Orioles Signing Of Everth Cabrera Is Official & I Absolutely Love The Move

News, Sports and Bets — February 24, 2015 at 2:58 am by

There you have it, folks, switch-hitting SS/2B Everth Cabrera is officially an Oriole. Now that the ink’s drying on the contract, let me elaborate on why I love this acquisition by the O’s. I feel that this is a classic bargain bin move from Dan Duquette. If Cabrera plays to his full potential, I believe he’s got a real good shot at being the Birds’ starting 2nd baseman and leadoff hitter. And that’s not a knock on Jonathan Schoop, Ryan Flaherty, or Alejandro de Aza, as much as it’s a ringing endorsement of Cabrera’s ability. In 2013, Cabrera was an All-Star after batting .283/.355/.381 with 37 steals in 95 games. In 2012, Cabrera batted .246/.324/.324, but he lead the NL in stolen base percentage (91.67%) and stolen bases (44), despite playing in only 115 games. His total numbers from 2012 and 2013 come out to a slash line of .264/.339/.352 with 81 steals in 97 attempts. Cabrera’s speed could bring a dimension to the Orioles’ offense that has been sorely lacking for quite sometime. Cabrera has only spent 12 of his 474 career games in the MLB at 2B, but he has played 178 games at 2B in the minors. Plus, if you can play SS, you definitely should be able to handle 2B, as it’s a much less-demanding position.

Now let’s take a look at the other side of the coin. Over his career, Cabrea’s a .248/.319/.333 hitter, who’s hit 12 total home runs, and has never appeared in more than 115 games in an MLB season. In 2013, Cabrera was suspended 50 games for using steroids. Last year, Cabrera was hurt and ineffective, batting .232/.272/.300 with 3 HRs and 18 steals in 90 games. Those putrid stats were somehow the least of Cabrera’s problems in 2014, as he was arrested on Sept. 3 for driving under the influence of marijuana, possession of marijuana, and resisting arrest.

Regardless of all the sobering information in that last paragraph, I still think that this is a great move for the O’s based on Cabrera’s aforementioned talent, his age, Buck Showalter, and his contract. First off, Cabrera is only 28 years old, so he’s just entering his prime as a ballplayer. If I’m going to take a chance on a guy with some fleas, I’d much rather take a chance on a guy approaching his peak, than a player on the decline. The Birds also have Showalter, one of the best managers in the game, calling the shots. Just last season, Buck got unreal production from two guys with shoddy reputations. Nelson Cruz (steroids) and Delmon Young (throwing a bat at an umpire and committing aggravated harassment) both had outstanding seasons under Buck’s tutelage, and I’m betting that Buck can work that same kind of magic once again. Finally, Cabrera has a very team-friendly contract. While I think $2.4 million is fair for both parties, the O’s are getting terrific value from Cabrera having a year left of arbitration and a minor league option. If Cabrera has the bounce back year that we’re all hoping for, he’ll get a substantial raise through the arbitration process, but he won’t be able to jump ship for a lucrative long-term contract. If Cabrera doesn’t play worth a damn, the Birds can send him to the minors, and non-tender him after the season. If Cabrera’s production falls somewhere in the middle, the O’s would be able to retain him for the 2016 season after giving him a modest raise. The way I see it, this is an excellent low-risk/high-upside move for the Orioles, and a textbook Duquette signing.


cover pic: CBS Sports

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