After trading Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, the Phillies now have a vacancy at shortstop. Unless you consider Freddy Galvis an option, that is. With that in mind, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick hears from a source that the Phillies could jump in on free agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera.
It’s an odd fit at first blush, but Cabrera is coming off a down season where he batted .241/.307/.387 with 14 home runs and 61 RBI over 146 games between the Indians and Nationals. He was similarly underwhelming in 2013, posting a .700 OPS. Assuming Cabrera can’t find a multi-year deal to his liking, he could opt for a one-year deal in hopes of reestablishing his value and testing the market again next winter. There’s upside here for a rebuilding team like the Phillies, who could flip him for prospects if he bounces back. If not, it’s only a one-year deal.
Crasnick writes that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. would likely have to move payroll to sign Cabrera, but Corrine Landrey of Crashburn Alley notes that the team has saved money with A.J. Burnett turning down his 2015 option and the Jimmy Rollins and Antonio Bastardo trades. They could already have enough payroll flexibility.
While Cabrera has primarily played shortstop during his career, he mostly played second base after being traded to Washington this season. His defense has slipped in recent years, so his appeal as a regular shortstop has waned. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman wrote earlier this week that the Athletics, Mets, Cardinals, Twins, and Giants are among the teams with interest in the 29-year-old. However, we can likely take the Giants off that list following their acquisition of Casey McGehee from the Marlins.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.