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Mets should consider Asdrubal Cabrera even if Robinson Cano is fine

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JULY 20: Asdrubal Cabrera #14 of the Texas Rangers during game action against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 20, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - JULY 20: Asdrubal Cabrera #14 of the Texas Rangers during game action against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 20, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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Even if Robinson Cano remains healthy with the New York Mets, the team should consider a reunion with Asdrubal Cabrera as a bench piece.

Of all the things Robinson Cano could do to get hurt, running is the last one we want to see cause an injury. In Sunday’s finale versus the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Mets did plenty of damage against the Bucs. Unfortunately, Cano’s hamstring also suffered from what has been classified as a strain.

The Mets have a variety of directions to go. On Twitter, the debate during the game was over whether they should promote Luis Guillorme, Dilson Herrera, or Ruben Tejada. All have played well with Triple-A Syracuse with only Guillorme getting any taste of the big leagues this year.

If Cano misses any length of time, the Mets will need to consider a more permanent fixture in the starting lineup. One option is to sign recently released former Mets infielder Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera received the DFA treatment by the Texas Rangers last week and a release from his one-year contract with the ball club.

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Minus an opportunity to make an August trade, the Mets are left with waiver claims and free agent signings to bolster the roster. Fortunately for them, all it takes is a phone call to Cabrera’s agent to get the ball rolling on a deal.

In 368 plate appearances with the Rangers, Cabrera hit .235/.318/.393. He did smack 12 home runs and drive in 51, showing there’s some life left in his bat. Cabrera was, after all, one of the more prolific power hitters in the 2018 Mets lineup until his late July trade. Any production he could give them in 2019 would be more than welcome.

The difference between this year and last would be Cabrera’s role on the roster. He’s not someone we should expect to play every day. Instead, I would view him as a bench bat who, if hot, can find more opportunities.

One thing to note about the roster is how shallow their bench has suddenly gotten. Dominic Smith’s injury has put J.D. Davis into the starting lineup on a daily basis. In doing so, they go to each game with a lackluster group playing behind the starters. Cabrera can at least bring some promise of a big hit. This isn’t something we can expect from the usual group we have seen coming to the plate in pinch-hitting opportunities of late.

There’s no imminent return for Smith or other internal options such as Jed Lowrie or Brandon Nimmo. A return to the 25-man roster for them would help out—at least in theory.

Don’t view Cabrera as someone who could step in and replace Cano during any absence. Rather, look at him as someone the Mets needed anyway.

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If this team is going to pull off something miraculous, they will need a deeper roster. An experienced bat with pop like Cabrera’s could go a long way.

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