The Mets have officially announced their two-year deal with IF Asdrubal Cabrera. The deal will include a third-year team option, the team said.
The deal, which is pending a physical, will include a third-year team option.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the deal will guarantee Cabrera $18.5 million total (Dec. 9).
Cabrera will earn $8.25 million in 2016 and 2017. His 2018 team option would be worth $8.25 million, and the Mets have the option to buy it out for $2 million, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan (Dec. 12).
According to Ken Rosenthal, citing team sources, the Mets wanted to build infield depth and will use Cabrera primarily at shortstop, but will also use him at second base and third base.
Cabrera, 30, had a .265/.315/.430 batting line last season for the Rays, primarily playing shortstop. He hit 15 home runs and drove in 58 runs last season.
The Mets traded for 2B Neil Walker on Wednesday.
Cabrera is not perfect, but he fits the Mets well enough for what they need. He eventually took a one-year deal last winter, when the Mets had a bit of interest. In the end, they passed and determined Wilmer Flores was a better bet, but they kept tabs on him deep in to the offseason.
He struggled during the first half of last season, but got himself together after the All-Star break. In the second half, he struck out less, hit with more power and played better than expected in the field. Basically, after a rough 18 months, he finally looked like the player he was in 2011 and 2012, which is a guy that plays slightly below-average defense, but makes up for it by driving the ball hard and for occasional power.
He's on par with Flores, so I'm not sure what this team has in store. It's possible Cabrera starts at shortstop, opposite newly-acquired Walker, with Flores in a utility role. Or, Cabrera could be the utility guy with Flores at short. Or, maybe this marks the end of Flores, and the Mets trade him with Zack Wheeler like they attempted to do last summer (in the failed Carlos Gomez deal).
The point is, Cabrera gives the Mets options, depending on what's next. And, for roughly $12 million on next year's payroll, the Mets picked up two every-day middle infielders that no their positions. Nice work, Mets...