Making a case for or against Everth Cabrera …
Now that Chris Burke has been traded to the Seattle Mariners, it’s safe to assume that Rule 5 pick-up, 22-year-old Everth Cabrera will make the 25-man roster as a backup infielder as will Edgar Gonzalez.
So … do you like this move?
For me, I’m a little torn. Here’s why:
The case for Cabrera: Upside, upside, upside. He’s 22, has speed (something the Padres have very little of) and pegs as an above-average defender at some point. Plus, the Padres have no upper-level shortstop prospects on the horizon. And, if the team is going to struggle, you can probably get away with keeping him, hiding him, whatever on the roster. Manager Bud Black can use him in games as a pinch-runner. Remember, the guy stole 73 bases a year ago. Keep him on the roster this year and next year, as a 23-year-old, send him to Double-A or Triple-A.
The case against Cabrera: In this day and age, and especially in the National League, you need every one of your roster spots. Double-switches, pinch-hitting for the pitcher, etc. You get it. I’m not sure Cabrera, who hasn’t played a lick above the Single-A level, can hold his own (not should he be expected to) at the Major League level just yet. There’s no way to work out a deal with Colorado, as they hated to lose him in the first place. He sticks or he’s gone. Cabrera’s defense (eight errors) has been iffy this spring. He’ll make some very nice plays on tough balls but will struggle on the routine stuff. Errors have been made out of aggression, which is fine by me.
So now it’s your turn. Keep him or send him back? What’s better for the Padres in 2009 and beyond?