The New York Mets are out of the National League East race and apparently are willing to listen to trade offers for some of their best players. Could the St. Louis Cardinals and Mets make something work?
The Mets are 13.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. They have already stated they will listen to offers on Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. A fellow contributer, Russ Robinson, already wrote about the potential of trading for one of them. Would Asdrubal Cabrera also make sense for the St. Louis Cardinals?
Cabrera, primarily a second baseman, would definitely be a huge offensive upgrade over Kolten Wong. He is currently hitting .282 with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs. His .818 OPS ranks seventh in the major leagues among qualified second basemen. And his 2.0 fWAR ranks 9th.
Wong is hitting .208 with six home runs and 19 RBIs. His .648 OPS ranks 36th among second basemen. His 1.1 fWAR ranks 15th, thanks in large part to his stellar defense.
In 2016, Cabrera hit .280 with 23 home runs and 62 RBIs and had an .810 OPS. In 2017, he hit .280 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs and had a .785 OPS. He’s on pace to smash those numbers in 2018. Cabrera is projected to hit 29 homers and drive in 94 runs while playing on one of the worst offenses in the majors.
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Cabrera could slide right into the St. Louis Cardinals lineup and help the offense. He would be a great second hitter – a guy that gets on base at a decent clip and has power. Or he could hit in the middle of the order and be a great run producer.
Cabrera is awful at second base. He is dead last in defensive runs saved (DRS) there with -16. On the flip side, Wong leads the majors with 12 DRS at second base.
Cabrera did play 350 innings at third base last season for the Mets and finished with one DRS, so he was slightly above average. Aside from playing one other inning at third in 2007 for the Indians, that’s the only experience he has there.
He is also a free agent at the end of the season. So, he could be just a rental. He’ll be 33-years-old in 2019, so what kind of contract are you willing to offer an aging second baseman that is terrible defensively and above average offensively?
Wong or Jedd Gyorko would have to be included in this trade to clear room in the infield. Wong isn’t a free agent until 2021 and Gyorko isn’t until 2020. Wong has a $12.5 million option for 2021 so we could have him until 2022. Gyorko has a $13 million team option for 2020, so the St. Louis Cardinals could have him until 2021. We would potentially only get a half season out of Cabrera compared to at least two more for Wong and at least one more for Gyorko.
While I would love to see his bat in our lineup, it would be hard for me to justify trading Kolten Wong or Jedd Gyorko for potentially only about 60 games out of Cabrera. His league-worst defense at the position would also be hard to watch. If his name had to be thrown in there to acquire deGrom or Syndergaard, it would make a lot more sense.
What do you guys think? Would you like to see Asdrubal Cabrera in a Cardinals uniform? What about if he’s part of a deal for deGrom or Syndergaard? Let me know. Thanks for reading.