The Mets announced on Friday they would pick up the $8.5 million option on Asdrubal Cabrera (as well as Jerry Blevins’s $7 million option, which was a no-brainer). The move signals, to me, anyway, that there will be no major changes in the team for 2018.
The Mets payroll is expected to go down by upwards of $30 million from 2017’s opening number of $155 million. That means at $8.5 million, Cabrera should be expected to be a starter, either at second or third. Cabrera was very good in 2016, not so good in 2017. Sandy Alderson obviously thinks he will bounce back, as well as not be the malcontent he was in the middle of the season.
But with the way the season went, shouldn’t Alderson have just moved on from Cabrera and find someone better (and by the way, what does Wilmer Flores have to do to get a starting role with this team? He is just as good as Cabrera at a much lower price tag.). But clearly, that is not Alderson’s way. This is the safe move, to go with the known quantity. It is something we have seen before with Alderson.
Would it shock anyone to see Cabrera at second and hope and pray for David Wright to be healthy at third, with Flores/Jose Reyes as the backup plans? And while we’re at it, Juan Lagares in center flanked by Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto? Sounds an awful lot like the 2017 team that lost 92 games.
The Mets do not need to be blown up, but they do need a decent shake-up. The decision to re-sign Cabrera does not signal that that will happen.