UPDATE: Orlando Cabrera to compete for the Indians’ second base job

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UPDATE: Rosenthal tweets that Cabrera will compete for the second base job. Asdrubal Cabrera will stay at short. The idea is to make Orlando Cabrera learn second.

Much better that way I think seeing as though the Indians’ second base options — Luis Valbuena and Jason Donald — don’t have Asdrubal Cabrera’s upside.  And worse case scenario for Orlando Cabrera: a spring of taking fielding practice at second base will turn him into a more useful utility player. Which could help the Indians and which could possibly prolong his own career in the bigs.

2:35 PMJon Heyman tweets that Orlando Cabrera has signed with the Cleveland Indians.

The Indians are Orlando Cabrera’s eighth team. I know he’s been around, but I was kind of surprised to see that.  Even more surprised to learn that he played for the Expos for eight years.  I didn’t think there was anyone left other than Vlad Guerrero who had been in Montreal that long.

Cabrera hit .263/.303/.354 last year and lost his job to Paul Janish in Cincinnati. His OPS was the fourth-worst among all NL hitters. His defense is a shell of what it once was. Lucky for him the shortstop position is historically thin right now.

I’m not at all sure what this does for the Indians.  While I argued in the Orioles post that incremental improvements with veterans aren’t bad if no one with promise is losing their job over it, I’m not sure how Cabrera is even an incremental improvement. Their other Cabrera — Asdrubal — is coming off a broken arm, but he is reported to be ready to go now and provides better defense and more promise than Orlando does. The only way this makes sense is if this is for a utility job, but Orlando Cabrera had said he wanted a start someplace.

Scratchin’ my head here.

Scooter Gennett upset with Reds over lack of communication regarding contract extension

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Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett can become a free agent after the 2019 season. He has become one of baseball’s better second basemen since the Reds claimed him off waivers from the Brewers in March 2017. Over the last two years, he has hit 50 homers with an .859 OPS. The only second basemen with a better OPS (min. 700 plate appearances) since the start off the 2017 season are José Altuve (.900) and Daniel Murphy (.876).

Gennett is upset the Reds haven’t been in contact with him to discuss a contract extension, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Gennett said, “We’ve definitely opened it up. They know I want to play here. They know I enjoy playing on this team. I enjoy the fans. I enjoy the coaching staff. I enjoy my teammates. They know all that. There’s nothing else to tell them at this point. It’s waiting for them to come back, which they have not.” He added, “(We’ve) heard absolutely nothing. Zero.”

As Fay points out, Gennett was born in Cincinnati and grew up a Reds fan, so this is a cinch for the club if it makes any effort. The Reds presently have just $58 million in 25-man roster obligations for the 2020 season.