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Asdrubal Cabrera - Twins SS 2015-17?

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#1 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:47 AM

Looking at this article: http://mlb.mlb.com/n...ok_was&c_id=was and thinking that Asdrubal could be a potential FA target for the Twins this off-season. He wants to play SS, the Twins are very familiar with him, and he would likely be affordable from the Twins budget perspective.

He has posted WARs as high as 3.5, although his projection for this year was a bit more than 2 (he's at 1.4 through this season). I'd call him a 2-WAR player heading into the off-season.

He has a reputation as an excellent defender, although he grades out as slightly below average. He's hit as many as 25 HR, but should come out in the teens. His BA is usually in the 270's; the past two years he has had a lower average, which looks to be in part due to lower BABIP. His OBP isn't great, but .330 could be about expected.

He will be 29 next year. If he is a 2-WAR player, that would mean paying him for 2-, 1-5, and 1WAR= 4.5 WAR over the next 3 years. At about $6mm/WAR, that would mean a 3-year, $27mm contract.

With a couple of relatively down years, he could be a buy-low candidate.

The question is whether he fits in the roster? Is he taking Danny Santana's position? I'm not totally sure. Depth at the up-the-middle positions is never a bad thing. I could envision Santana getting time at CF, AAA and MI over the next two seasons, before taking over SS in 2017 for a couple of years before Nick Gordon arrives.

Anyway, thought I'd throw it out there for discussion. Thoughts?

#2 DaveW

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:51 AM

I mean at this point I think the twins have a decent stop gap for a couple years in an Escobar and Santana combo.

I'd rather they bring in a big bat to play the corner OF spot.
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#3 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:59 AM

The sense that I got from reading about him as a trade candidate leading up to the deadline was that his glovework at Short was declining - I read that the Nationals were planning on using him at 2b instead of SS (The Nationals do have a very good young SS already - Ian Desmond). So far he's played 10 games at 2B for Washington, with a three inning stint at short in one game.

I would say that Escobar and Santana are pretty close to Cabrera in terms of overall value, but they are cheaper.

Escobar has a 1.2 WAR (baseball reference) to this point in the season, if he was starting in April instead of Florimon, maybe it would be even closer to Cabrera's numbers.

Cabrera would hit more homers than Escobar, but Eddie's got doubles power and more speed than Cabrera.

I'd spend FA money on LF and Starting Pitching (as in, going all in on James Shields- not getting another #4/5 filler) before thinking about Cabrera.


#4 tobi0040

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:21 AM

The sense that I got from reading about him as a trade candidate leading up to the deadline was that his glovework at Short was declining - I read that the Nationals were planning on using him at 2b instead of SS (The Nationals do have a very good young SS already - Ian Desmond). So far he's played 10 games at 2B for Washington, with a three inning stint at short in one game.

I would say that Escobar and Santana are pretty close to Cabrera in terms of overall value, but they are cheaper.

Escobar has a 1.2 WAR (baseball reference) to this point in the season, if he was starting in April instead of Florimon, maybe it would be even closer to Cabrera's numbers.

Cabrera would hit more homers than Escobar, but Eddie's got doubles power and more speed than Cabrera.

I'd spend FA money on LF and Starting Pitching (as in, going all in on James Shields- not getting another #4/5 filler) before thinking about Cabrera.

 

A lot of factors here. 

 

-I think Escobar and Santana have outperformed this year. 

-I am not convinced the Twins are sold on Santanas defense

-We will bundles of money

-Gordon won't be up here for 3-4 years

-His career OPS is .742, but has been right at .700 the last two years, OBP around .300

 

I would give him a go on a 2 year deal at a $6-7M clip just based on upside


#5 Mike Sixel

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:28 AM

Ryan said they still view Santana as a SS (yesterday on 1500am). They have Escobar. Either get a great SS, or spend your resources elsewhere.

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#6 nicksaviking

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:46 AM

Cabrera has actually been a pretty terrible defender for years.However, I've mentioned before, terrible defense seems to only be given serious consideration at the development stages.If Cabrera and his awful defense were in A ball, he'd be moved to 3B pronto, but since he's already at the MLB level, someone will still pay him to play SS next year.It doesn't make much sense to me, but I think it lends to the belief that defense is overrated.If poor defense was really costing teams numerous games the on-field staff would intervene and reposition/bench said poor defender.It's not costing that many games, so managers simply roll their eyes at the extra ball that gets to the outfield every 8 games or so.

 

More on topic; I think Escobar is playing above his head, but I think Cabrera's time as a league average SS are over so I don't know that you'd get much more production from the free agent.I ride with Santana/Escobar until Polanco or Gordon are ready understanding that there is a distinct possbility all will flop.


#7 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:52 AM

Hanley Ramirez will be a free agent- if the Twins want to add another player on top of who they have, I think Hanley is the only guy that would be a clear upgrade offensively.

I doubt very highly that the Twins would pursue him, and if even if they did, I imagine that the Dodgers and/or Yankees would outbid the Twins to get him.

I just don't see Asdrubal Cabrera as being that much better than the current roster. I do think he could hit for more power, but I see the $$ it would take to sign him as better served in other areas.


#8 iTwins

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:17 AM

I don't see Cabrera being that much of an upgrade over Escobar / Santana. If the Twins were going to pursue a free agent SS, I'd rather they go big and get a star (Hanley Ramirez, for example). Of course, the odds of that happening are the same as me being named the new commissioner of baseball...so, I'd stick with the in house options and use the free agent money elsewhere.  


#9 kab21

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:28 AM

I don't think Asdrubal will be a buy low this year.I think he will get a nice contract based on reputation.Peralta is a comparable player and he got 56M after getting busted for steroids. 

 

I have no idea what to think of getting Hanley.It won't be cheap at all.He is injured all the time, has been inconsistent and is on the wrong side of 30.OTOH he's one of the few potentially elite bats available and dropping an elite bat into the middle of all of the high upside prospects takes the pressure off and could give the Twins a really strong lineup.I would not be against moving Hanley to 3B and Sano to RF.It's possible that hanley could stay sort of healthy at 3B and just focus on being a slugger.

 

Getting Hanley has a 0% chance of happening though.Signing FA's could happen (despite other threads stating otherwise) but Hanley is everything (risk and high commitment ($$$)) that the Twins avoid.

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#10 alskntwnsfn

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:35 AM

I hope this is a joke. Even if Santana and Escobar may regress (which is not certain), SS is the least of our problems as we have 2! potentially above average, cheap options in house. We need to look at the corners, which I spent a lot of time discussing on my first blog post. 

 

We are below average at every corner position and DH, offensively, and above average at every position up the middle. Let's fix the glaring problems before we start trying to fix things that might be become a problem. This ain't the 1996 Indians.  

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#11 kab21

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:45 AM

SS is not the least of the Twins problems.It's not if Escobar and Santana regress but by how much.I think Escobar shows that he's a utility player next year.Santana might be playing CF and will likely have spent 2 years off of SS and it might not be an easy transition back.the problem with signing a FA SS or making a trade is that these moves usually require overpaying by a substantial amount.I wouldn't be surprised if Cabrera got 50M this offseason.He's a decent pickup for a contender that is going for it but he's not good defensively, he's not great offensively and he will be 30 soon.

 

Arcia and Vargas should be given every opportunity at DH and OF next year.I wouldn't necessarily call it a position of weakness although the production has been weak this year.I think the Twins should spend some decent money on a 2-3 year OF option (like Markakis).

Is 2016 2017 2018 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 

Offseason (noun) - a time to propose trades assuming opposing GM's can't do the same basic analysis


#12 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:58 AM

I would say if the Twins are looking to throw some money at a problem, they could fill a need by going after a different Cabrera:Melky. 

 

Bonifacio, Colby Rasmus, Denard Span, and Markakis are all players I hope the Twins are targeting before they spend money on a Free Agent shortstop 

 

Other Bats that *could* play in the outfield should be avoided- guys like Nelson Cruz, Jonny Gomes, Cuddyer. While they would bring some offense, they would be a liability in the field and are all higher injury risks. That list also features players that would likely take at bats away from our younger DH candidates like Vargas and Pinto.

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#13 tobi0040

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:18 AM

Ryan said they still view Santana as a SS (yesterday on 1500am). They have Escobar. Either get a great SS, or spend your resources elsewhere.

 

I don't buy that they view Santana as a SS.If that is the case, you don't play a 23 year old in the OF 42 times and at DH 3 times, and start him at SS 16 times in a throw away year. It is not like we have a top SS prospect knocking on the door so they want to try him out somewhere else.

 

It kind of reminds me of when Gardy said Pinto is a catcher but never let him catch.

 

Danny Santana has a career OPS of .708 in the minors across 7 seasons.His career OBP is .317.This year, his BABIP is .399. 

 

Eduardo Escobar has a career OPS of .654 in the minors.

 

We could use a better OF, but I don't see us signing someone.Between Arcia, Buxton, Hicks, Rosario and potentially Plouffe moving there.....I don't see a bat added but even if we did, we would have money to add an OF and SS bat.

 

Realistically, we are not spending money on the rotation or bullpen either.Gibson, Hughes, and Nolasco are locks.The Twins don't pay a pitcher $11M a year and owe him $33M and not give him a spot.I don't see them having Milone, May, Meyer, and Pelfrey battle for one spot.We have tons of relievers on the way.

Edited by tobi0040, 15 August 2014 - 09:23 AM.


#14 beyondclarity

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:30 AM

There's absolutely no valid reason to bring in another SS, especially one who would cost more than the 3 options you already have.

Edited by ChiTownTwinsFan, 15 August 2014 - 05:01 PM.
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#15 jokin

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:35 AM

I don't buy that they view Santana as a SS.If that is the case, you don't play a 23 year old in the OF 42 times and at DH 3 times, and start him at SS 16 times in a throw away year. It is not like we have a top SS prospect knocking on the door so they want to try him out somewhere else.

 

It kind of reminds me of when Gardy said Pinto is a catcher but never let him catch.

 

Danny Santana has a career OPS of .708 in the minors across 7 seasons.His career OBP is .317.This year, his BABIP is .399. 

 

Eduardo Escobar has a career OPS of .654 in the minors.

 

We could use a better OF, but I don't see us signing someone.Between Arcia, Buxton, Hicks, Rosario and potentially Plouffe moving there.....I don't see a bat added but even if we did, we would have money to add an OF and SS bat.

 

Realistically, we are not spending money on the rotation or bullpen either.Gibson, Hughes, and Nolasco are locks.The Twins don't pay a pitcher $11M a year and owe him $33M and not give him a spot.I don't see them having Milone, May, Meyer, and Pelfrey battle for one spot.  

 

You mentioned 3 spots locked in, that leaves a battle for two spots, not one. Meyer is likely not going to be called up until next July at the earliest, which then leaves 3 pitchers battling for two spots. I think if Milone performs up to his previous capabilities for the rest of the year, he's almost certainly lock #4- and don't forget, Tomaso is bound to be getting #3.5-4M in arbitration.  That leaves May attempting to beat out Pelfrey and possibly Pino.  I sense a trade coming from among this group, and perhaps another attempt at a Garza-level FA signing in the offseason.

 

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"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."


#16 tobi0040

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:49 AM

You mentioned 3 spots locked in, that leaves a battle for two spots, not one. Meyer is likely not going to be called up until next July at the earliest, which then leaves 3 pitchers battling for two spots. I think if Milone performs up to his previous capabilities for the rest of the year, he's almost certainly lock #4- and don't forget, Tomaso is bound to be getting #3.5-4M in arbitration.  That leaves May attempting to beat out Pelfrey and possibly Pino.  I sense a trade coming from among this group, and perhaps another attempt at a Garza-level FA signing in the offseason.

 

Math never was my strong suit. 

 

I personally think the Twins are salivating at the chance of having three spots in the rotation making next to nothing, likely Gibson, Meyer, and either May or Milone (Milone will be a little more, but not much relative).I can't rule out Meyer in the minors for longer than we all want....but I also can't rule out the token scholarship for Pelfrey for 2 months, so we can conclude he is not good.

Edited by tobi0040, 15 August 2014 - 09:51 AM.


#17 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:49 AM

Can't hurt to make offers to Scherzer, Shields and Lester. If the Twins somehow landed one of those three, it would not be hard to make room.


#18 jokin

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:11 AM

Math never was my strong suit. 

 

I personally think the Twins are salivating at the chance of having three spots in the rotation making next to nothing, likely Gibson, Meyer, and either May or Milone (Milone will be a little more, but not much relative).I can't rule out Meyer in the minors for longer than we all want....but I also can't rule out the token scholarship for Pelfrey for 2 months, so we can conclude he is not good.

 

Salivating, maybe so, but let's remember how hard the Twins went after Garza (2015 FA Justin Masterson is the closest comp to Garza through age 28) and Santana on long-term deals last offseason, well after the others were inked, I think that bullet is still in the chamber.with high end target James Shields in the sights and something like smaller, but near #2 bounceback candidates, Masterson and Brandon McCarthy as other legit options to consider.

 

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#19 kab21

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:23 AM

I'm just hoping that TR realizes that he is going to have a lot of players making the MLB min all over the roster and comes up with a plan to spend wisely.With so few actual positional needs (Vargas and Arcia should be given every chance to play for example) I hope that he concentrates that money into 1-2 positions.I'm not in the spend for the sake of spending nor do I think all of that money should be committed next offseason but if there is a good match then I hope the Twins become even more aggressive in FA.

Is 2016 2017 2018 the year that a good pitching prospect is truly blocked by 5 good pitchers in the starting rotation? 

Offseason (noun) - a time to propose trades assuming opposing GM's can't do the same basic analysis


#20 tobi0040

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:41 AM

Can't hurt to make offers to Scherzer, Shields and Lester. If the Twins somehow landed one of those three, it would not be hard to make room.

 

The Twins have the money to sign those guys, but I would be shocked if we even called their agents. I would expect prior to free agency, Terry says we won't be in on certain guys but will see whats out there, or something along those lines.If my memory serves me correct, he has made statements like this about not going after Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, and Tanaka, etc.Anibal ended up getting a lot less than these three are likely to make.Heck, Max turned down 6/144 and Anibal signed for 5/90.

 

Regarding last year, OK.We were looking to add another arm.But Gibson has went from maybe to a yes, Hughes went from struggling guy to a lock, we added Milone, and May has really emerged.

Edited by tobi0040, 15 August 2014 - 10:42 AM.