Asdrubal Cabrera and the Indians have agreed to a two-year, $16.5 million contract extension, with an official announcement today that he’ll make $6.5 million in 2013 and $10 million in 2014.
Cabrera was already under contract for $4.55 million this season after avoiding arbitration with a one-year deal and would have been arbitration eligible for the final time in 2013, so a two-year contract pre-pays for that and also buys out his first year of free agency in 2014.
Cabrera hit .273 with 25 homers in 151 games last season after hitting .284 with a grand total of just 18 homers in his first 387 games. However, his .794 OPS last year wasn’t that far out of line from his previous .741 career mark and at age 26 he’s right in the middle of his prime.
Obviously the Indians are betting that Cabrera’s out of nowhere power breakout last season was legitimate, or at least suggests he’ll maintain more power than he showed prior to 2011, but even if that proves to be a one-year fluke his defense and on-base skills are plenty valuable too.
Cabrera gets a big chunk of guaranteed money, the Indians delay his free agency for another year, and he can still hit the open market as a 29-year-old.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.