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.