Tuesday, November 18, 2014
YANKEES TARGET: ASDRUBAL CABRERA
With hitting being the precious commodity this offseason, the Yankees will be looking at many options for upgrades. One name that is sure to be near the top of the list of candidates is Asdrubal Cabrera. He has 8 years of major league experience playing mostly shortstop and some second base. At 28 years of age, he could be a very good addition.
One of the biggest drop-offs from the prior season was the middle-infield part of the order. With the departure of Robinson Cano and the diminished hitting of Derek Jeter, we easily lost over 100 points in batting average across both the second base and shortstop positions, and the replacements are still not clear for 2015. When you look at the talent pool, there are one or two good stars, and then you are resorting to guys at the tail end of their careers.
Cabrera is a legitimate major league hitter who can play both middle infield positions and can hit from both sides of the plate. When you look at the Yankees’ options, that says a lot. Over the course of his career, he has a slash line of .268/.330/.409, though his batting average has tailed off the last couple of years. Still, he has maintained about a .700 OPS over the same period. Again, he is 28 years old, so there is no reason to believe that his best days aren’t in front of him.
His glove is good, with a fielding percentage at about even with the league average for shortstops and above the league average for second basemen. He has played shortstop for the majority of his career, though when he was traded to the Nationals last year, he was immediately converted into a second baseman. He played second earlier in his career, with good success in the field.
This makes him a versatile option. The only question will be which position is he willing to play, and where would the Yankees want him. I think he adds more value at second, just based on other available options at short. The price tag would also be better. He would sign at about half the asking price of Hanley Ramirez. Whatever the details are, Asdrubal Cabrera should be a name high on the wall in the Yankees war room.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
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