The Giants and free agent shortstop/second baseman Everth Cabrera have agreed to a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter). The Scott Boras client was released by the Orioles earlier this season.
The 28-year-old Cabrera signed a one-year, $2.4MM contract with Baltimore this winter after being non-tendered by the Padres. He saw a good bit of action early in the year while J.J. Hardy spent time on the disabled list, but he struggled to produce in his new environs, batting just .208/.250/.229 in 105 plate appearances over the course of 29 games. Heyman reported last week that the Giants had been in touch with Cabrera’s camp about a possible deal.
San Francisco should be plenty familiar with the fleet-footed switch-hitter, as Cabrera has spent most of his career wearing the uniform of the division-rival Padres. Though he has struggled to maintain any form of consistency at the Major League level, Cabrera has certainly shown flashes of brilliance. The Nicaraguan speedster led the National League with 44 stolen bases in 2012 despite playing in just 115 games that season, and he was off to an excellent start to his 2013 campaign (.283/.355/.381, 37 steals in 95 games) before being suspended for his ties to the Biogenesis PED scandal.
In addition to a PED suspension, Cabrera also faced the potential of jail time this offseason for resisting arrest after he was pulled over due to suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana. (Cabrera took a plea agreement, paying a fine and performing community service to avoid a trial and any potential jail time. He was also sentenced to three years of probation.)
Suffice it to say, Cabrera comes with his share of baggage. However, he’s also still reasonably young and undeniably has talent. He’ll serve as a depth piece for the Giants, who have enjoyed excellent production from both Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik at Cabrera’s two positions this season. It’s possible that Cabrera could unseat Ehire Adrianza or Joaquin Arias as a utility option for the Giants down the stretch; certainly, his speed would be a highly appealing weapon to manager Bruce Bochy in a playoff push.