Brought in last year to back up Brian Dozier, Cabrera hit .323 and drove in 40 runs in 38 games to end the regular season, effectively stealing the job away from Dozier.
Cabrera played in every game of the World Series, hitting a modest .286 while driving in three runs. The Nationals brought him back this year on a 1 YR/2.5M contract, hoping he would provide depth for the infield.
He’s done a lot more. He began the season as the hottest hitter. He’s done most of his work from the cleanup spot. He’s second on the team in triples, and third in home runs. He’s filled in at first base to cover the injuries of Howie Kendrick, and filled in at third base to cover the demotion of Carter Kieboom.
He has slumped to a .234 batting average recently, though is still providing good defense and can play second base if needed as well.
Entering next season Cabrera will be 35 years-old. General manager Mike Rizzo loves versatile, utility men, and unless he picks up the option on Brock Holt, Cabrera could be brought back as a bench guy. He’s a good clubhouse guy, he can still hit, and he plays multiple positions. They can’t pencil him in as a regular like they have done this year, though you’ll be hard pressed to find a more effective, cost efficient backup, with the resume Cabrera has.
For these reasons I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in a Nationals uniform next year.