Talkin Baseball - Asdrubal Cabrera


Question – Should the Mets pick up the option on infielder Astrubel Cabrera?

Clay Ramsey says –

Definitely not. He has indicated that he doesn't want to be in New York anymore. No use in spending money on a person like that. Plus I think there will be better utility infielders in Free Agency.

Eddie Corona

           2018  is a season filled with questions allover the Diamond. There are too many wholes to fill to realistically believe we can contend. However what we must to is reestablish a new core. Most of that core is young and influential.  That is perhaps the biggest reason we should not pick up Cabrera option. Ignoring the fact that he had severely under performed, is a year older and had degraded to the point where offensively and defensively he is a liability, the biggest reason not to have him back is he is such a bad person in the club house. He has proven not to be a team first guy and has been difficult to deal with.
We need rebuild in culture as well as in talent. Cabrera has no role on this team...    

Hobie says –

            The short answer, “no,” would be dependent on some calculation involving team chemistry. Since (1) I have no first-hand knowledge to support an opinion in this area, and (2) second hand knowledge says that type of criteria drove out J.Turner, I will leave the chemistry discussion to those privy to the shower stalls and our own Jacques Derrida to deconstruct post-game comments as necessary.

The longer (by one letter) answer is “yes.” That comes with conditions too. If I knew in advance who might be procured for 2018 at 3B (my choice is a short term patch, trading for Adrian Beltre) I would not be as inclined. I could still live with an aging, expensive, MINF back-up and switch-hitting PH'er, however, so I say yes. Worst case Asdrubel (my wife & I argue over whether we should have named any of our kids Asdrubel) is our regular 3B.  That’s my hedge.

Lineup: Rosario, Conforto, Cespedes, Beltre, D.Smith, Flores. Legares/Nimmo, TdA/Plawecki (slashes share 50/50). Bench: Asdrubel, TJ & Victor Cruzado :-).

Peter Hyatt says –

"By all that is good in life and baseball;  no.  There has been a serious trade off regarding his talent and his negative impact upon others.  He can be an offensive threat and once he found no takers in a new relationship, he showed signs of inspired play at 2B and even 3B.  Somewhat streaky, he could still fill in with .260 and with power, but it is his "net negative" that concerns me most.  He is clubhouse poison. 

Cabrera's words revealed what others have said or hinted at.  As his skills have declined, it has become "his brain is writing checks his body cannot cash"; in other words, there is a disconnect between age, diminishing skills, and his value.  He heard the critics about his play at SS and responded, initially, with solid play.  Thus, when age (body) showed cracks, instead of adjusting (brain), he went the other direction and it revealed arrogance.  

Confidence is value; arrogance is negative. 

Example:  Reyes recognized that he was not capable of doing things he could do when he was younger.  As he became more accepting to Rosario back up, his play improved.  This improvement is not comparable to years gone by, but it is safer play.  When he was given too much time (when Alderson announced the delay of promoting Rosario), Reyes got worse; his base running arrogance cost us, as did his defense.  He took foolish (show boating) risks on ground balls and pop ups; to "show" he was till the Jose Reyes of yesteryear. 

Some players remain at a very high level of excellence past 34 not only due to genetics, but the ability to adjust the brain to the body's slightly increased limitations.  Grandy did this and Wright hopes to.  But these players also have the humility necessary to adjust.  For some, the humility is personality (best) while others are humiliated by the game, itself (the worse).

Grandy is the former, Cabrera is the latter except he refuses to accept it.  It is              not comfortable to him because it is not part of his personality.

Grandy is a great influence on young players; Cabrera is a terrible influence. 
It is not worth his bat. 

Jack Flynn says –

The option is a no-brainer. The Mets are going to need to sign multiple free agents to compete next season, and Cabrera is a relatively low-cost backup plan for second base or third base. If the Mets are able to sign or trade for more established players at those positions, it shouldn't be hard to find a trade partner for a veteran like Cabrera on a one-year deal.

Tom Brennan says –

           I would rather have Neil Walker back, if we could get him reasonable enough. He was superb for the 6 weeks before his hammy put him on the DL for the following 6 weeks.  We need bona fide, assured quality that Neil Walker would be highly likely to provide the Mets rather than the iffy performance one might expect of Cabrera next season.

David Rubin says –

           If this question had been asked in the 2016-2017 off-season, I would have said "without fail" as I believed Cabrera a positive force in the dugout with plenty left in the tank and the ability to play a few infield positions- not to mention a semi-lethal power bat. What a difference a day makes...or a year, in this case. Cabrera became somewhat of a divisive presence in the clubhouse mid-way thru this horrible season, for a time even refusing to pull off the helmets of players who just homered upon getting back to the dugout, a ritual he himself had initiated. He, of course, was upset because he wanted his option for 2018 picked up by the team, something they seemed on the fence about until he himself apparently pushed his way off of the team with his perceived selfishness. His initial refusal to try playing third or second was petty, coming at a time when the fanbase, if not the organization themselves, were desperate for the promotion of top prospect and fellow shortstop, Amed Rosario. If it's to be believed that the front office didn't want Rosario up at a time when the clubhouse was divided, and Cabrera was, indeed, the force behind this, then nothing he could do over the last month of the season could create forgiveness enough to want him back in orange and blue in '18. From a more "tangible" standpoint, there is a logjam of middle infielders all clamoring for a chance at a big league promotion/roster spot, including Reynolds, Cecchini, Guillorme, et al. At this poiint, one would surmise that Jose Reyes, at a very minor sum, will be brought back as the prime infield back-up/veteran presence on the bench, as the team went from one of the oldest in the game to one of the youngest. While Reyes' recent history is FAR from clean, he remains beloved by the organization, a huge portion of the fan-base has accepted him again, and the fact that his contract should be very reasonable (even by Wilpon standards) while serving as an idol/role model to Rosario means that there is no place in the New World Mets Order of 2018.
So long, Asdrubal, and thanks for the fish...

Chris Soto says –

            When making this decision essentially you need to ask yourself these 2 questions....A) Can I find a better 2B or 3B for less than or equal to $6.5M and B) If the answer to (A) is Yes...Can Cabby contribute $6.5M worth of value (aka a +1.5-ish WAR) to the 2018 team from the bench. For me the answer to both is No.....therefore.....YES I am picking up Cabrera's 2018 option for $8.5M instead of paying him $2.0M to walk away.

However, that said, IF (....big if....) the club can somehow figure out a way to swing a trade for a quality 3B from a rebuilding team BEFORE the option decision deadline passes, this decision becomes an automatic NO.
Those type of options are extremely limited in nature though and seem incredibly unlikely, but, there is two options out there. A) Texas 3B Adrian Beltre and B) Toronto Blue Jay 3B Josh Donaldson. Both guys will be in their final year of team control (Beltre via contract, Donaldson via 4th/final year of arbitration) making $18M and $17M respectively. Both teams also have big name prospects that can step in at 3B either immediately or within the next year if an opening occurs in Joey Gallo/Jurickson Profar and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The asking price for both though will be high and would easily require the Mets to dip into their already limited SP depth.

Gary Seagram says –     

NO as whatever he will be next season surely wouldn't be enough to put us over the top anyway so if were looking at another long season we need to focus on the youngsters playing warts and all to know what we have to do to build toward 2019 and to assess the much better free agent class. Big question is will TC be back? He would be the last choice to run a young club.

Reese Kaplan says –

           There's a parallel question here -- WILL they bring Cabrera back?  That needs to be answered first.  The "Should they bring Cabrera back?" assumes the Mets would act the  way a club that wants to win would behave. Let's address the "Will  they" part first.

There are an awful of lot of “ifs” associated with this seemingly simple yes/no question:

IF Jose Reyes is back…then probably no as you don’t need two veteran infielders “just in case”.

IF David Wright is able to play…then probably not because you have Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera and Gavin Cecchini all available to play 2B.

IF Sandy Alderson is back…then probably yes because he won’t want to admit he made a mistake on the character side of the player evaluation prior to extending him a contract.

IF Alderson is gone…then likely no as the new GM would likely want to purge the team of the failures of the previous regime as much as possible.

IF Terry Collins is still here…then resoundingly “No!” because he won’t be able to control himself by benching better options simply because they have less experience.

Now onto the "Should they" part. I assume they will not bring in a high priced player such as Mike Moustakas or trade for Manny Machado as long as the Wright situation remains unresolved.  Therefore I’m going into 2018 with Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera on my infield with Gavin Cecchini or Matt Reynolds and Jose Reyes as my backups.  I say bye-bye to Mr. Cabrera.

Come to think of it, if they DO surprisingly bring in a high priced infielder, that’s even more reason to part ways with Cabrera.  His offense is inconsistent, his defense ranging from horrible to adequate, he offers no speed and is part of that coterie of veteran ballplayers that don’t necessarily act like they’re a part of a team-first solution.  Cutting ties with a malcontent sends a message to the others – especially the one in left field – that no one is bigger than the team.


Thomas Brennan said...

Lots of votes - mostly "NO". I still favor signing Neil Walker at 3rd at a reasonable price/years over retaining Asrubel Cabrera, unless we can trade him for Odubel Herrera LOL.

Peter Hyatt said...

How fun is it to watch Jose Reyes and Astrubal Cabrera in the line up every day, while future potential rides the pine?

I'd take my grammie over Cabrera. There are plenty of others who can fill utility roles and NOT be poison.

She's long gone.

Re: NY Post saying there was interest in Cabrera: "sources" will remain unnamed and not even hinted at.

My hearing is there were no suiters. None.

Not a single potential-post season team wanted the headache.

Peter Hyatt said...

Neil Walker, in spite of injuries, was considered a stand up guy.

I think he would be a good choice.

I wish we had seen more of Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cechinni in August but you know Terry Collins...

We did not even have the fun of watching "what ifs..." out there. Now it is bloated roster time.

Thomas Brennan said...

Starting today, playing Cabrera to showcase him no longer applies, so he better be sitting most of the rest of the way.

Reese Kaplan said...

Would that your wish be granted, Grasshopper, but remember who holds the lineup pencil in his hand. After all, if he keeps playing Cabrera and Reyes, he'll eventually get them going.

Gary Seagren said...

There's so much to do this off season it boggles the mind which really leaves the Cabrera question almost a moot point unless TC is back and putting him in the lineup everyday. It's all about the pitching which is something for a few years we took for granted but now it's a big question mark and we won't win without it which brings up Montero's performance this week. He was outstanding AND against an impressive lineup and considering they scored 14 runs and 7 runs in the other 2 games and one was pitched by Jake. Could he be SP #3?

Thomas Brennan said...

Gary, the Montero game the other they must have been a million dollar shot in the arm for him. I look forward to seeing what he does in September. Hopefully the last game proves he's for real.

Peter Hyatt said...

Thomas Brennan said...
Gary, the Montero game the other they must have been a million dollar shot in the arm for him. I look forward to seeing what he does in September. Hopefully the last game proves he's for real.
September 1, 2017 at 8:56 PM

This would be awesome. He's been heralded for years and maybe it has not been his arm, but his head and he is finally learning to "pitch" more than throw? I don't know what it is, but it gives us some hope.

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Peter, I sure hope so. It would make our 2018 staff a little more stable.

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