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Twins Trade Rumors: Orlando Cabrera

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Looking past 2009.

It's old news by now, but here's what Ron Gardenhire had to say about Athletic's shorstop Orlando Cabrera:

"I'm not allowed to talk about players, but yes I like Cabrera. It's a direct question. I can answer a direct question. I think he's a great player."

Not that this is anything new, but managers do have a certain pull when it comes to which players a front office is going to target at this time of year. Under normal circumstances I'd say that acquiring a guy like Cabrera shouldn't be too expensive of an ordeal in terms of prospects: he's old for a middle infielder, he doesn't hit particularly well and his defense at short has been borderline miserable according to his UZR/150. But looking at his projected Elias ranking, Cabrera currently classifies as a Type-A free agent.

This means we need to consider a couple of different things:

  • Should the Twins choose to acquire Cabrera, their compensation to the A's would have to be strong enough to off-set the two picks they'd get in the off-season, would Cabrera decline arbitration and sign elsewhere. There's no guarantee it would happen that way, but at this point the Twins would be required to pay like it would happen.
  • Cabrera is known for strong second halves. So, he's likely to actually be a Type-A at the end of 2009. So there would be the possibility of the Twins picking up some compensation draft picks this winter.
  • None of the above actually changes what kind of guy Cabrera has been this year for his body of work: a light-hitting, under-achieving shortstop.

That Type-A status is a big thing, and it gives the Twins both reasons to pursue him (the potential draft picks and the strong second half) and reasons to be wary (compensation and who he could be based on this season and age, not his history).

2009 - Orlando Cabrera 96 391 38 108 23 0 4 41 23 37 9 4 .276 .313 .366