By: Paul DiSclafani
Looks like Mets fans are going to have to learn how to pronounce and spell “Asdrubal” as they close in on a deal for the free agent shortstop from the Tampa Bay Rays, pending a physical. After spending the end of the summer learning how to spell “Yoenis”, this should be a no brainer for the fans that have been saddled with a player named Nieuwenhius for two years.
According the NY Post, ESPN and the Mets official Twitter account, the Mets and the 30 year-old Asdrubal Cabrera have reached an agreement in principle on a two-year deal with $18.5M guaranteed. The Mets also hold a team option for a third year.
After spending about 24 hours lamenting how the front office could have possibly missed out on free agent Ben Zobrist, the Mets fans have to be stunned after they kicked things into gear. In a span of just a few hours, the Mets acquired second baseman Neil Walker from the Pirates (for pitcher Jonathan Niese) and now with the free agent Cabrera, have delivered a brand new double-play combo to Citi Field.
Cabrera was quoted as saying, “I can’t wait to play at Citi Field, in front of the best fans in the world.”
The two-time All-Star hit .265 with the Rays in 2015 including 15 HR and 58 RBI, but hit .328 after the All-Star break. Although he would not be a tremendous upgrade at defense for the Mets up the middle (he plays both SS and 2B), he is a 10-15 HR, 25+ doubles player. His 107 strikeouts and only 36 walks in 551 plate appearances is a little concerning, but the switch hitter could be insurance for the Mets with their middle infield of Reuben Tejada and Wilmer Flores both trying to return from broken bones in their legs.
Since 2007, he is one of just two SS to hit 90+ home runs.