Dec 11, 2015

N.L. Champion Mets Add A New Short Stop To Their Infield: Asdrubal Cabrera (2016)

Asdrubal Jose Cabrera was born November 13th 1985 in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. The six foot, switch hitting middle infielder, was signed as an amateur free agent by the Seattle Mariners in 2002.

In the minors at just 19 years of age, Baseball America named him the best second baseman in the Midwest League. He quickly jumped right up to AAA level.

In 2006 he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Eduardo Perez. He began 2007 at AA ball & was fourth in the league in batting by mid summer.  He was brought up to the Indians big league club as a second baseman that August. He contributed to the Indians stretch run, batting .283 as they won the Central Division making it to the ALCS.

Post Season: In his first post season game he hit a two run HR against the AL New York team as the Indians clobbered them 12-3. He hit just .176 in that series. In the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox he drove in four more runs. He would get to one more post season with Cleveland, going 0-4 in the 2013 AL Wild Card Game loss to Tampa.

Cabrera spent eight years in Cleveland making two All Star appearances (2011-2012), having his best season in 2011 when he had 165 hits hitting 25 HRs & 32 doubles with 92 RBIs (all career highs) batting .273. On May 18th that year, he became just the fifth MLB short stop to ever have a five hit, two HR day.

He would hit over .270 four straight seasons with a career best .308 in 2009 playing 131 games. He would hit 30 plus doubles for four straight years as well (2011-2014). On Opening Day 2013 he hit a 5th inning two run HR off Toronto's R.A. Dickey & made a game saving bases loaded double play grab to preserve the 4-1 Indians win.

He would lead all short stops in errors (19) in 2012 but rebounded with the leagues third best fielding % (.982) in 2013.

Trivia: On May 12, 2008 he turned the 14th unassisted triple play in MLB history, it came against the Toronto Blue Jays. He snagged a line drive, touched second forcing Kevin Mench & then tagged Marc Scutaro to complete the play. 

In July of 2014 he was traded to the Washington Nats for Zach Walters, to help the Nats playoff run, replacing Danny Espinosa. He hit 5 HRs with 9 doubles & 21 RBIs in 49 games as the Nats won the NL East. They would get eliminated in the NLDS by the San Francisco Giants. Cabrera hit a HR in the 3-2 Game 31 loss & then drove in a run in Game #3, batting an overall .200.

In 2015 he signed a one year deal with the Tampa Rays, playing as the teams main short stop posting the 4th best fielding % in the AL (.974). His offensive numbers remained relatively consistent the past few years, in 2015 he hit 15 HRs with 28 doubles 66 runs scored 134 hits five triples & a .265 average.

At the 2015 winter meetings, Cabrera signed a two year deal with the New York Mets for $18.5 million. The addition of the thirty year old Cabrera & second baseman Neil Walker the previous day, gives the Mets a strong solid infield with lots of flexibility .

Trivia: Cabrera earned the nickname Pearls due to the fact he wears a white beaded necklace his wife made for him.

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