The news that Dustin Pedroia is likely to be out for the season was surprising to me. Based on what we’d heard from Alex Cora and from Pedroia himself it seemed like the plan was to be back on the field with this special team. Most shocking of all was the words “I’d love to play right now. But I can’t . . . I’m going to be back for good if I let it heal. That’s it. I’ve got to let it heal,” came from Pedroia’s mouth. Pedey is the biggest dirt dog this side of Trot Nixon and for him to admit the year might be lost really put things in perspective.
The Red Sox have accumulated the best record in the MLB while playing without Pedroia in 2018. What this tells me is they don’t necessarily need to make a move, but if they can, they should. We all know that Eduardo Núñez’ defense at the position has been untenable. With yesterday’s news of Rafael Devers’ disabled list stint he will shift over to man that position, one he is much better suited to. That leaves Brock Holt as the second baseman.
Holt at second base isn’t bad by any means. Second base is by far his best defensive position, one at which he has made no errors at this season while also grading out as a plus defender by multiple defensive metrics. The problem with Holt is that his bat is punchless, he’s got a career ISO of .096, and he is most valuable to the team as a utility player. This is where Asdrubal Cabrera comes in.
At 32 years old with just a matter of months left on his contract Cabrera is on pace for one of his best offensive seasons of his career. Heading into the last week before the All-Star break, Cabrera has a .280/.328/.485 slash line with 16 home runs. Although defensively Cabrera isn’t quite as good as Holt, he adds power to an already powerful lineup and gives the team more length. The Mets, while having a bad season, have had him batting in the second spot in the lineup most of the year. Imagine him hitting 7th or 8th for this team?
Why would the Mets do this? Well the Mets suck. Badly. The team is currently 13.5 games out first place and has already experienced a rash of Mets-like injuries. I swear the team just grabs people off the street to man their medical staff. The Mets also happen to have a few other options that they can play at second base to run out the string. Jose Reyes is signed through the remainder of the year and has performed so poorly he is untradeable. The other t logical option is the Mets number ten prospect Luis Guillorme who is enjoying a very solid season at Triple-A Las Vegas.
Since 32-year-old second base rentals aren’t exactly all the rage these days I suspect Cabrera could be had rather inexpensively. As bad as the Mets medical staff has been, their player development machine has been pretty good. Perhaps they would be interested in some of the Red Sox middling pitching prospects to get a deal done? God knows the Sox haven’t been adept at maximizing that talent. If a package of Travis Lakins and Roniel Raudes got it done I sure wouldn’t complain. I doubt it would cost much more than that.
The future of second base for the Red Sox is foggier than it’s been in a long time and this trade represents a Band-Aid solution. For a team that is on pace for 111 wins a Band-Aid solution is just fine. If Pedroia’s graft doesn’t take then the team can address the position in the offseason. In the meantime the team has a World Series to win and adding Cabrera’s bat can lengthen the lineup and sure up the bench with Holt’s addition. This makes all the sense in the world.