Asdrubal Cabrera May Be a Target for the Royals

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Earlier, it was reported that Omar Infante was on the trade block. This made sense if the Royals were looking to hand the position to Christian Colon, and/or save a few million dollars to allot to another position. However, it turns out that there may be another reason behind such a move. According to Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com, the Kansas City Royals are interested in free agent second baseman/shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.

A two time former All-Star and a winner of a Silver Slugger award in 2011, Cabrera would certainly be an interesting addition to the Royals lineup. A lifetime .268/.330/.409 hitter, Cabrera also has a bit of power, hitting 85 home runs while stealing 72 bases. He makes decent contact, with a 17.1% career strikeout rate and has a decent batting eye. Cabrera has also just turned 29 years old, and is theoretically in the midst of his prime.

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Unlike last season, when the Royals may have paid a premium for Infante after one of his best seasons, they may be able to get a discount on Asdrubal Cabrera. Last season, split between the Indians and the Nationals, Cabrera only produced a .241/.307/.387 batting line, but he did 14 home runs and steal ten bases. That batting average may have been the result of bad luck, as Cabrera managed a .272 batting average on balls in play last year, despite a 23% line drive rate. Cabrera would appear due for a bounce back season.

The biggest question with Cabrera would be whether or not he can play at second consistently. Primarily a shortstop during his career, Cabrera has played 210 games at second. While he may be close to an average shortstop, Cabrera has been fairly good at second, with an above average range factor and fielding percentage. His two defensive runs saved are not much, but he certainly won’t embarrass himself in the field.

If the Royals do manage to trade Omar Infante, Asdrubal Cabrera may be the next domino to fall. He would certainly be an interesting addition, and may help provide some needed pop to the Royals lineup.

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