clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Okay, I'll Be The One To Say It

New, 60 comments

A big part of me wants the Angels to trade for Miguel Cabrera.

I know, that sounds really weird. Fans generally aren't real warm to the idea of a hated rival picking up a superstar-level bat to boost the offense, especially when said bat doesn't turn 25 until next April. Cabrera would instantly give LA a West Coast answer to Boston's Ortiz/Ramirez, and that'd be a nightmare for a Mariner pitching staff that had enough trouble getting past Orlando Cabrera.

But here's the thing - Cabrera is a really, really, really bad defensive third baseman. Like, really bad. And he's not getting any better. He has the genes, concentration, and work ethic of a DH, and it shows when he tries to play the field. There's a reason the Marlins were the worst defensive team in the NL by a comfortable margin.

Cabrera doesn't give back most of his offensive production in the field. That would be a silly thing to say, given how great of a hitter he is. But he does give back a lot of it, to the point where he's not the franchise asset he's made out to be (as a 3B). As a DH or 1B, yeah, he's a phenomenal trade target, but that's not what the Angels are looking for. They want a hard-hitting third baseman, and while Cabrera more than fits the mold, he comes with a downside that I don't think many people appreciate.

If the Marlins trade Miguel Cabrera, they're going to get a load of talent in return. From the Angels, you're probably talking about Howie Kendrick, Nick Adenhart, and another one or two valuable young pieces to complete the package (Wood, Morales, Santana, I dunno, whoever). In Mariner terms, you'd be starting your offer with Adam Jones, Brandon Morrow, and some other B-grade prospect like Wlad or Chris Tillman. That's a hefty price to pay for a guy who's almost certain to hit the FA market and land an enormous contract in two years. There's obvious short-term upside, but such a trade would deal a big blow to the Angels' future, which is good news for Seattle. And you have to wonder if that's really worth the overstated upgrade they'd get from Cabrera/Figgins at 3B/2B replacing Figgins/Kendrick (Figgins is not a good defensive player either).

Miguel Cabrera would obviously improve the Angels in 2008 and make them even stronger division favorites than they are today. However, while I haven't worked out all the numbers, I don't think that improvement would be by the magnitude that a lot of people would have you believe, and the trade would seriously deplete LA's stockpile of long-term young talent. Don't be afraid of this happening. It's not as bad as it seems.