Asdrubal Cabrera and the liquidation of the 2017 Mets

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.

10 comments for “Asdrubal Cabrera and the liquidation of the 2017 Mets

  1. Chris F
    August 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Cabrera is different from the other players you mentioned, and could have included Granny and Reyes. The difference is a cheap option year for a veteran utility infielder, a bit like Ben Zobrist. While I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mets find a trade partner and use the option year as a tiny carrot to potential suitors, I also see them equally as likely to pick up the option as an insurance policy. On the other hand, it’s time to move Granny and Reyes (if that’s even possible) as neither will be a Met next year.

    I think you mean “waved” a white flag, not wove.

  2. Eraff
    August 12, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    The Mets are considering his option… after all, he may be a good fit for a Contending Team— and I think they intend to contend next year

  3. Studes
    August 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    This makes no sense. He can’t walk if the Mets invoke his option.

  4. Metsense
    August 12, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Cabrera has a $ 8.5 M option for 2018. If they don’t exercise the option then the Mets have to pay him $ 2 M buyout. A team that trades for Cabrera would be on the hook for the option. He also has around $ 2.4 M still owed for 2017. Without kicking in some significant money it is hard to imagine that he will being moved. He has had sub average production and he longer has the range at SS.
    Walker has $ 5.2 M left and Granderson $ 4.5 M left. Both have the potential to impact a pennant race but it would be an expensive risk for a team. Reyes is cheap ,($ 162,000) if a team were in need of an infielder but the Mets may not want to upset the dynamic between him and Rosario for such a small savings. I will be surprised if any get traded this August.

    • Jimmy P
      August 12, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Broken record: But if Mets kicked in money in trades for Walker and Granderson — say 80% — they still save a couple of million (hey, it’s something!) and likely gain sort sort of prospect in the exchange.

      They also get to play Nimmo, Flores, Cecchini, whomever.

      The longer they wait, they less they’ll receive. The Brewers already might be thinking this isn’t their year, again.

      Could be they want Walker back next season, don’t want to upset the apple cart, though the Yankee negotiations suggest otherwise.

    • Metsense
      August 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      As Gomer says, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! ”
      Walker is a Brewer.

      • Chris F
        August 12, 2017 at 7:01 pm

        as much as it hurts to see, this is what has to happen. We clearly were not going to win with this team, and all this vet talent needs to roll on.

        Good Luck Neil, you were a solid Met. I hope you make a meal of the Cubs.

  5. MattyMets
    August 12, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Given that he’s a switch hitter who can play 3 positions and has a reasonable option for next year, I don’t see the urgency. He’s not blocking anyone, especially now with Rivera on the DL and Walker gone.

    If they’re willing to sign on the cheap I’d love to see Grandy and Reyes back in the team next year.

    The big question is who are we targeting in the off season to fill out our lineup?

    • Chris F
      August 12, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      reyes and grandy? huh?????????

      no thanks.

  6. August 12, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Joel Sherman tweeted: “Walker is owed roughly $5M the rest of the season and I heard #Mets are eating some to complete deal with #Brewers”

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