Miguel Cabrera may be available

Peter Gammons of ESPN mentions that the third base market may be improving quite a bit, as sources say that the Marlins are looking to trade big bat Miguel Cabrera this offseason.

Miguel Cabrera at the batOne look at Cabrera and you’ll see that his bat is not the only thing that’s big: the guy has put on a ton of weight since entering the league. That could mean that his days of playing third base are numbered. The Fielding Bible, newly released for 2007, agrees, as he was rated the worst defensive third baseman in the majors over the past three seasons. He’s really a better fit in left field or first base going forward. Still, he is one of the major league’s most talented hitters at just 24 years old, hitting .313/.388/.542 and averaging 31 HR in 5 big league seasons (162 game average).

The native Venezuelan earned $7.5 million this past year, and the Marlins will be stretched as tight as Miguel’s pants if they keep him for 2008 because of salary arbitration (he’s got two more years before free agency). They are looking for a top pitching prospect as part of a package in return for the third baseman. The Yankees have an option here, as they are facing starting Wilson Betemit or Robinson Cano at third this year, if they can’t pry Mike Lowell away from the Red Sox. It would likely cost them lefty Philip Hughes, which Brian Cashman can’t be enthusiastic about.

As far as the Red Sox are concerned, acquiring Cabrera would likely cost Clay Buchholz and another top prospect. You could think of Cabrera as an eventual replacement for Manny Ramirez; maybe he could man first base, and Kevin Youkilis could slide back over to third base for the time being. A very tough call, as no one wants to see Buchholz go, and this would mean losing Youk’s glove over at first AND Lowell’s glove at third in the same offseason. Because Cabrera is so young, however, this is a deal worth considering.


11 Responses to Miguel Cabrera may be available

  1. FireDannyAinge says:

    No Thanks. I say we keep the World Champions like we should have done in 04 minus Pedro


  2. redsoxtalk says:

    FDA, retooling and getting younger really helped us after 2004. You’d have re-signed Millar, Mueller and Bellhorn? There needs to be a good balance of experience and youth, and having some turnover for a team is good.

    The reason I think we should at least consider this one is, how do you replace Manny’s bat after 2008? With the guy obviously breaking down more and more (he’s already 35), who is the right-handed threat in our lineup when he sits? Mike Lowell is a good hitter, but he’s no Manny. Do we pick up those really expensive options for a guy who only plays 130 games a year? Cabrera is a true right-handed power hitter who can hit .300 with good bat control. I *am* concerned about Cabrera’s weight problems, though. What’s to stop him from becoming a DH in a few years? Players with weght issues tend to decline faster, too, though he’s got at least 6-7 years of good hitting left.

  3. mstory123 says:

    It’s simple. See if Lowell will take a fat two year deal, with an option year. If he takes Steinbrenner money, then he wasn’t a Red Sox at heart to begin with.


  4. Pat says:

    Great post. There is a huge thread on this at SoSH, and you basically summed it all up.

    I guess it all comes down to weather or not Lowell ends up back at 3rd. If he doesn’t I would feel a little exasperated. Cabrera and Rodriguez seem like very risky expensive deals. A-Rods desired deal of 10/30 seems unreal, and I doubt anyone would do it. I think I could accept it if the Sox signed him to 7/27. I would prefer that to Cabrera.

  5. redsoxtalk says:

    Hey Pat, now that Schilling’s out of the way, Theo can concentrate on Lowell. I’m sure he’s trying to feel things out at the Baseball meetings as well, just in case he finds a deal.. But my best guess is that the Sox sign Lowell for 3/45 or something. Definitely overpriced, but it sure beats $350M, eh? :)

    Cabrera would be nice in that he’d be controlled money for 2 years; probably $11M in 2008 and around $14-15M in 2009. But you’re talking about parting with Buchholz and two other top prospects, and that’s a VERY steep price to pay for someone we don’t absolutely need right now.

  6. J-Man says:

    I’ve been thinking “What if Manny walks after his contract ends ?” The Sox would be in tough shape given that with all the success of the farm system they haven’t produced a power bat since Mo Vaughn and Phil Plantier in the early nineties (Shea doesn’t really cut it) Adding Cabrera would infuse a major injection of pure “Slugg” If Manny walks Ortiz will get “intentional walked” Lowell is 34 Miguel is 24. In 5 years Lowell is in the Booth and Miguel is MVP. Miguel can be the best in the game perennially. Lowell won’t put up another season like ’07. But it was a season to remember.

  7. redsoxtalk says:

    Hey J-Man, I think the question is what are Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and another prospect going to be in 5 years vs what Cabrera’s going to be? He is definitely MVP material, but Buchholz looks like potential Cy material, and he and Lester are at minimum salary for two more years, while Cabrera is getting pricey pretty fast. He could be nursing bad knees from carrying all that extra weight in 5 years. And he can’t play no third base, not by Lowell standards or even Youk standards.

    I wouldn’t panic about losing Ramirez’s bat just yet, these things have a way of working themselves out. Either we will go to a more balanced lineup to spread out the production, or we will sign/trade for a bat. Cabrera’s definitely an outstanding bat, but there are lots of other productive players out there too.

  8. J-Man says:

    If it takes Clay, Lester and another then I don’t pull the trigger. Clay looks great but is unproven and what’s up with getting shutdown late this season? I know he’s young but still. We have Beckett, DiceK, and Lester as the nucleus of our starters.

    I’d put Cabrera at 1st send Youk to 3rd. If Manny leaves put Cabrera in left depending on who’s available in the market at the time.

    Who has Cabrera hit along side in the past 4 seasons? He still has broken 100 rbi and 300 total bases in each full season he’s played from ages 21-24! Pujols-ian. The weight issue? Look at Youk a few years ago. Papi has been doing fine at his weight.

  9. Kasem says:

    Miguel Cabrera could be a great hitter. Red Sox could trade players like Brandon Moss and alot of other prospects. like the yankees were trying to teach Mike Lowell 1st base, red sox could teach cabrera short stop because thats were they need the help.

  10. redsoxtalk says:

    J-Man, Buchholz was shut down because he went over his innings limit for this year. Research has shown than for most pitchers (there are always exceptions, after all), it’s not safe to increase your total innings pitched (minors + majors) by more than 30 in one season over the previous season. Once you do that, your chance of injury the following year is really high.

    Kasem, Cabrera is a great bat, no question. And I appreciate your thought about wanting to plug in Cabs at short, but it is generally accepted that SS is a harder position to field than 3B, and he isn’t even average at third as is. Cabrera can realistically only play 3B, 1B or LF.

  11. Pingback: Hot Stove 2010: But what about Miguel Cabrera? « Red Sox Talk

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