The Baltimore Orioles have been in desperate need of a lead off man since losing Nick Markakis this off season. They may have found their man.
Everth Cabrera has agreed to a one-year deal worth approximately $2.4 million, right in line with his 2014 salary with the San Diego Padres.
Cabrera, 28, is the legitimate lead off threat that Baltimore needs. Since coming into the league in 2009 he’s swiped 136/174 bases (a 78% success rate.) He’s averaging 44 stolen bases per season but has only eclipsed 100 games in two of his six season in the Majors. Roughly 50% of his Major League starts have been from the lead off position tallying a respectable .247/.315/.316 slash line.
Cabrera led the National League is stolen bases in 2012 with 44 and was on pace to do the same in 2013 with 37 when his season was cut short due to a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.
A switch hitter from Nicaragua, he figures to compete for play time at second base with Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty. He’s bound to get a couple of relief starts at his natural short stop position, but few at best with All-Star and three-year Gold Glove winner J.J. Hardy already filling the slot.
Cabrera had a very down year in 2014 having spent two stints on the DL and appearing in only 90 games for the Padres. His .232 batting average and 18 stolen bases from last season leaves a lot to be desired, but this also makes him a low risk/high potential move for the Orioles. As for Cabrera, a fresh start in a new city can’t hurt either.