Isn’t it amazing how Orlando Cabrera always ends up playing in the postseason? Every October I turn on the TV and there I see Cabrera playing shortstop for a team contending for the World Series. However, it seems that no team ever wants Cabrera to stick around.
Cabrera has been on six teams in the last six years. 2010 will make it seven teams in seven years. Cabrera is to baseball what the Klopecks were to the movie The Burbs’.
Cabrera will make his new home in Cincinnati. That’s because the Reds have signed the 35-year-old shortstop to a one-year, $4 million contract. There is also a $3 million option for 2011.
Cabrera was deciding between the Reds and Colorado Rockies, but chose the Reds because they gave him an opportunity to play shortstop. The Rockies wanted to move him to second.
While Cabrera isn’t the prototypical top of the order batter because he is a free swinger, he does all the little things to help a team win. He’s durable (played in 150 plus games eight out of the last nine years), a good hit-and-run guy, has led his league in sacrifice flies three out of the last four years, and his teammates love him.
There is a reason why Cabrera is always playing in October.
The signing of Cabrera means that Paul Janish is out of a job. Janish is playing in the wrong era to be a no-hit, great glove shortstop. If we were still in the 70’s or 80’s, then Janish would still be starting in Cincinnati.
But we are in the 2000’s and guys like Janish don’t last long in this day and age. Janish hit just .211, but had a pretty slick 11.7 UZR last year in 90 games with the Reds.
Nothing about Janish’s offensive minor league numbers jumps out, so to see Janish struggle at the major league level is not a surprise. Janish only hit .250 in his final year at Triple-A.
Now just because the Reds signed Cabrera, doesn’t mean they are headed to the playoffs in 2010. Even with Cabrera, the Reds are still a fourth place team next year.
I think if the Reds pick up his option in 2011, then Cabrera will have a chance to return to the postseason with the Reds. I believe the Reds will be a contender in 2011 and be a World Series contender in 2012.
I know its been 20 years for Reds fans, but be patient for just a little longer. You are almost there.
Cabrera will be entering his 14th year in the majors and has a career .275 average with 114 home runs, 197 stolen bases, and a .322 OBP with the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s, and Minnesota Twins.
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