Multiple reports Wednesday night say the Mets have signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, thus remaking their middle infield in the span of a few hours after the trade that brought Neil Walker to Flushing.
The deal is reported to be for two years at $8.25 million per year, with a $2 million buyout of a third-year option. That brings the total guaranteed money to $18.5 million.
Cabrera will bring some pop to the lineup. The 30-year-old hit 15 home runs last season with Tampa Bay, with 58 RBIs while batting .265. He was an All-Star in 2011 when he hit 25 homers with 92 RBIs. While Cabrera is primarily a shortstop, he can spell David Wright at third if necessary.
While it is always good to bring in a quality bat, one has to wonder if Wilmer Flores could not have provided similar offensive numbers at a fraction of the cost. His 2015 numbers were nearly identical to Cabrera’s — .263, 16 homers, 59 RBIs. Cabrera is probably better defensively; he committed nine errors in 136 games while Flores had 14 in 103 games at shortstop.
The Mets clearly are not enamored with Flores. They famously tried and failed to trade him mid-season, then benched him for the playoffs, only to be forced to insert him at short when Ruben Tejada’s leg was broken.
Or, maybe they just felt a veteran presence was necessary up the middle. Instead of the untested Dilson Herrera and the kind of tested Flores, now they have Asdrubal Cabrera and Walker. That’s not too bad at all.