Cleveland Indians Looking To Move SS Asdrubal Cabrera Makes Perfect Sense

By Matt Loede
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Two years ago the Cleveland Indians had heavy interest in shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. As the team sat at the 2011 MLB Winter Meetings in Dallas, Tex., there were heavy rumors that the St.Louis Cardinals were in position to get Cabrera for some top tier pitching talent. Cabrera was coming off a season in which he .273 with 25 homers and 92 RBI. He was one of the top bright young shortstops in baseball and attention was being paid to whether he was going to be moved.

Fast forward to May of 2014. Cabrera is off to an awful start to the 2014 season, hitting just .211 with one homer and 7 RBIs in 114 at bats. He also seems, despite just being 28 years old, to have lost some range at short, as already this year he’s committed four errors on the year. In 2013 ,Cabrera committed nine errors in 129 games. For whatever the reason, Cabrera already seems to have past his prime despite being at a point where he should be entering it.

Cabrera is in a free agent season, and instead of relishing the chance to cash in somewhere next season for big money, to date he’s floundering the chance away. “You never know how guys are going to react in their walk year,” Indians play-by-play man Tom Hamilton said Wednesday on WEOL Radio 930AM. There are teams that are going to need a shortstop next season, most notably the New York Yankees, who will be losing Derek Jeter to retirement. It could be a fit for Cabrera, but right now he’s not taking advantage of it.

This season the shortstop is earning a whopping $10 million in the final year of his deal with the Indians. With Mike Aviles already at the Major League level able to step right in and top prospect Francisco Lindor at AA Akron with eyes on the Majors possibly as early as 2015, the Indians may be wise to look at possible trade options for Cabrera now. “You hate to keep pinning it on Cabrera, but he’s one of your top paid players and he’s got to be a top performer,” Hamilton said Wednesday.

For now, manager Terry Francona and the rest of the team hopes that Cabrera will work out of the slump. The shortstop’s future has to be in question with the Tribe, and with possible options on the table at the trade deadline, the team has to do their homework enough to see if moving Cabrera before the end of 2014 will be worth it.

Matt Loede has covered the Cleveland Indians for 20 years for National Networks like AP Radio, Metro Networks and other local and national stations. Follow him on twitter @mattloede.

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