Mets remain interested in Asdrubal Cabrera
The Mets have continued their pursuit of free agent super-utility player Ben Zobrist, going so far to host him at Citi Field this past week as well as taking him on a tour of the suburban parts of the metropolitan area.
But Zobrist has many suitors, and according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Zobrist was also expected to visit with the Giants in San Francisco, and attend the Winter Meetings near his home in Nashville as he closes in on a decision on his next home.
As such, while the Mets are very interested in Zobrist, have clearly made him their top priority and are hopeful he chooses the Mets, it’s not guaranteed he will as the Winter Meetings begin Monday morning at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.
So, the Mets have considered secondary options, inclusive of re-signing Daniel Murphy and also giving the job to prospect Dilson Herrera, assistant GM John Ricco said on Friday.
But the Mets might also be considering another alternative.
The Mets have expressed interest in signing veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera this winter, according to a report from Venezuelen reporter Efrain Zavarce. The Mets are among five teams to express interest in the free agent shortstop this winter.
And that interest in Cabrera has been maintained, tweets Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, suggesting he could be a contingency if the Mets fail to sign Zobrist.
Cabrera presumably would come at a lower cost in terms of both dollars and years to Zobrist. But frankly, the Mets might be better suited re-signing Murphy if they don’t sign Zobrist.
Cabrera has always had decent power, which of course is his best asset. He doesn’t walk a lot and strikes out quite a bit as well, but he can be counted on for 25+ doubles and 10-15 home runs per season, making him a mostly league average to slightly below league average producer at the plate.
The problem is Cabrera’s defense. He can play both second base and shortstop, but he isn’t very good at either, although he seems to be a better second baseman than he is a shortstop. He performed similarly to Wilmer Flores at shortstop this past season, which really wasn’t unusual for him considering his track record. Cabrera has trouble turning double plays, and for a team which struggled to do just that throughout the course of 2015, they should be endeavoring to improve upon that, and not maintain the status quo at best.
Including the Mets, Zavarce says the Yankees, White Sox, Royals and Angels have all expressed such interest in the 30-year-old shortstop.
Cabrera hit .265/.315/.430 with 15 home runs and 58 RBI with 36 walks and 107 strikeouts in 551 plate appearances over 143 games with the Rays in 2015.