Mets Should Bring Back Asdrubal Cabrera

Entering this offseason, the New York Mets have discussed building depth, but to date, they haven’t quite accomplished it. Surveying the remaining free agents, Asdrubal Cabrera stands out.

As we remember, Cabrera and his family loved being part of the Mets. There was an opportunity for him to return, but Brodie Van Wagenen botched it. Fortunately, Van Wagenen is gone and can no longer screw things up for the Mets.

Since leaving the Mets, Cabrera has been a 98 OPS+ hitter. While below average, he was still the clutch hitter we remember. Case-in-point, Cabrera hit .323/.404/.565 in 38 games with the Washington Nationals helping them claim a Wild Card spot.

While we saw he wasn’t a shortstop anymore, he did provide a capable glove elsewhere, and he’s been quite versatile.

Since 2018, Cabrera has been a 5 OAA at second, 8 OAA at third, and a 0 OAA at first. It should be noted DRS paints a significantly different picture. Melding the two and taking other defensive metrics into account, Cabrera can capably fill-in across the infield.

Remember, at this point in his career, Cabrera is a utility player. As such, on a game-in and game-out basis, he just needs to establish he can give the other infielders a rest of be able to enter on a double switch.

With respect to Cabrera being a depth option, he’s been a good pinch hitter in his career. As compiled by Baseball Reference:

Looking at Cabrera’s ability to come off the bench, you see he could be a very useful player. He can certainly give you a full game at first, second, and third, and in a pinch, he can be thrown in at short.

He’s an effective pinch hitter who is also a switch hitter. That’s important for this Mets team. While we see most of the starting lineup is left-handed, much of the bench is right-handed. Cabrera offsets both.

Now, at 35, he’s not likely going to get a Major League deal from anyone. That actually inures to the Mets benefit as their roster is full with the team still needing at least a third baseman and center fielder.

On a smaller note, signing Cabrera would free up Luis Guillorme to start at second. At the moment, Guillorme is partially relegated to the bench because of his ability to play across the infield. Adding Cabrera could allow Guillorme to slot in just at second.

Overall, Cabrera was a popular and clutch Met. He has the ability to play multiple positions. Cabrera can still hit. For a Mets team looking to upgrade their depth, Cabrera certainly checks all the boxes, which is why the team should push to bring him back.

26 Replies to “Mets Should Bring Back Asdrubal Cabrera”

  1. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Pass on Cabrera who thumbed his nose at the Mets when he had opportunity to return.

    Additionally, we need speed off the bench in player who can also play 2nd, 3rd and SS. That role gets harder to fill as free agents come off the board and that it also requires right hand bat.

    It could be that Mets intend to fill that role from among infielders in camp on minor league deals with spring invite. Jose Peraza might be the best candidate. Not much bat, but plays just about anywhere and runs well.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Cabrera specifically said he didn’t return because BVW didn’t return his calls. That’s not him thumbing his nose at the Mets. It’s BVW being a horrible GM

  2. LongTimeFan1 says:

    He turned the Mets down in August 2019 and chose the Nats because the Mets didn’t want to sign him the previous offseason.

    From NY Post, August 9, 2019:

    Asdrubal Cabrera was very much interested in a reunion with the Mets — in the offseason.

    The Mets went a different route, but were the first team to call him last weekend after he was designated for assignment and released by the Rangers. Cabrera returned the favor and said thanks, but no thanks, and signed with Washington.

    He said the Mets had called to express their interest in him in January, but a week later signed Jed Lowrie — who has yet to play a game in a Mets uniform.

    “They called me and told me they wanted me to come back here,” Cabrera said. “But personally, they had the opportunity to keep me here in the offseason and they [brought] in different guys from different teams.”

    “They never called me back,” Cabrera said. “But it is what it is. It’s part of the business.”

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Like I said he wasn’t called back.

      1. LongTimeFan1 says:

        Asdrubal’s response was rather childish. He thumbed his nose at the fans and his former teammates because he didn’t get a return call after Mets went in another direction in the offseason.

        That’s not the first childish thing he did with the Mets when his ego got bruised. He wanted to be traded when the Mets wanted to move him off shortstop because his range sucked.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Let’s try this again. Van Wagenen was unprofessional in his dealings with a player, and that player didn’t want to play for the GM who treated him poorly.

          1. Longtimefan1 says:

            He doesn’t play for a GM. He plays for his teammates and the fans. Asdrubal was just being childish and petty like he was before.

            If we take your position that he plays for a GM, then he showed utter disrespect and contempt for Sandy Alderson, as well as his teammates and the fans, when he asked to be traded when he needed to be moved off SS for good of the team, and that he proclaimed he’d move to another position if the Mets also extended him..

          2. metsdaddy says:

            He plays for the GM as well as the GM is part of the organization, and he was also the one texting in-game decisions.

  3. LongTimeFan1 says:


    Villar checks off all the boxes, even played a little outfield and is switch hitter. He’s just not a good defender. If the Mets seek defensive prowess off the bench in second infield utility player, he’s not a fit.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Villar can’t hit or field, and he’s not all that fast.

  4. Longtimefan1 says:

    Villar ran just about average in 2020, (27.1) but is still among the fastest to first base at just 4.13 seconds.

    Furthermore, that 27.1 seems to be outlier. We’ll need 2021 statcast to see if he returns to career norm which have always been higher. He’s only 29.

    That said, his defense is poor, I don’t think that’s good fit for infield utility on this team. The offense doesn’t concern me, it’s fine for utility player with his career performance and still young at 29. .

  5. Rich says:

    Im a fan bot hes getting up there and his D is terrible.
    I can however, share with you, after exhaustive research, that Asdrubal is not a made up name.

    In Venezuela its common to invent new names. But his is a very old name and comes from Carthage. Yes that Carthage, North Africa, famous enemy of Rome.

    Hasdrubal is the Latin form of Asdrubal and his namesake was named Hasdrubal Barça. As in Hannibal Barça who was his brother. So Asdrubal Cabrera is named for the brother of the king of Carthage. In case you were wondering.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      That’s an incredible bit of researching which is very interesting.

      Thanks for sharing.

  6. Gem says:

    Peraza can do that.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Peraza can’t hit at all. As for defense, his OAA numbers really aren’t better even if I suspect he’s a better defender.

      As an aside, with Lindor, Guillorme, and McNeil, the defensive backup isn’t the pressing need for the bench. It’s the versatile bat and player.

      1. Lomgtimefan1 says:

        Mcneil is not a SS back up. Cannot have just one SS back up on the team.
        Cabrera has no wheels and range. He is no longer anything close to viable SS back up.

        As also pointed out, he has no speed. Villar’s 27.1 feet per second last season is his outlier. At 29, this speedster and base stealer is unlikley to significantly slow which is suggestive of something else that occured in shortened 2020.

        I do however have to correct myself – his 4.13 seconds was for 90 feet, not specifically home to first.

        His home to first in 2020, was 4.43 was tied for 148th with Joc Pederson, Charlie Blackmon and others.

        Francisco Lindor was 4.42.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Teams do not routinely carry three shortstops. Having Lindor and Guillorme there with Cabrera in case of emergency is fine.

          I’d also note if you want a second backup SS, Villar isn’t your guy. He’s a terrible fielder.

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