Asdrúbal Cabrera signs in Washington
When Starlin Castro signed with the Nationals yesterday, I mentioned that it wouldn’t preclude them from signing Josh Donaldson because they still had a potential open spot on the infield. That may not be true any more. On Saturday, they grabbed another veteran infielder, this time bringing back Asdrúbal Cabrera. This is a one-year deal worth $2.5 million. Cabrera figures to slot into third base now and round out an infield that also includes Castro, Howie Kendrick and Trea Turner with prospect Carter Kieboom serving as depth. Washington did say this will not stop them from signing Donaldson, but you have to think they only make this move if they don’t like their chances on that front. Cabrera is clearly not Donaldson, but he’s a solid enough player and a better alternative than playing Kieboom with no backup plan.
Sox Spin: Nothing really here. Cabrera could have been a second base option and was certainly cheap enough, but he’s also not much of a second baseman at this point in his career.
Craig Stammen re-ups with the Padres
Over the last few years, Craig Stammen has quietly been one of the more productive relievers in the game. After missing all of 2016, he came back in 2017 and over the last three years he’s been at least 20 percent better than league-average by park-adjusted ERA every year with peripherals to match in the last two. He does have a bit of a home run problem, but the righty misses some bats and had pinpoint control, which certainly helps in stressful, late-inning situations. All of that is coming back to the Padres, as Stammen agreed to a two-year deal worth $9 million with a team option for a third year. With Kirby Yates and Drew Pomeranz already in tow, Stammen likely slides in as the third reliever here, which is a very good role for him. This is a solid, solid Padres bullpen.
Sox Spin: It’s easy to say the Red Sox should have signed Stammen to this deal, and I would have liked it if they did. However, A) I’m not sure how his home run rate plays in the AL East compared to the NL West and B) when a player goes back to their longtime team, I just assume that was what they wanted the whole time.