Sep 18, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera (3) connects for an RBI single during the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Like every other team in Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians employ numerous players throughout their organization, from the big-league club in Cleveland to their rookie league team in Arizona and beyond. And like every other Major League franchise, the Indians add and subtract from this player pool on a regular basis. This irregular series will serve to post notice when a former Indians player has done something noteworthy with a quick look back at the player’s time in Cleveland.
Player: Asdrubal Cabrera
Current Team: Washington Nationals
Years in Indians Organization: Cabrera was acquired from the Mariners in 2006 in exchange for Eduardo Perez, stayed with the organization through July 31st of 2014 before being traded to the Nationals for young power hitter Zach Walters.
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Why He’s In the News: The Washington Nationals recently clinched the National League East Division Title for the second time in three years. During the second half of 2014, Cabrera has been more or less their everyday second baseman. However, he’s been mired in a slump as of late, dropping his OPS to a less-than-impressive .718, not so good considering his hot start with the Nats.
What He Did: Cabrera was the Tribe’s starting shortstop for the past half-decade or so and the last remaining piece of the 2007 ALCS Indians team. His best year in the majors came in 2011 when he smacked 25 home runs and played slightly below average defense. He was unable to reclaim that power in his following years with the Tribe, and his fielding got progressively worse over the next few years.
How/Why He Departed: The Indians finally decided to trade Cabrera at the deadline, replacing him with Jose Ramirez. Cabrera wouldn’t have been worth a qualifying offer at season’s end, and his production was replaceable within the Tribe’s system. It was better to get something for him than nothing.
What the Future Holds: Cabrera hits free agency at season’s end. It’s very unlikely the Indians will even take a sniff, as their farm system is chock full of middle-infield prospects that can defend better than Cabrera and will likely match his offensive production. Cabrera will probably fetch mediocre money on a two-year deal, maybe with a vesting option. The fact that he’ll come without draft pick compensation attached will likely help his cause, but the depth of the shortstop market this year will probably balance that out quite a bit.
Notice a player you remember being in the Indians organization? We’re ever-vigilant, but sometimes we miss guys, too! Send us an email at email@example.com and let us know which former Indians farmhand or player is making noise elsewhere.