The Asdrubal Cabrera era with the New York Mets is over. Thankfully, the Mets got all they could out of the veteran infielder.
Cabrera was traded on Friday to the Philadelphia Phillies for prospect Franklyn Kilome. In a necessary deal to move a guy on an expiring contract, the Mets bid farewell to one of their most consistent players since 2016.
When Cabrera joined the Mets in 2016, he became their starting shortstop. He moved to third base the following year when Amed Rosario received his big league promotion. In 2018, he worked as their starting second baseman.
No matter where he played, Cabrera filled in nicely. He was never an astute defender. Cabrera did, however, deliver at the plate.
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In his 374 games with the Mets, the veteran infielder slashed .279/.339/.464. Had he stayed with the Mets through this season, he would have set new highs in home runs and RBI as a member of the orange and blue. Cabrera needed only 5 home runs and 4 RBI to match the total posted in 2016.
The modest $8.25 million Cabrera took home in each of his three years in Flushing helped the team get over the loss of Daniel Murphy. Though Cabrera didn’t post All-Star numbers like Murphy did in 2016 and 2017, he held down the infield well and allowed them to spend elsewhere. His defensive flexibility and switch-hitting abilities are vastly underrated around baseball. If the Mets chose to bring him back in 2019, I’m not sure I would have a problem with it.
Cabrera certainly made an impact on team history. He also went on with a nice bang on Thursday night.
In the victory 12-6 over the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cabrera smashed his final home run for New York and drove in 4 runs. Just as it was looking like they might not get much in return for him at the trade deadline, a night like this helped raise his stock again.
Since he is joining the Phillies, we will see Cabrera again this year. Certainly worthy of an ovation when he returns to Citi Field, the one question I have is about where he plays in Philadelphia.
The Phillies have Cesar Hernandez locked in at second base which means Cabrera may move to shortstop or third base. Likely, it’s a mix of all three infield positions.
Wherever it is he plays, the Phillies are lucky to snag him. He gave the Mets everything he could. When things looked low yet still had life earlier this year, he carried the offense.
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Until he beats up his former team in an important game, there are no-hard-feelings between fans in Flushing and Cabrera.