A strange situation unfolded Tuesday morning at the MLB Urban Youth Academy, which has become the Texas Rangers’ off-season workout hub.
During a group session with reporters, word broke that the Rangers have an agreement with veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to play third base this season. Practicing just behind the group was rookie Patrick Wisdom, who was in line for solid playing time at third.
With the Ken Rosenthal tweet revealed to Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, and Daniels knowing full well what was going on, he still wouldn’t confirm the deal. That’s his policy, and by golly, he’s sticking to it.
And that’s fine, though strange in this instance. But sources later confirmed that Cabrera is coming to plug a gap created by the retirement of Adrian Beltre and the trade of Jurickson Profar and Wisdom might not be quite ready to fill it.
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“I don’t have any comment on specific guys right now,” Daniels said. “Ideally, we’d like to add someone to come in and play third base but also provide some versatility around the infield.”
The deal is for one year and $5 million, and Cabrera gives the Rangers a solid switch-hitting bat with 20-homer pop and the ability to play across the infield. The 33-year-old will be playing his 13th MLB season.
Cabrera hit 23 homers last season between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, two off his career-high. He played 90 games at second place for the Mets but played shortstop and third for the Phillies after being dealt ahead of the trade deadline.