The latest rumor involving the Cardinals is that the club is said to be interested in Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera as a potential replacement for aging and injured middle infielder Rafael Furcal.
On it's face, it seems like this could be a good move because Cabrera has been one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball over the past few years. As recently as 2011 he hit 23 homers and drove in 93 runs while stealing 17 bases in 22 tries.
Heck yeah, I want that guy in the St. Louis lineup.
The guy I'm not sure I want in the line-up is the 2012-13 version of Cabrera. The one who made 19 errors last season to lead AL shortstops and who has been criticized for having his range shrink over the last two seasons because of his questionable conditioning.
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There is a reason that the Tribe picked up former Red Sox starting shortstop Mike Avilies, a guy who really can't match up to Cabrera's offensive numbers. And that reason is that Cabrera's play is getting worse while his salary is going up at a rapid rate.
According to a column on the Cleveland Plain Dealer's website, Cabrera is set to make $6.5 million in 2013 and $10 million in 2014. That's an awful lot of money to spend on a player of questionable reputation.
As exciting as it would be to add another big bat the the St. Louis batting order, I'm not sure I would part with big time prospects to land a guy who is thought of as being in decline if I was the Cardinals general manager. I know I wouldn't give up a top young arm to get him. Maybe I'd part with a born to play in the American League slugger like Matt Adams -- especially since Cleveland doesn't have a big bat at first base. The Indians might be considering using Cabrera there if they keep him to minimize his range issues, so it's a natural trade fit.