Milwaukee Brewers: Why They Should Go After Asdrubal Cabrera
By David Gasper
The Milwaukee Brewers currently have a need at the backup shortstop position. Luckily, there’s a free agent option out there.
Asdrubal Cabrera has been designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers, and the Milwaukee Brewers should be all over it.
It’s no secret that the Brewers backup shortstop position has been lacking offensively, and even the starting shortstop has been lacking as well. The team should be looking at offensive upgrades, and Cabrera would fill a hole on this roster.
Asdrubal Cabrera in 2019
This year has been a large disappointment for Cabrera, posting a .235/.318/.393 slash line with 12 home runs. During the last three years while with the Mets, Cabrera had a .279 average with an .803 OPS. So he’s been largely productive over the past few years.
Cabrera can play shortstop, although he hasn’t played there this year and is generally regarded as a below average defender. He’s spent this season mostly at third base for Texas. But his experience at short and his ability with the bat, although down this year, is still an improvement for the Brewers.
The backup shortstop position
Since Hernan Perez was DFA’ed due to poor production at the plate, it’s been Tyler Saladino as the backup shortstop. Saladino was an offensive black hole during his time in Milwaukee, outside of two grand slams in back to back days.
Even with the grand slams, Saladino struggled to a .123/.197/.215 slash line in 65 ABs this season.
Without the grand slams, he would’ve hit .095/.173/.095 in 63 at bats in 69 plate appearances.
Saladino was meant to replace Hernan Perez, who was DFAed with a “disappointing” .235/.277/.383 slash line that had an OPS over 200 points higher than Saladino’s. He was also supposed to put pressure on Orlando Arcia for the starting shortstop job. That backfired horribly.
Now Saladino is finally back down, but Hernan Perez has not been selected from Triple-A to be the backup shortstop, and Mauricio Dubon was just traded away. Perez is the best in-house option to be the backup shortstop, but they’re hesitating to call him back up.
Why go after Asdrubal Cabrera?
Cabrera, in the midst of a down season, provided better production than Saladino and has a similar line to Perez, but with a much better OBP. Perez had a .277 OBP this year while Cabrera is at .318, which is a 41 point difference.
Sure, defensively he’s not much of a help, but he’s an experienced veteran bat that can backup shortstop. He’s a better option there defensively than Mike Moustakas or Travis Shaw, and since they refuse to call up Hernan Perez, Cabrera is the best option they’ll find.
They need a backup shortstop. That’s the only reason Saladino stuck around as long as he did. Now that he’s back down, they need another backup shortstop to come in. There currently isn’t one.
The Milwaukee Brewers could certainly do much worse than Asdrubal Cabrera as a veteran backup shortstop and could succeed as a bench player that gets some pinch hit ABs. In his career, Cabrera is hitting .280 (14-for-50) as a pinch hitter with three home runs. That’s not bad.
Take a flier, he won’t cost much, and improve a part of the roster that’s been lacking. The trade deadline has passed and this is the only way to add talent to the organization now. If they don’t want Cabrera, bring back Perez.