Cabrera willing to play third base if Mets need him there
NEW YORK (AP) — Asdrubal Cabrera is willing to shift to third base for the New York Mets if David Wright gets hurt again.
Cabrera’s third base experience is limited to 11 games in the minor leagues and one in the majors — he shifted there for the 12th and 13th innings of his big league debut on Aug. 8, 2007.
“I’m going to play whatever they need me to,” Cabrera said during a conference call Thursday, six days after finalizing an $18.5 million, two-year contract. “If you can play shortstop, you can play second or third. I think that shortstop is harder.”
Wright, New York’s third baseman since 2004, was limited to 38 regular-season games this year because of a hamstring injury and spinal stenosis.
Cabrera gets $8.25 million in each of the next two seasons, and the Mets have an $8.25 million option for 2018 with a $2 million buyout.
He is expected to form a new middle infield with second baseman Neil Walker, acquired from Pittsburgh for left-hander Jon Niese.
A 30-year-old switch hitter, Cabrera batted .265 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs for the Tampa Bay Rays last season. But over the last three seasons he was last among big league shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating and next-to-worst in Fielding Runs Above Average, according to Fangraphs.com.
Cabrera said he was impressed by the Mets’ run to the World Series this year, where they lost to Kansas City.
“They’re a really good team,” he said. “It’s a great city play baseball, and they are winning.”