Asdrubal Cabrera: Versatile Every Position Fielder For The Mariners?
By Dan Hughes
The rumors keep flying, both realistic and otherwise. One name that I have not heard pop up often for the Mariners is that of free agent shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
Yes, THAT Cabrera, who was once a Mariner before Bill Bavasi traded him away for a box of Cracker Jack. Okay, he was actually traded for Eduardo Perez. Who? Exactly (.195 Avg in 43 games in 2006 for the M’s).
Now, Cabrera is a free agent. He’s a two-time All-Star and while he’s coming off a down year at the plate, he could still be a valuable asset to this team.
As Raymond Schwabacher at Emerald City Swagger writes:
"The M’s need a backup at second. They need a backup at third, and hey, might be nice to have an actual insurance policy there in case one of the stars misses some time with an injury, right? In the meantime, Cabrera could split time between his preferred shortstop and the outfield, where he’s needed most. If the team trades Miller or Taylor for something shiny, then Cabrera’s path to everyday playing time is even clearer."
Now, Schwabacher admits that the team does have Willie Bloomquist, but he is the only legitimate backup infielder available if the team were to trade Brad Miller or Chris Taylor.
I do disagree with one point Raymond makes, and that’s about him playing in the outfield. Cabrera has never recorded a single inning at the Major League level as an outfielder. And while he “could” do it, I don’t feel like the Mariners should take a chance on him if they are banking on him platooning in right with Justin Ruggiano.
They need a reliable, proven fielder to step in, not someone who is playing the position for the first time at the age of 29.
If the Mariners want to move Brad Miller via trade or to the outfield and sign Cabrera to be the everyday shortstop with Taylor as the backup, I’m sold. Go get him.
But I don’t want to bring Cabrera in if the plan is to have him be a $8-10M/year Willie Bloomquist. Jack Zduriencik has shown of late that he is smarter than that. Let’s hope the trend continues.