Should the Yankees Sign Everth Cabrera?
The Yankees saw the final, and most valuable, piece of the core-four retire last season. Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner are faced with the mountain of a question: how do you replace Derek Jeter?” The short answer is you don’t. Instead what they should try to focus on is who can play shortstop.
I know those sound like two very similar things but any one, single baseball fan can tell you Jeter was not just a shortstop. He was the life and blood of the Yankee organization for the past two decades. So instead of trying to find the next captain or 3,000 hits, we should try to find a capable short stop. Brendan Ryan is known for his defense but he is not the solution. The answer for 2015 sure isn’t in the minors either; we aren’t exactly stacked with talent to call up or to trade. The only possible choice left if the Yankees want to stay relevant this season is to sign a free agent.
In a shallow shortstop market the Yankees are forced to look at 28 year-old Everth Cabrera. (Trust me, that is how you spell his first name. I checked more times than I am proud of.)
Cabrera played all six seasons of his service for the San Diego Padres. If he did come to New York I am sure the transition in ball parks would be something to write home about. Petco Park is known for being the epitome of a pitcher-friendly park and Yankee Stadium has the opposite reputation. There is a reason fly ball pitchers shiver pitching here and almost any lefty, pull hitter with some sort of power wants to sign here.
Cabrera’s scouting report mentions his strong glove at short stop and his above average range. He does not have the power to be a home run guy but he does have power to the gaps. His speed makes him a threat to steal bases and hit for extra bases.
However, despite the shallow market and the few pros Cabrera possesses, I do not think that it would be a smart move for the Yankees. The only possible scenario where I could see this being a move that the Yankees front office pursues is as a short term deal. It would be a temporary plug in the lineup until a long term solution is found.
Cabrera has a hard time staying on the field and in six seasons he has an average of 80 games played a year. That is about half of the regular season! Why would the Yankees, who are trying to rebuild quickly, sign a player who can’t stay on the field? That is counterproductive. Also, Cabrera is a career .248 batter who is coming off a season where he posted an underwhelming .272 OBP.
The Yankees are in need of an answer at shortstop but Everth Cabrera is not it. He essentially brings to the table the same tools as Ryan. What I mean by that is Cabrera would be signed for his defense and we already have a defensive short stop on our roster. Cabrera’s .967 fielding percentage over six seasons is even less than that of Brendan Ryan’s .978 over eight seasons.
I believe that he will be examined as a temporary solution strictly because of how shallow this free agent class is at the position but in an ideal world the Yankees move on and sign some one else.