The Washington Nationals reunite with former infielder Asdrubal Cabrera on a one-year deal to provide depth with Howie Kendrick on the Injured List.
But today, the team signed former Nat Asdrubal Cabrera to a major league contract.
Cabrera was designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers last week. Cabrera slashed .235/.318/.393 with the Rangers this season before his release.
However, despite Cabrera’s struggles, he is a solid pickup for the Nats.
While Cabrera isn’t hitting well this season, he was an above-average hitter in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Since the start of 2016, Cabrera is slashing .267/.331/.445. Cabrera is now 33 years old and moving further away from his prime years, but he can still help the Nationals.
While Cabrera has exclusively played third base this season, he’s played games all over the infield in his career, including over 1000 games at shortstop and over 300 games at second base.
Cabrera will be able to spot start just about anywhere on the infield if called upon. And on the bench, he can be a valuable pinch-hitter.
Nats fans know Cabrera is a switch hitter; however, he fares much better against right-handed pitching. The most noticeable differences can be seen in his power numbers.
Since 2016, Cabrera is slugging .412 against left-handed pitchers, but .457 against right-handed pitchers. His ISO against is almost 90 points higher against right-handed pitching than left-handed pitching.
As a result of this move, the Nats are likely to option infielder Adrian Sanchez down to the minors. Sanchez has a .614 career OPS, so the Nats won’t miss his presence on the field.
Overall, this is a net positive move by the Nationals. Cabrera will likely stay on the 25-man roster even when Kendrick returns, so don’t expect him to be leaving anytime soon.