Asdrubal Cabrera named the Rays’ starting shortstop

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Kinda surprised at this: Marc Topkin reports that the Rays plan to name Asdrubal Cabrera their starting shortstop.

Cabrera finished 2014 with the Nationals, primarily as a second baseman. As he wound down seven-and-a-half seasons with the Indians, the thought was that he really didn’t play as a good defensive shortstop any longer, and it was expected that the Rays would use him at second just like the Nats did, with Nick Franklin or Tim Beckham playing short. That’s apparently out now, presumably because, according to the article, neither Franklin nor Beckham has impressed at short this spring and because Cabrera has made it clear he’s more comfortable there and Rays’ brass acknowledges that.

Also possibly playing into the mix, but not mentioned in the article: Cabrera is on a one-year deal and it’d be way better for the Rays — who I don’t think will contend — to feature him as a shortstop in the first half in an effort to draw some interest in him at the deadline in what will likely be a thin market for shortstops.