The Mets have been scouting Diamondbacks infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports. Cabrera would be a pure rental pickup for New York, as the veteran signed a one-year, $1.75MM contract with the D’Backs last winter.
This lack of long-term control makes Cabrera one of the likelier players to be dealt prior to the July 30 trade deadline, as the Diamondbacks are clearly in seller mode and are willing to move (almost) anyone on the roster. Cabrera is also a known quantity for the Mets, having played in Queens from 2016 until July 2018, when he was sent to the Phillies as part of another deadline swap.
Cabrera enjoyed a lot of success in his previous stint in a Mets uniform, and he has continued to be an above-average player even in his age-35 season, despite missing three weeks due to a hamsting strain. Entering today’s action, Cabrera has hit .251/.348/.402 with five homers over 210 plate appearances, good for a 106 wRC+ and OPS+.
However, the Statcast numbers are less appealing, as Cabrera isn’t making much hard contact and he has only a .304 xwOBA, well below his .322 wOBA. Cabrera’s 12.4% walk rate is the largest of his 15-year MLB career, though that might have more to do with pitchers avoiding Cabrera within a lackluster D’Backs lineup than any particular newfound patience at the plate.
The Mets wouldn’t necessarily need Cabrera to be an everyday contributor, as their troubled third base picture will eventually start to get more clarity once Jonathan Villar and J.D. Davis return from the injured list. Villar is expected to be activated tonight and Davis is on a minor league rehab assignment, though since Davis is a defensive question mark at best at third base, the Mets could prefer to deploy him in the outfield. This would open the door for Cabrera and Villar to share time as a switch-hitting platoon at third base, and provide depth all over the infield. A shortstop for much of his career, Cabrera has played all three other infield spots almost exclusively since the start of the 2019 season.