The New York Mets have added infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to their roster on a two-year, $18.5 million deal, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. The deal is for two seasons with an option for a third year, which will pay Cabrera $18.5 million guaranteed.
The deal for Cabrera came just hours after the Mets sent left-handed pitcher Jon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates for switch-hitting infielder Neil Walker. The new second baseman hit .272 over his career with 833 hits and 418 RBI. Last season, Walker delivered 16 homers and 71 RBI across 151 games for Pittsburgh.
Cabrera gives New York multiple options as Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada, Dilson Herrera, Walker and Cabrera can play the middle of the infield. Cabrera has been linked to the Mets for quite sometime, but also drew interest from the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels. The 30-year-old will get most of his time on the field as a utility player at second base and shortstop. Cabrera could see time at third base to give David Wright days off because of his spinal stenosis.
In 505 at-bats with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015, Cabrera hit .265/.315/.430 with 15 home runs and 58 RBI. The native of Venezuela was signed by the Seattle Mariners as an amateur free agent in 2002 and spent time with the Cleveland Indians (2007-2014), Washington Nationals (2014) and Rays (2015) over his nine-year career, which he has hit .267 with 102 homers and 509 RBI across 4,140 at-bats.
The two-time All-Star (2011, 2012) posted a -7 Defensive Runs Saved, which is an upgrade over Flores, who is the current starting shortstop. As long as Cabrera keeps the offensive numbers above-average, he should be an upgrade and could make a push to steal the starting job.