New York Mets must seriously consider extending Asdrubal Cabrera

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 18: Asdrubal Cabrera
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 18: Asdrubal Cabrera /

New York Mets second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting well and making a case to stick around with the New York Mets in 2019.

For most of his career, New York Mets second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera has been far from spectacular. He’s a two-time All-Star whose peak years came in his mid-20s while with the Cleveland Indians.

After some struggles with the Indians, Washington Nationals, and Tampa Bay Rays, he managed to turn it around with the Mets in 2016. Ever since he has been an intricate part of his team’s success.

Just missing the Mets’ amazing run in 2015, Cabrera arrived in New York as a replacement for injured captain David Wright. He spent the entire 2016 at third base, slashing .280/.336/.474 with 23 home runs.

In some areas, Cabrera was even better the following year. Again, he hit .280 but increased his OBP to a very respectable .350. He’s playing an even larger role with the 2018 team, often taking his stop atop the batting order. As we see on an almost nightly basis, he’s right at the center of their rallies.

Manager Mickey Callaway appreciates what Cabrera can offer. As someone who can get on base, he’s going to see plenty of at-bats leading off. The Mets need baserunners ahead of the big bats. Few members of this roster can get to first as often as Cabrera can. This is exactly why the Mets need to strongly consider an extension.

Should the Mets extend Asdrubal Cabrera?

Cabrera turns 33 in November, which makes him a little too old for a long extension. A three-year deal, however, is not completely crazy depending on the price.

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Things have worked well with Cabrera at whatever position the Mets have played him. Now that he seems willing to appear wherever is asked of him, the match seems like an appropriate one. Before our eyes, he’s becoming one of the organizations most popular guys.

Cabrera earns $8.25 million this year from the Mets. He’s a reasonably priced infielder whose market will play against him with a few other notable second basemen and third basemen also hitting free agency after the 2018 season. After an offseason when more talented players settled for lesser deals in a weaker market, Cabrera may end up suffering even greater.

Signing an extension with the Mets is probably the best thing Cabrera can do. He has played incredibly well in the blue and orange.

Why risk it? Why leave a team still eager to contend, where you’ve played well, for the unknown?

The Mets’ window for winning isn’t closing yet. Cabrera can contribute and help this team for another run beyond 2018. Rather than spend big on one of the free agents, sticking with what works may be the route to take.

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Any serious talks about an extension should wait until at least the summer heat kicks into high gear. When the temperature rises, it’s time the Mets begin to plan for their future. Will Cabrera be a part of it?