According to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Tampa Bay Rays have bolstered their infield depth, agreeing to terms with 2B/SS Asdrubal Cabrera.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 30, 2014
The particulars of the deal have yet to be announced, but it’s expected to be a one-year contract. The Rays had reportedly been one of the favorites to land Cabrera, along with the New York Yankees and several other teams, since the beginning of the free agent frenzy. Cabrera will provide a steady, powerful bat to the middle of a lineup that could desperately use the help.
As Rosenthal went on to say, this addition indicates that more transactions are likely to come in the near future, specifically regarding shortstop Yunel Escobar or utility man Ben Zobrist. Zobrist, because of his impending free agency, has already been repeatedly involved in trade rumors, but it appears that Tampa Bay has not been actively looking to trade the two-time All-Star, but listening to the offers in case a team is willing to blow them away. It would also make logical sense to move Escobar, who has struggled to produce and has shown serious character flaws, even though the return would be significantly lighter.
Cabrera brings a solid level of defensive versatility to the Rays. He’s played primarily at shortstop throughout his career, but he’s shown the ability to hold his own at second and third base as well. Depending on what other moves are made, expect Cabrera to get a fair share of starts at both middle infield spots. Cabrera’s best season came back in 2011, when he hit .273, slugged .460, mashed 25 home runs, totaled 92 RBI, and posted a 3.6 fWAR. Although he’s had some inconsistencies since then, the 29-year-old is surely still a valuable piece at Tampa Bay’s disposal.