Do we smell the seeds of a blockbuster?
I highly doubt it, but on the heels of last night’s report that Cleveland is listening on Justin Masterson comes this from Jon Morosi:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 10, 2013
Now, on the surface this certainly looks intriguing for a club like the Jays who need help in the rotation and the middle infield, but I’m not so sure. Cabrera, though he played at second base more than any other position in his first full season, back in 2008, and acquitted himself fairly well by UZR, and especially by DRS, in over 1300 innings from 2007 through 2009, but he hasn’t played there since. He also has never earned high marks by those metrics at shortstop– a trend that seems to have been worsening in recent years.
He also is coming off a poor year at the plate, with a sub-.300 OBP and a wRC+ of just 95. Not necessarily great second base production, but not even that bad, at his worst– and with a .263/.324/.430 line over his last three seasons combined, there’s still some upside there. Especially with the off-season’s now-familiar refrain of “at least better than Goins” in mind.
He’s owed $10-million for this season, and will then become a free agent, which is pretty much the same as could be said for Masterson– and, as I also said on that front, one can’t help but wonder if they’re just feeling out the market in case Masterson and Cabrera become sought-after rentals in July.
Even if they’re serious, there isn’t exactly an obvious fit in terms of lining up with the Jays. Cleveland has a shortstop of the future in Francisco Lindor, but he’s only played 21 games at double-A, so it’s not like he’s exactly ready to step in and contribute. And it’s not like the Jays have anything that realistically be expected to help them there in the meantime– I mean, a serious club wouldn’t actually think of starting Maicer Izturis or Ryan Goins, right?
A third team could be involved maybe, or… y’know… I don’t know. It’s the same basic drill as on all these rumours– maybe something could work? I don’t know. The pieces on Cleveland’s end sure look intriguing, at least. Especially if their closeness to free agency lowers the cost– but I kind of suspect that would be a contentious issue, and would probably make a deal harder to forge, rather than easier.
So… there’s that.