With very few guaranteed jobs remaining, former Nationals infielder Asdrubal Cabrera remains a casualty in the slow moving market.
Asdrubal Cabrera needs a job. In fact, there are still over one hundred baseball players who are still looking for work. At 35 years of age, the outlook is grim for Cabrera. A sign of the times where teams are not spending money on outsiders, but instead promoting from within. Have we seen the last of ACab in the majors?
I hope not.
Having admired Cabrera for a long time as a steady hitter when he was playing for the Cleveland Indians, I have come to respect Cabrera more for the all-around player he is. Cabrera had a remarkable year with the Washington Nationals in 2019, after being picked up when the Texas Rangers jettisoned him off the roster.
In 38 games he hit .323 with 40 RBIs. His game was so good, he stole the second base job from Brian Dozier towards the end of the year and into the postseason.
A reunion tour presented itself the following offseason and Cabrera jumped at the opportunity to return. He signed for $2.5M to be the Nationals utility infielder for 2020. Cabrera ended up being much more.
Cabrera finished the year with a .242 batting average, making it hard to call him the third most consistent hitter on the team, though he was. He filled in for a struggling Carter Kieboom at third base. He filled in for a struggling Eric Thames at first base. Cabrera finished third on the team in HR, RBI, runs scored, hits and walks. He played in 52 of the 60 games, more than what was expected of him when he was first brought back into the fold.
His best days are behind him, yes. He is aging, yes. He is not as fleet of foot on the defense like he used to be, yes. However, I find it hard to believe there isn’t a team out there who doesn’t need a switch hitter, who can play multiple positions on the infield. The Rangers saw his benefits in 2019 and kept him on board until they decided to go with a younger, more future driven focus. The Nationals saw his benefits and rode his hot bat through the playoffs that year.
Time for the next team to recognize his benefits and bring him into camp.