It’s no secret that Asdrubal Cabrera‘s days in Cleveland are numbered. At most, he sticks around until the end of the season and then signs elsewhere as the Tribe enters the Francisco Lindor era.
But there’s also a very realistic chance that he’s shipped out of Cleveland before the July 31 trade deadline.
So who wants him?
The table below shows a quick overview of the contenders who realistically could have an interest in acquiring Cabrera within the next few days. I’ve also included my best guess as to who Cabrera would replace, whether the team has short-term or long-term interest in Cabrera’s services and their expected interest in making a deadline deal.
Orioles – The O’s have high hopes for Jonathan Schoop, but he’s been awful this season (.253 OBP) and at age 22 he’s probably better off in the minor leagues right now. Cabrera would strictly be a short term rental and while their interest probably isn’t high, it’s worth mentioning them as a possibility.
Blue Jays – The Jays have already been linked to Cabrera in recent days and it’s easy to see how he would fit into their lineup at second base. The Jays window of opportunity expands beyond the 2014 season, so their interest may be heightened by a desire to talk long-term contract with Cabrera.
Yankees – 36-year-old Brian Roberts is barely playing at a major league level at the plate or in the field. The Yankees could use Cabrera as a rental, but may also have interest in considering him as a long-term solution at either second base or shortstop.
Tigers – The Tigers have a gaping hole at shortstop, currently occupied by Andrew Romine. Normally the Indians wouldn’t trade within the division, but Cabrera would strictly be a rental for the Tigers. Jose Iglesias will return next year, so the Indians don’t have to worry about Cabrera hurting them for years to come. Still, trades within the division are tough, so even if it makes sense there’s a low probability of something happening here.
Athletics – Eric Sogard is a fan favorite, and since he’s cheap and plays quality defense he makes sense for the A’s to hang on to. But the A’s are all-in on 2014, which makes Cabrera an interesting possibility for them.
Mariners – Between Nick Franklin and Brad Miller, the Mariners probably already have their shortstop of the future in the system. But this team is trying to win right now and have been linked to a number of rental players in recent weeks. Cabrera would make sense for the right price.
Braves – The Braves are set at shortstop and Tommy La Stella has done a nice job at second base. But Chris Johnson has been just awful at third, on offense and in the field. Cabrera would be an interesting outside-the-box solution for them in the short term.
Cardinals – The Cards have been linked to Cabrera since last season when they were looking for a long-term solution at shortstop. Jhonny Peralta is now holding it down at short, but the Cards could recreate the Indians’ 2007 double-play combo by adding Cabrera at second. Kolten Wong has been heating up lately however, making this option less likely.
Pirates – Jordy Mercer has been a disappointment, and considering his mediocre minor league stats, maybe his strong 2013 rookie performance was a fluke. The Pirates are clearly interesting in making something happen during this rare window of opportunity, so don’t count them out on making a bold move at the deadline.
Reds – Cabrera would offer the Reds an upgrade at either middle infield position. Phillips probably isn’t going anywhere at the deadline, however, so Cabrera would likely step in at shortstop and could be considered a long-term solution as well.
Giants – The Giants have also been linked to Cabrera (and Mike Aviles) in recent weeks. Both players would be upgrades for San Fran at second base and Cabrera could be a long-term option for them as well.