Trade analysis: Cabrera to Twins

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Twins acquire shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Athletics in exchange for minor-league infielder Tyler Ladendorf.


Looking to shore up their middle infield, the Twins were also connected
to second baseman Freddy Sanchez, but considering that the Giants gave
up former first-round pick Tim Alderson to land him, this is a bargain
by comparison, especially with the Athletics kicking in some cash.
Cabrera, now 34, appears to have lost a step defensively this year
(-7.9 UZR and 14 errors), but when your shortstop options have combined
for a pathetic .241/.303/.330 line, who cares, really.

Cabrera got off to an awful start with the Athletics, and through
June he had a positively lousy .247/.290/.316 line. But he has been
unconscious in July, batting .373/.400/.500 with two homers, 16 RBI and
nine stolen bases. As I mentioned earlier, he leads the majors with 41
hits this month. The Twins have landed a proven veteran with
post-season experience. He’ll do just fine.

As for Ladendorf, he was the Twins second-round pick in 2008. The
21-year-old shortstop batted .410/.500/.721 with four homers and 17 RBI
in rookie ball, but has struggled since being promoted to Single-A
The important thing for Atheltics’ fans to know is that Cliff
Pennington is on his way to Oakland. In the end, Billy Beane did well
to get something for Cabrera, knowing that they couldn’t get any
compensation for him over the winter.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.