NL East Notes: Asdrubal, Amaro, Marlins

Asdrubal Cabrera’s strong start for the Mets is building an interesting test case in free agency, writes Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The 32-year-old is the type of player who was immensely devalued last offseason — a longtime solid but not star-caliber regular on the wrong side of 30 — but is also in the midst of perhaps his best start to any season. Cabrera is batting .329/.376/.552, and I’d add that dating back to last September, he’s actually slashing .345/.398/.573 in 260 PAs. Cabrera has upped his line-drive rate quite a bit in 2018, but his fly-ball, ground-ball, strikeout and walk rates are all in line with his career marks. The uptick in liners and hard contact does prompt xwOBA to view his early work favorably, but it’s not clear he can maintain that pace. A .383 average on balls in play is a huge factor in Cabrera’s surge, and that doesn’t appear especially sustainable.

That said, Cabrera looks to have plenty left in the tank after a solid two-plus years with the Mets. Davidoff, though, points to peers like Neil Walker and Eduardo Nunez in suggesting that the market hasn’t been favorable to Cabrera’s skill set and wonders if he’ll be able to top the two-year, $18.25MM deal he initially landed from the Mets.

More from the division…

  • Former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro (now the Mets’ first base coach) chatted with current Phillies GM Matt Klentak when the Mets played the Phils at Citizens Bank Park over the weekend, Amaro tells Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Amaro notes that he already knew Klentak somewhat from Klentak’s days with the Orioles and Angels as well as in the Commissioner’s Office, and the former GM expresses some appreciation for Klentak’s acknowledgment of the trades he made before being dismissed. As Salisbury notes, a significant portion of the Phils’ roster was drafted or acquired under Amaro’s watch near the end of his run. Amaro also caught up with rookie manager Gabe Kapler and discussed Kapler’s rough first week on the job. “I told him, ‘Hey, just like any other place, and maybe more so than others, if you guys keep playing well the fans will really appreciate it and things will turn around,’” says Amaro. The former GM speaks fondly of the city and of Citizens Bank Park, noting that Philadelphia will always feel like a home to him.
  • The Marlins had some injury scares on Sunday when both Brian Anderson and Miguel Rojas exited the game early, but Joe Frisaro of writes that X-rays on each player came back negative. Anderson felt some discomfort in his right middle finger when hitting a fly-out in the sixth inning, he revealed, while the source of Rojas’ injury was far more obvious: he was plunked on the left wrist by a 93.9 mph fastball from lefty Sam Freeman. Skipper Don Mattingly acknowledged that there’s no guarantee either will immediately rejoin the lineup Tuesday following today’s off-day, but it doesn’t sound at present as if either will require a trip to the disabled list.

from MLB Trade Rumors


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