It’s official, the announcement came today that the Indians have signed Orlando Cabrera to a one-year contract.
This addition adds some stability to an Indians infield that looked a bit bleak in terms of quality available for filling the voids. This move also gives Jason Kipnis more time to develop in Columbus. In Cabrera the Indians are getting a capable bat to add to the lineup, a veteran who has playoff experience and two Gold Glove Awards, a solid defender in the field and maybe most importantly someone who will be able to mentor this young Indians lineup.
The transition to second base is one I don’t see being difficult for Cabrera. He’s 36- years old, he’ll have less ground to cover, shorter throws to make and a capable partner across the diamond at short.
However, with this signing I can’t help but think that the Indians will offer Cabrera up as trade bait come July, especially if Kipnis is shows he is ready to take the step to the majors. I can’t say that I disagree with this idea either. And the end of the season, Cabrera will be a free agent and if he has a good season, and the going rate is high, the Tribe might be able to squeeze a couple prospects out of it.
But forget about July right now. It’s February and there seems to be more and more reasons to be optimistic about this season.