by Paul West
The Mets–as suggested by many, including yours truly–decided to go for it at the trade deadline, and they’ve gone on their first legitimate hot streak since early in the year. After a 13-2 blowout win in Pittsburgh, they’ve moved into a three-way tie in the loss column, with the struggling Miami Marlins coming to town while the teams in front of them continue to play each other. Unfortunately, Robinson Cano–just as he was starting to finally heat up–pulled up with a strained hamstring, leaving the Mets with a hole in the middle of both their defense and their lineup. Luis Guillorme has already been removed from his game with Syracuse, making it seem he’s the likely replacement; and defensively, he’s not a bad choice, given his ability to capably play three infield positions. Adeiny Hechavarria is fast, and able to provide solid defense at both middle infield positions. Unfortunately, neither player is likely to provide much offense, and their insertion could break the rhythm of an offense that’s been hotter than usual of late. Dilson Herrera has flashed some power and athleticism, but has struggled to hit consistently at the major league level.
There’s another option some are throwing into the conversation, which might be the best move available: signing Asdrubal Cabrera, who was recently designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers.
Mets fans fondly remember Cabrera’s contributions to the 2016 playoff run, most notably his September 22nd 11th-inning walkoff home run (and the iconic celebration which followed). Cabrera has proven he can play in the New York spotlight; he has a knack for big moments, like the aforementioned; he has legitimate power when he locks in at the plate; he can serviceably play multiple infield positions; and his switch-hitting ability would let Mickey Calloway plug him into various parts of the lineup. He seemed rejuvenated by his first tenure in New York, batting .280 in both 2016 and 2017 with 30 doubles in each season.
Asdrubal Cabrera would add a veteran presence, along with versatility and a potential morale boost, to a youthful team that’s finding its stride. In a season where gambles have begun to pay off, this is another one worth taking.