Asdrubal Cabrera, third baseman? It might be the best thing for the player and the New York Mets.
The Mets have not had the season that they were hoping for on opening day. Due to both injuries and underperforming players, the Mets are essentially out of playoff contention. As such, they are looking to trade veteran players, especially those who are playing on expiring contracts.
One of the players who fit into these requirements is infielder Asdrubal Cabrera.
The Mets hold a $8 million team option for next year with a $2 Million buyout. The Mets probably won’t pick it up, as they will have Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini, who they believe to be the double play combination of the future, ready to play every day.
New York has been looking for a way to increase Cabrera’s trade value, especially after he demanded a trade upon learning he would no longer be playing shortstop (only to rescind it a few days later).
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Ken Rosenthal reported on Facebook that the Mets are willing to include $2 million in a Cabrera trade in order to increase his value and help facilitate a trade.
There is another way to increase Cabrera’s trade value, and according to Newsday‘s Marc Carig, it’s something Cabrera is open to—move him to third base.
While he’s only logged 1.1 innings of work at the hot corner in the majors (with Cleveland in 2007) and played 11 games at third in the minors, Cabrera should be able to handle the position.
In addition to showing his versatility, third basemen are in more demand on the trade market than second baseman and shortstops are. If Cabrera shows he can play the position, his trade value should see a boost.
One team that stands out as a trade partner for Cabrera, assuming that he moves to the hot corner, are the Boston Red Sox. They’ve been looking for a third baseman for since the failed Pablo Sandoval experiment and were thought to be in on Todd Frazier before the New York Yankees acquired him.
Cabrera would be an interesting addition for the Red Sox. His underrated power would play very well at Fenway Park, especially when he hits left-handed and can take aim at the low wall in right field.
Another team that could throw a wrench into the Cabrera process are the Yankees. They have been looking for a first baseman all season. Although the Yankees are more likely to want Lucas Duda than Cabrera, he could be cheaper than Duda to acquire.
In this scenario, they would move Frazier to first base, where he has played 94 games in the majors. Cabrera’s power would also translate very well to the short porch at Yankee Stadium.
And according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, we can’t rule out a potential return to the Cleveland, where Cabrera spent the first eight years of his career.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 21, 2017
Ultimately, moving Cabrera to third is a decision that will help boost his trade value, and will hopefully help the Mets get pieces that will help them contend in 2018.