FRIDAY: The signing is official, per a team announcement. His option year is valued at $8.25MM, Heyman tweets.
WEDNESDAY, 8:38pm: Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM reports that Cabrera will receive $8.25MM in each of the next two seasons, plus a $2MM buyout on his 2018 club option, making a total guarantee of $18.5MM (Twitter link). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that Cabrera will be used mostly at shortstop but will also play some third base and second base in New York.
8:26pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the Mets are indeed getting Cabrera.
8:19pm: The Mets and infielder Asdrubal Cabrera are finalizing a contract, reports SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Considering the fact that the Mets picked up Neil Walker in a trade earlier today, it would seem that Cabrera will take over as the team’s everyday shortstop. Cotillo adds that the deal is “expected to be” for two years with a club option.
Cabrera, 30, is coming off a quality season with the Rays in which he batted .265/.315/.430 with 15 home runs and six stolen bases while serving as Tampa Bay’s everyday shortstop. The switch-hitter showed little in the way of a discernible platoon split and has indeed handle lefties and righties nearly equally throughout his entire big league career (.737 OPS vs. right-handers, .748 versus left-handers).
Cabrera will team with Walker to form a new double-play tandem, albeit one with considerable defensive question marks. Cabrera has never rated particularly well as a shortstop in the eyes of defensive metrics or in the general consensus of scouts, although the Mets reached the World Series in 2015 with poor overall defense up the middle as well. In 2015, Cabrera posted -7 Defensive Runs Saved and a -6 Ultimate Zone Rating. Though neither of those marks is positive, each represents an upgrade over the Mets’ collective efforts at shortstop from Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada last year — especially in the estimation of DRS (where Flores received a -10 and Tejada a -15). If Cabrera can serve as a somewhat below-average defender with above-average offense (especially relative to his peers) as he did with the Rays, he stands to rank as an overall upgrade.
The signing does bring into question the future of both Flores and Tejada, each of whom is recovering from a leg fracture. (Flores’ was suffered in the offseason and Tejada’s, of course, was suffered on Chase Utley’s now-notorious takeout slide.) The Mets could carry each as utility players, similarly to the way that Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe were on last year’s second-half roster, though the odds of that outcome would be greater were one or both men experienced in the outfield (as Johnson was). Dilson Herrera, too, figures to be impacted by today’s moves. The top second base prospect is believed by many to be nearly ready for the Major Leagues, but he’ll be blocked at least for the 2016 season (barring injuries) if not for the 2017 campaign (in the event that the Mets slide Cabrera over to second base once Walker is a free agent next offseason).
Any of Tejada, Flores or Herrera could draw trade interest from other clubs. Most will of course remember that Flores was nearly traded to the Brewers in a Carlos Gomez deal that fell through, so it stands to reason that other teams would have interest in acquiring him. However, there’s been nothing thus far to indicate that any of that trio will be shopped, and the Mets could simply head into the year with the whole group, providing the organization with a good deal of versatility.
Cabrera entered the offseason ranked 37th in terms of earning power on MLBTR’s free agent rankings, and his $18.5MM guarantee comes in $500K north of the two-year, $18MM pact projected back in early November.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Is this what happens when Sandy is out of commission?
So Cabrera and Walker are gonna cover 2B and SS… Seems fair but #givefloresachance FOR ONCE
Flores is basically a young Cabrera….I don’t get it
poor ruben tejada must be getting traded now.
He will likely be non-tendered
The Mets have already tendered him a contract offer for 2016. The non-tender deadline was December 2nd.
Agreed but I’m a Cub fan what do we know
The funny thing is although the Mets where trying to get rid of him not let him have as much playing time and trying to trade him he still ended up almost winning a silver slugger
I assume it’s for depth. To upgrade the bench. I hope if it’s more then 4 million a year I’ll scream
Prepare to scream. I highly doubt hes going to accept 2/8M
No Soup For Yu!
Yeah, he was paid $7.5 million by the Rays (!) last year alone.
think of it from the player’s point of view for a minute. asdrubal’s a free agent. he can sign anywhere he wants. he just had a good year as a starter. why would he sign up to be a bench player?
This doesn’t make any sense, unless they have a trade in the works. Cabrera stopped being a good fielding SS a couple of yrs ago. Would much rather go with Flores and his potential 20-25 HR’s. If this is an add without subtraction it is very disappointing and VERY uninspiring to all Mets fans. If the Wilpon’s can’t spend like a big market team they should sell it.
Cabrera was amazing defensively last year. Do you watch baseball?
If amazing is defined as generally being bad, then I agree – he was amazing!
Not even close
He was better than average in 2015… fielding percentage was .980, good for 10th in the majors among qualifying SS
Did you just use fielding percentage to judge defense? David Ortiz could play an entire year at SS without making an error. It doesn’t make him a good SS
To replace Uribe.
Is Wilmer Flores crying?
Dude every time Flores was shown during the playoffs he looked like he was going to cry.
“haha wow… is he crying? quick, we have to do something manly. i don’t know. punch something. haha. i’ll never be brave enough to truly love anyone, or anything” – yankee fans
Your grammar sucks.
That not funny mr robot
Mets & the O’s hate to spend money!!
The Mets are different in that they’re a big market team so they should be spending money (although the Bernie Madoff thing did hurt them for a few years). The O’s and Jays are different in that they play in cities that aren’t exactly big markets (or at least they’re not the primary team there. Baltimore has the Ravens and Toronto has the Maple Leafs). There is such a thing as a luxury tax which acts as a cap for some teams in that they don’t want to go over. Other times, teams have an internal cap that is less than the luxury tax because either the owner is cheap (Loria would be a good example), or they don’t generate enough profitable revenue to increase their cap. Making the playoffs one year doesn’t generate enough money to spend on big money free agents. And the cap doesn’t only include the players on the major league roster. It often includes salaries for minor league guys, coaches and front office executives. Throw in the fact that most of the revenue teams make have to go back into stadium operations, its not easy to have enough money to sign big free agents when the team isn’t consistently successful or in a big market (NY or LA).
You’ve constantly posted that the Jays aren’t making signings. They aren’t making signings for a lack of trying. They simply don’t have enough funds to go out and resign a guy like Price and add another top of the rotation guy and big name bullpen guys. They are restricted by their “cap” and thus have to try and find bargain deals. Happ was an overpay, but no free agent pitcher was going to sign for his price. Even if you up the price to match their demands, that money comes back to bite in the form of a weak bench or bullpen.
Bernie is still killing the Wilpons.
Mets are not the biggest thing in their market, either. Have you heard of the Yankees? The Mets don’t have the same ability to compete because they don’t have that same fan base, or television revenue. Toronto and Baltimore are at least the biggest thing in their towns in THEIR SPORT. The Mets are second in their town, in their sport. So why does it come as surprising that they operate much like Toronto and Baltimore? Simple, the Yankees don’t operate like Toronto or Baltimore. News Flash: The Mets are not the Yankees. They are the Mets, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Poor small market Mets.
Any chances of them getting an outfielder?
No Soup For Yu!
“I can’t believe I cried for these guys. They’re real jerks”
I don’t understand why this team seems to hate Wilmer Flores. He’s a perfectly solid average SS and yet the Mets always seem to want to replace him with other SS who aren’t better.
I’m hoping this is for a backup infield role, but also Flores fractured his ankle yesterday and will miss a few months. They do expect him to be ready for spring training though.
Yeah, I heard about that, but like you said, he’ll be back by Spring Training. Even if you think he’ll need a little longer, they’ll be without a SS until May or June, not for the next 2 years. I guess we’ll wait and see what the numbers are.
This could be an option if Wright has an injury or needs time off. Walker can play third and Flores can shift to 2B. Really though it is a depth move and it gives them another infielder.
So, I guess this is the cheaper alternative to Daniel Murphy? I’d prefer Murphy for a role like this, but he can’t play short and there has to be a team out there that can offer him a starting role.
Nope. Asdrubel would shift to 3B. it even says it in the article.
Walker can’t play 3B. He only plays 2B.
Walker actually said that he is willing to play 3B if he has to
Never know. The outfield isn’t looking too good as of right now so they should move Walker to the outfield. Maybe have a line up like
1. C. Granderson RF
2. N. Walker LF
3. D. Wright 3B
4. L. Duda 1B
5. T. D’Arnaud C
6. A. Cabrera 2B
7. W. Flores SS
8. J. Lagares CF
Was hoping the Padres would get him. Guess we’re gonna get Desmond then.
You can have Tejada when the Mets trade him to the Friars.
I dug him in Tampa last season. Hit for average, but was pretty good in the field. Hope he does well in New York.
So Flores is about to get traded right? Walker, Wright, Cabrera = no room for Flores
Wilmer isn’t the type of guy where if his role appears to be in jeopardy then spine team is going to swoop in to make him their starting shortstop. He just got displaced by Asdrubal Cabrera after all.
I don’t like this at all I’m a big Flores fan, Flores is young and still learning if the Mets are smart they should trade Tejada for a relief pitcher now
Ruben isn’t terribly healthy right now, did you miss the NLDS?
$18.5 MILLION for Asdrubal Cabrera? Really? REALLY?!! Can’t wait to hear the rationale behind this absolutely ridiculous move. Getting more and more aggravated with this mgmt team by the day.
If he repeats his last year, then this will be a nice move by the Mets. Would have been a nice fit at 2b for the orioles.
I don’t understand how he’d have been a good fit at second for the Orioles. They have Jonathan Schoop who is going to be an offensive monster at second and is young and cheap.
calm down everyone its not crazy. he will play at short but give david a day off every week or so. real contract is 2 at 16.5 not crazy for someone hull bat .255 with 16 and 65
Not a bad price for a depth move. Now on to the bullpen. Or span for a one year contract.
Signing a starting SS is considered a depth move?
as long as cabrera can avoid a sliding utley.
Mets have had an interesting day… For 20mil they have added 30hr to their middle infield. Definitely added some offense
It’s worth noting that Murphy and Flores combined for 30 compared to Walker and Cabrera combining for 31.
No. You need to subtract what Murphy and Wilmer/Tejada did last season.
How can any Mets’ fan dislike this deal? I get that the money isn’t necessarily ideal for Cabrera, but he put up a 2.2 fWAR last year, plays SS (even if below average) and brings depth and versatility to a questionable infield (Tejeda = broken leg, Flores = broken ankle, Wright = back). I think he’s a great depth guy and potential starter at times, and comes with a relatively cheap buyout if he doesn’t work out. A league average offensive player at SS is huge, and Cabrera was slightly better than that last year. Considering where we were last night, Walker and Cabrera are big additions for modest prices.
Yeah Flores put up 0.8 rWAR this year while Tejada did -0.1. Cabrera did 1.7.
People always talk about how a WAR costs $6m-$8m in free agency. By that measure Cabrera would be a semi-decent value at that price for ONE year, much less two plus a partially paid off option.
Can someone produce a list of all the shortstops who outplayed Cabrera last year going by either fWAR or rWAR? I feel like the list wouldn’t be absurdly long.
addison russell, lindor, correa all did and corey seager was at 1.5 per fwar in only 27 games. o yeah they are all under 22 years of age.
So basically every young stud SS, none of which are available under any circumstance, is better than Asdrubal. Who woulda thought, right?
then u have simmons, tulo, ketel marte, jhonny peralta, zach cozart, xander boegarts, adeiny hechavarria, didi gregorius, jung ho kang, nick ahmed, marcus semein, and elvis andrus. think that covers all of them. u are right pretty short list 😉
Don’t know what your source of info is, but Ahmed, Semien, Andrus, Marte, Peralta and Cozart were all inferior to Cabrera last year, based on fWAR.
I gotchu, cxcx!
Of the 32 shortstops with at least 400 plate appearances, Cabrera was 11th among them with a 2.2 fWAR. Those with higher fWARs: Crawford, Lindor, Xander, Kang, Correa, Simmons, Didi, Hechavarria, Russell and Tulo in that order.
Of those 32, Cabrera was 8th with a 104 wRC+. Those better: Correa, Kang, Lindor, Crawford, Xander, Brad Miller, and Peralta in that order.
His BABIP wasn’t unsustainable (.306), and Inside Edge seems to think that he’s a solid defensive SS (though DRS and UZR have him well below average). He also slashed a ridiculous .328/.372/.544 with a 152 wRC+ in the second half. That’s essentially the same offensive production the Mets got from Cespedes in the second half.
Some odd numbers for this year though: His hard contact% dropped big time (33.8 to 26.4) despite his line drive% increasing. What does that mean for the future? I have no idea, as it’s a weird combo to experience. His K% increased and his BB% decreased as well, so that’s somewhat disconcerting.
Like you said, general consensus is 7/8 million per WAR. If you’re sold on his past year, you’re getting an absolute steal at 8.25 per. If you’re not sold and agree with the Steamer projection (.253/.314/.406 with 94 wRC+ and 1.2 WAR), it’s essentially right in line with that 8 mil per WAR.
Basically, Mets got an average/slighty above average SS for, at worst, market value.
At This rate kevin keirmaier value is 43m/year !
This is what we get instead of signing heyward or cespedes. Terrible this better have rationale
i think they would be better off trading for a bat, trade harvey and montero for soler, baez, and hendricks.
When your team desperately needs a middle of the order bat and a guy like Desmond is sitting there, a NY team should be able to go out and sign a player like that instead of a mediocre guy like Cabrera. Desmond plays the position equally as well as Cabrera, is well known as a great clubhouse presence,and plugs into 3-4 hole. He can probably be signed for around 5-75 which in today’s world seems pretty reasonable. This team, unless it signs Cespedes to play CF(not gonna happen) has no power and will have the same problems scoring runs that they had the first half of last season. This mediocre line-up won’t scare anyone.
Lucas Duda is one of the leaders in home runs over the past couple of years.
Desmond is not a good player and that is why he is no longer with the Nationals.
Desmond costs a draft pick and is not going to sign for $15 AAV. That might be what fans thinks hes worth, but he without a doubt the best SS on the market. A deal would start at probably $16-$17 AAV.
In what world don’t the Mets have power? They now have the potential for at least 15 homers at every position except CF. And calling for Desmond is just ridiculous. Forfeit another first rounder for a has-been on a massive deal. No thanks.
Gotta be a pretty weak lineup for Desmond to be planned as a 3-4 hitter. 6-8 more likely.
To any one that didn’t hear that Flores hurt I’m self few week ago so I guess it worse then reported.
Hes going to be a their starting SS he had a good year for my rays last year, trust me mets fans he brings a lot of energy into a clubhouse
Mets should of trade for Elvis andrus and give up Matt Harvey
harvey for andrus is rhe worst deal ive ever heard
Mike Trout for Eric Campbell and Josh Edgin.
there you now heard a worse deal
Mets fan here, I’d do that deal.
Thanks for joining sherlock.
Mets wouldn’t have traded Niese for Andrus with that albatross of a contract attached to him. Hell, I couldn’t see them taking Andrus for free. Just ridiculous.
We all know there’s no crying in baseball but I can’t help but think that Wilmer Flores is once again shedding some tears in the aftermath of the Neil Walker trade and the Asdrubal Cabrera signing. The recent fractured ankle he suffered playing winter ball can’t be helping much either. 🙁
Just got off work, as a Mets fan here is my thoughts on their 2 moves today.
1. Love the Walker deal, granted he doesn’t play second base well on defense, but is an offensive upgrade over Murphy and we only have him for one year (hopefully he is extra motivated in his walk year.
2. I have mixed feelings on the Cabrera deal, maybe we can play him at 2B against lefties and sit Walker (and his awful platoon split). Maybe he plays 3B because Wright is no guarantee to stay healthy. If he is playing SS for 162, I admit I have some serious concerns.
In the end, these are two decent moves to strengthen the middle infield and bench depth in the event of injuries. Because lord knows no Mets fan wants to see anhy more of Eric Campbell or Danny Muno out there
Also, Niese was more than expendable to be traded. If healthy, the ront four in the Mets rotation is better than anyone else’s. The number 5 job can go to Montero or Verrett, (assuming the Mets dont sign a veteran).
And that is only a placeholder until Wheeler returns from TJS in June/July
Do Met fans not understand the concept of a cap? If the Mets were to sign Cespedes or Heyward, that’s about $18-$20 million AAV, the number that counts against the cap. The Mets are already giving big money to Wright and Granderson. Even with Cuddyer’s contract coming off the books after the year, the Mets unwillingness to tie up big money should be/probably is directly related to their state of their young pitchers. Signing a big money guy ties up any money they have in the next few years to resign Harvey/deGrom/Syndegaard/Matz. They’re better off saving their money to resign one or two of those guys as good pitchers are going to be harder to sign and more expensive than good hitters.
The Mets’ fans that are pissed the team isn’t giving Cespedes a megadeal don’t understand how the cap works.
Non-reactionary, composed Mets’ fans are psyched at their moves and think a platoon CF and some bullpen arms would make this a borderline great offseason.
When did the MLB start using a salary cap?
its a soft cap, but its still a cap.
Cabrera and Walker as the DP combo won’t win any defensive awards, but they are both a clear upgrade from the Flores to Murphy DP combo. Flores loses his starting job, but he deepens the bench, which was a problem for most of last year. He’ll still get a couple hundred ABs playing some second, short and third, especially against lefties. Nice protection in case, perhaps even likely, that Wright goes down with an injury, or just for planned days off to ease his back. Herrera gets some more seasoning in AAA. Walker is a one-year rental so Herrera is not blocked. Two solid moves that collectively make the Mets a little stronger.
Maybe the Mets will trade Dilson Herrera to the Braves for Michael Bourn and a prospect.
I like this move because it adds power to the lineup. 30 plus homeruns. None are gold gloves but both can play the position better than what we had. I like how the money is being spread around not tied into one signing. Cabrera played very good with Tampa last year. He’s 30 years old. Can he hit 20 hrs in the NL. Absolutely. I do think the same about Walker. Walker is playing for his next contract so he can have a really good year.
The Mets clearly don’t care about defense.
they are improvements over what they had in Murphy and Flores/Tejada. at least they are moving in the right direction.
I actually like the Mets short-term deals approach lately. Sure we could have done better than Cuddyer but at the time I understood the move and liked it. But this one I just don’t get. To me, it looks like the Wilpons are trying to spread their “money” over a few people and then tell fans there is no money to sign a Cespedes or Heyward. Cabrera is a solid player despite the low range at SS, but I can’t see how he puts up significantly better numbers than Flores this year, and I think Flores will develop very well, especially his bat. He wants to be a met and you saw it last season.
Maybe it’s just being safe with all he injuries up the middle, where a set back in rehab could hurt us in the season. Wilmer I guess because a super utility guy for now, and uribe might not be back now. Kelly Johnson is gone for sure (no bother there).
I’m a stone cold Mets fan but their middle defense sucks. They could have had a chance if Murphy didn’t suck at second on an easy ground ball. Walker and Cabrera should be a big help
No Soup For Yu!
Walker’s an average, at best, defender at 2B and Cabrera is a pretty poor defensive SS. I’m not sure that Walker/Cabrera up the middle is any better than Murphy/Flores from a defensive point of view.
The Mets had the worst defensive production among middle infielders in all of the Majors. Walker isn’t good, by any means, but he’s certainly better than Murph. Almost anyone is an upgrade over Murph in the field. Flores showed that he could handle SS admirably (though not very well), but Tejeda was arguably the worst defensive SS in baseball last year.
Cabrera and Walker will never bring good, or possibly even average defense, but substituting them for what was here before is absolutely an upgrade.
A Flores/walker platoon at 2b and tejada as the back up at Ss and 3b. The signings also extent our lineup to keep pace with the Cubs new lineup.
Walker won’t be platooning in his option year.
Can’t the Met’s try to sign Ian Desmond?
1. Desmond is going to get an enormous deal that he most likely won’t live up to.
2. He’ll cost the Mets a draft pick, and they need to start reloading their farm system.
3. Cabrera was more valuable last year (2.2 fWAR vs 1.7 fWAR) and costs barely anything for his production.
now that they have signed Cabrera, it would make no sense. better to use the money towards a position that’s not filled.
Does Sandy know about this deal…silly Ricco signed an older version of Wilmer Flores for $10mil a year!