Cabrera earlier this offseason, but their reported interest in him was quickly shot down.
Most of the teams who were interested in Cabrera viewed him as a second baseman, but it’s not yet clear how the Rays will utilize him.
More important than the fact that Cabrera’s offense has been trending downward is the fact that he isn’t a good defensive shortstop. What the Mets need more than anything is a player who can field shortstop at an average or better level, and Cabrera didn’t offer that.
With Cabrera now on the Rays, it seemingly makes the already available Ben Zobrist more available and could potentially make shortstop Yunel Escobar expendable as well.
As it pertains to Zobrist, he started just 23 games at shortstop in 2014 and is not viewed as a legitimate full-time option at the position.
Escobar, 32, is signed through 2016 at just $6.5 million per season. However, he had an atrocious season defensively in 2014 and there are also questions about his character.
Shortly after the Cabrera signing was reported, Mike Puma of the New York Post said that the Mets don’t view Escobar as a fit.
The Mets’ best options at shortstop appear to still be in Seattle, where one of Brad Miller or Chris Taylor should be available. Beyond Seattle, there’s the perpetual Troy Tulowitzki talk, but the Rockies don’t appear ready to come down from demands that no team appears ready to give in to.
Another option for the Mets could lie in Chicago with Addison Russell, though there’s nothing to indicate he’s “available.” However, as we recently saw with the Wil Myers trade, every player is “available” for the right price.