The St. Louis Cardinals, apparently dissatisfied with the bat work of rookie shortstop Pete Kozma, are rumored to be talking to the Cleveland Indians about Asdrubal Cabrera, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
Cabrera, 27, isn't a great defensive player. But he's got a nice bat for a shortstop with a career batting average of .276 and as many as 25 home runs hit in a season. But the only time Cabrera reached that total came back in 2011 when he also had 92 runs batted in.
This year, however, Cabrera has posted the worst offensive totals of his career: a .251 batting average with a .312 on base percentage. He's got seven homers and a .421 slugging percentage, slightly better than his career mark of .316 in that department.
According to Olney, the Indians are willing to part with Cabrera, who can be a free agent after next season, because Mike Aviles is capable of playing shortstop every day. But that club expects a "top pitching prospect" in return.
I wonder how they define a top prospect. Because I think most interested observers would think St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak had lost his mind if he dealt Michael Wacha or Carlos Martinez for an incremental upgrade to the best offense in the National League. I'm not sure Mozeliak would be willing to give up Kevin Siegrist, Michael Blazek or Seth Maness.
Does Cleveland consider Tyler Lyons, Keith Butler or Boone Whiting top prospects? Because, if I was in charge, that would be the most I was willing to give up for Cabrera.
I wonder if the Cardinals could find the help the needed in a bigger deal with the White Sox.
I think pale hose shortstop Alexei Ramirez would look better in the St. Louis lineup than Cabrera. Plus Jake Peavy, if he could get healthy, might make a very interesting addition to the Cardinals rotation down the stretch and in the playoffs.