In his last nine games, Mets infielder Asdrubal Cabrera is batting .500 with six doubles and just one strikeout during 25 plate appearances. He's batting .387 since Aug. 25.
"He's really swinging well right now," Mets manager Terry Collins said after Wednesday night's loss to the Cubs. "He's a good hitter, he's a good baseball player. He's a knowledgeable guy, he's on top of the game. You watch balls in the dirt he seems he gets as good a jump as anybody off the bases."
Prior to his current hot streak, Cabrera hit just .262 during the preceding 51 games, during which he was put at second base for the first time since 2014.
Cabrera reacted to the position switch by telling reporters he would prefer to be traded. However, shortly after, he became open to the switch when realizing it would increase his value to teams interested in possibly acquiring him in trade.
The Mets can retain Cabrera by picking up the $8.5 million option on his contract for 2018. Or, they can decline the option and make him a free agent.
"I think there was a time when he was a little upset with the status and that might have taken a little bit of the starch out of him for a while, but I think he realizes he has to get back and ready to play and help the club and that's what he's done," Collins added. "He's played very well at third, he's played very well at second and now he's swinging the bat. I think he's certainly, as people watch and try to analyze what he is, he's a guy that can help you win baseball games. His versatility right now is really, really important."
The 31-year-old Cabrera, who spent time on the disabled list in 2016 with a knee injury, missed time on two occasions in 2017 with a thumb injury.
Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me): In the event the Mets decide to spend more than budgeted for 2018, picking up Cabrera's option would seem like a no-brainer. However, if they're going to play it tight, there are going to be other areas where his $8.5 million will be needed.
Money aside, though, he's very much the type of player I expect they'll be looking for to play third base, which is someone that can play multiple positions, but hit like an everyday player. He's also familiar with the market, he is close with Amed Rosario and Yoenis Cespedes (both of whom will be here next year), and he'd be back for just one year (as opposed to needing to give a multiyear deal to a similar player on the open market).
It may seem foolish to simply repeat the same player, but (assuming the Mets spend to get better at other positions) if Cabrera is the right fit he's the right fit...