Asdrubal Cabrera, INF
Player Data: Age: 31 B/T: S/R
2018 Salary: (Player Option for 2018 worth $8.5 million, $2 million buyout)
2017 Stats: .280/.351/.434, 14 HR, 59 RBI, 32 2B, 83 SO, 50 BB, 479 AB, 1.1 WAR
Asdrubal Cabrera had about as dramatic of a twist as one could expect from a player. He was one of the most liked Mets players coming into the season as a guy who was known to play through injuries coming off one of his best years in 2016.
However, the tone quickly changed when he requested a trade on June 23 to the press after Terry Collins asked him to move to second base. Cabrera had been struggling defensively at shortstop to this and he had arguably been there even longer than he should have.
He did apologize the next day, but the damage was already done. As a result, the Mets looked to trade him eagerly at the trade deadline. They were unsuccessful in being able to obtain value for him and instead decided to hold onto him.
After the deadline, the Mets called up top-prospect shortstop, Amed Rosario. The Mets decided that they did not want to have Jose Reyes return to playing third at this point, though. So they made the decision to move Asdrubal Cabrera, once again, back to third base.
This change ended up being for the best in the end, as Cabrera got very comfortable at third and he actually improved significantly in the offensive department.
In the first half, Cabrera struggled to the tune of a .250/.332/.404 slash line. After the All-Star Break, he went on a tear hitting .307/.367/.462 with 21 doubles, six home runs and 35 RBI in 72 games.
Cabrera finished the season with a .785 OPS and 111 wRC+, both better numbers than the MLB average of .768 OPS and 102 wRC+ at third base during the 2017 season.
The ugly for Cabrera comes when you look at his defensive stats when playing up the middle, -6 DRS in 274 innings at second base and -8 DRS in 386 innings at shortstop. His lack of range wasn’t quite as damaging at third base with 1 DRS in 350 innings at the position.
Did You Know:
While with the Cleveland Indians, Asdrubal Cabrera turned the 14th unassisted triple play in MLB history in 2008.
Asdrubal Cabrera is very likely to be part of the Mets opening day roster come 2018, if for no reason other than his very affordable option for next year. The Mets value his versatility, even if he was originally reluctant to use it to his advantage.
With the lack of depth at third base position on the free-agent market, the Mets will likely factor in Cabrera as the everyday third basemen for next season, unless David Wright recovers in which Cabrera will either slide over to second base or move to the bench and become a super-utility player.