The 2017 Mets have become a liquidation sale. Currently sitting at a season low in games under .500, the Mets wove the white flag with the trade of first baseman Lucas Duda and reliever Addison Reed. They strung the flag higher when they traded outfielder Jay Bruce, the team leader in home runs and RBIs. While it doesn’t necessarily suggest a rebuild, it has certainly signaled a dismantlement of the 2016 second wild card team. The trades the team has made so far have benefited the team, saving them $10.6 million in the books from the contracts of those traded, and also gaining five minor league arms. The dismantlement should not stop there.
Back in December 2015, Asdrubal Cabrera signed a two-year, $18.5 million contract with the Mets, including an option for a third year. Once seen as an odd signing, Cabrera’s status with the team has fluctuated. For the 2016 season, he was valuable as a switch-hitting middle infielder, providing solid defense up the middle. 2017 has been a roller coaster. As the season progressed, Cabrera became seen more to fans and analysts as a stopgap for prospect Amed Rosario, who hadn’t yet ripened in the minor leagues. Frustration grew with him as he submitted a trade request, and then subsequently revoked it. On the season, Cabrera is hitting .258, with 18 doubles and 34 RBIs. He no longer has range at shortstop, so he resides at third base. While the stats certainly don’t jump out at you, there is still no reason as to why Cabrera is still wearing a Mets cap.
While return on Cabrera may not be very high, at least it is a return. If you don’t believe the Mets are a proponent of that ideal, just take a gander at the Bruce deal. In exchange for Bruce, the Mets received minor league reliever Ryder Ryan, who was drafted in the 30th round of the 2016 draft. While where you are drafted does not determine your potential in the league (Example A, Mike Piazza), it is a value that’s put on a player. Many will argue that Bruce for Ryder was a horrible trade, and that the Mets got the short end of the stick. There was no point in holding Bruce on the team though, especially if he could of just walked in the offseason. The same route should be followed regarding Cabrera.
If the Mets could receive anything in return for Cabrera, they should have immediate interest. They aren’t gaining anything significant from him this season, and his switch-hitting bat is more useful on another squad. Cabrera wouldn’t be a bad option as a bench player for a contender, with his switch-hitting abilities making him that much more enticing. His player option should be more attractive to teams that are not only looking to contend this season, but next as well. A trade of Cabrera makes complete sense for the Mets, and should be executed as such. After all, gaining something small in return is better than receiving nothing if he decides to walk.