Asdrubal Cabrera finally reached the pinnacle of baseball as a member of the Washington Nationals this past season. His team won it all and he enters the offseason as a free agent.
Cabrera was with the Indians from 2007-2014 before being traded to the Nationals in exchange for Zach Walters. The latter never ended up doing much of anything but the trade did clear the way for the young Indians infield to blossom.
Cabrera slashed .260/.342/.441 in a total of 131 games last season between his time with the Texas Rangers and the Nationals. He had a respectable mark of 1.7 WAR, compared to Kipnis’ mark of 0.5.
Cabrera is a solid option if the goal is to wait another year on someone like Nolan Jones. In an ideal world the infield, (outside of first base), would be Jones, Ramirez, and Lindor for years to come. Obviously that formula is complicated with Lindor’s contract situation.
But let’s say the Indians want to wait until 2021 for Jones to be getting full-time action. Signing Cabrera to a short deal replaces Kipnis with another veteran who can hopefully provide a bit more production on a cheaper deal than what Kip made in 2019.
Cabrera signed a $3.5 million deal with the Rangers at the start of 2019 and something in that range would be a no-brainer for the Indians. Especially after moving Kipnis and Danny Salazar off the books.
The alternative is bringing Kipnis back on a similar deal. However, if the two are to be compared it may be wiser to go with Cabrera and officially move on from Kipnis for good.