Indians Extend Asdrubal Cabrera

The Indians announced that they have officially signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to a two-year extension for 2013-14. The deal is worth $16.5MM and will delay Cabrera's free agency by one year.

Cabrera, who is represented by Octagon, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4.55MM this offseason. This new contract buys out his final year of arbitration eligibility as well as one free agent season. He'll earn $6.5MM in 2013 and $10MM in 2014, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets.

The 26-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in 2011, batting .273/.332/.460 with a career-high 25 home runs and 17 stolen bases. Cabrera has made several notable highlight defensive plays over the past few seasons, but Ultimate Zone Rating hasn't been a fan of his defense at shortstop, pegging him at -12.6 runs below average per 150 games in 2011.

When examining Cabrera's extension candidacy this offseason (prior to his arbitration settlement), MLBTR's Tim Dierkes suggested a four-year, $27MM would make sense for both sides. If the extension goes through at $16.5MM, Tim's $6.75MM average annual value would be close, though for one fewer year; the Indians would control Cabrera for three years at $21.05MM — slightly more than $7MM per season.

Steve Adams and Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported the agreement and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link) reported the deal's value and that the sides were nearing an agreement.


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11 Comments on "Indians Extend Asdrubal Cabrera"


rdillon99
3 years 4 months ago

This deal sure makes the Yunel Escobar deal look like a bargain.

Jose_Bautista
3 years 4 months ago

For sure. I see them both very similar and very good shortstops.

phillies1102
3 years 4 months ago

I don’t think this is a good deal (but who cares about my opinion). He had a very “lucky” year, according to advanced stats, and is due for a decline in HR production, how much of a decline is up to Cabrera. Very talented shortstop, but they shouldn’t be paying off of his breakout year (in his case). I think Cleveland would’ve been more efficient to let at least the next season play out and watch his expected decline. I like what this kid has, but he’s no Tulo.

Hermie13
3 years 4 months ago

Problem with waiting a year is that if he has another good year, there’d be virtually no chance of locking him up since he would be heading into his free agency year.

All this deal did was buy out 1 free agent year, not like they went crazy.  He is gonna get about $7M next year I’m guessing (and around $9M year after).  In arby, he was likely to approach the $6-7M mark anyways next year regardless of how good a year he had.

phillies1102
3 years 4 months ago

I understand, but that would be in the scenario he has a better year than last year, which will not happen. He may still have a solid year, maybe even reach 15 HRs, but not a good a year as this one. This still matters because as of now you are paying for the yearly expectancy of the 2011 Cabrera, which the baseball world knows was a lucky year. 

Its a good sign in locking up one of your core players, but waiting for Cabrera to regress a bit might have saved the team 2-3 mil in the long run (Unless Cabrera manages to breakout even more)

Hermie13
3 years 4 months ago

I get what you’re saying, but even if Cabrera has a terrible year (ala, 2010), he’d still have been in line for a $2-2.5M raise thru arbitration on top of the $4.55M he is getting this year. that’s just how it works unfortunately.  So really the Indians are risking any money for 2013.  Only “risk” is 2014 really and that risk is offset IMO by the fact that the Tribe got Cabrera to give up a free agency year.

And waiting for Cabrera to regress may have again resulted in Cabrera deciding to simply wait to hit free agency and test the waters.

This deal isn’t about money, it’s about getting an extra year out of Cabrera.  Something they need as Lindor likely won’t be ready til 2015 at the earliest.

I also think Cabrera easily could have a much better year than he had in 2011 this year. His OBP was much worse than it’s been in the past (posted a .361 OBP in 2009). Some would argue that 2009 was actually a better year.  The power may drop a little but 20 HRs is still very doable. If he can combine that with a .350+ OBP he’ll be worth $7-8M next year, if not more. Tribe may have saved themselves money actually (though I do think it may end up being a very slight overpay).

3 years 4 months ago

What “advanced” stats are you referring to? His BABIP in 2012 was .302, around league average, and it was the lowest BABIP of his career. ZiPS has him regressing a bit but not horribly. He’s averaged 2.8 WAR/year over the last 4 years. If you still figure $5m/1 WAR that doesn’t seem like a reach.

And dare you disagree with Tim!?!?!?

udenginerd
3 years 4 months ago

Think he’s talking about his “barely HR”… But I still think it’s a good deal. He’s the catalyst of this anemic offense. Plus, he’s 26 and yet to reach his so-called “prime” or “power” years. Yeah, you’re right, he’s not Tulo. That could be he didn’t sign a 10-yr $100 mil deal and instead signed a reasonable extension.

TribeGuy
3 years 4 months ago

I’m sure he won’t have a worst year, maybe he’s HRs decrease, but his RBIs might be even higher than last year. Let’s hope this deal to work

Max Forstag
3 years 4 months ago

This is a good deal. Even if Cabrera doesn’t hit another 25 and 92, any Tribe fan whose watched him since he was called up in ’07 knows he’s a solid ball player. The Tribe and their fans should just be happy they’ve locked up a very good player for the next three years until they have another stud SS prospect ready to take over in Francisco Lindor.

How anyone could disagree with locking up an All-Star SS for another 3 years at only $7 mil a year is beyond me. Who really cares about the power numbers anyway? Those are a bonus for your SS.

I’ll take another 15 HR, 70 RBI, 20 SB/.280/.340 season from A-Cab any day.

Paul M. Welling
3 years 4 months ago

I like the deal it keeps him signed until there should be another shortstop ready (Lindor, Wolters, etc.) as if is production is close to what was last year we will have a hard time affording him after that.