Thank You Asdrubal Cabrera
When looking at Sandy Alderson’s tenure as the Mets General Manager, you would have to say one of the best moves he made was signing Asdrubal Cabrera in the offseason immediately after the Mets pennant.
When you look at Cabrera’s Mets career, the one thing that immediately comes to mind is how he almost single-handedly carried the Mets to the 2016 postseason.
At that time, the Mets were down Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Jacob deGrom in the rotation. The team had no third baseman for most of the season. Lucas Duda was essentially done for the year, and James Loney was doing a bad job offensively and defensively at first. Neil Walker would go down with a season ending back surgery. The prior year’s hero, Yoenis Cespedes, was in and out of the lineup with quad issues, and when he did play, he wasn’t the same guy he was in 2015.
After what was a largely disappointing injury plagued year, Cabrera came off the DL on August 19th, and he went on an absolute tear. From that point until the end of the season, he hit .345/.406/.635 with 11 doubles, a triple, 10 homers, and 29 RBI.
In that insane stretch, the Mets went from two games under .500 to finishing the year 87-75 with the top National League Wild Card. Not only did Cabrera fuel that run, but he might have also given us one of the greatest bat flips in Mets history:
From there, things haven’t been so great with the Mets. Unfortunately, it did lead to Cabrera demanding a trade when the team wanted to move him off of shortstop. With the Mets unable to move him, the team did pick up his option, and he returned.
It is a good thing he returned because Cabrera has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season. His 122 wRC+ is sixth best among Major League second basemen, and it is second best among players on the Mets Opening Day roster.
Whatever issues Cabrera may have caused with his demands, he is a guy who came to play each and every day. No matter what the injury or issue, he wanted in the lineup. More often that not, he contributed.
Part of the reason why is Cabrera is that rare breed of player who actually raises his game in New York. His 116 OPS+ with the Mets is better than any of his previous stops. He averaged a higher WAR with the Mets than at any other stop. It’s impressive he did this as a player towards the end of his prime as opposed to one entering his prime.
Overall, the New York Mets organization has been better for Cabrera having been a part of it. He was a player born to play in New York, and he had the opportunity to show it with a great pennant run in 2016. For that run alone, Mets fans should be thankful.
In the end, we should all wish Cabrera good luck in Philadelphia, and yes, given his play here, there Mets should consider bringing him back next year.