ESPN Deportes’ Enrique Rojas tweets that Orlando Cabrera told a Colombian radio station that he’s opting for retirement.
Cabrera, 37, likely wasn’t offered more than minor league deals after hitting just .238/.267/.307 in 450 at-bats with the Indians and Giants last season. He hadn’t been a real asset as a regular since his last season with the Angels in 2007, though given the respect he commands around the league, he might have been able to hang on as a role player for a couple of more years.
Cabrera finishes up with a .272/.317/.390 line, 123 homers, 854 RBI and 216 steals in 7,562 at-bats. He spent his first 7 1/2 seasons with the Expos before helping the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004. His best season came the year before, when he hit .297/.347/.460 with 17 homers and 80 RBI for Montreal. He won two Gold Gloves, the first in 2001 and the second with the Angels in 2007.
General manager Walt Jocketty indicated yesterday that the Reds are likely to decline their $4 million option on Orlando Cabrera for next season, but may be interested in re-signing the veteran shortstop for a lesser salary.
Cabrera hit just .263/.303/.354 for a .657 OPS that ranked fourth-worst among all NL hitters and at age 35 has lost most of his range defensively, so the Reds are right to think he’s not worth $4 million in 2011. On the other hand the buyout for his option is $1 million, so they seem unlikely to save a whole lot by declining the option and re-signing him.
Cincinnati would likely be better off simply cutting Cabrera loose, investing the $3 million saved elsewhere, and handing shortstop over to 27-year-old Paul Janish. He hit .260/.338/.385 in 228 plate appearances this season while often subbing for an injured Cabrera and is superior defensively, all for around $400,000.