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Giants get Orlando Cabrera from Indians

Jul 30, 2011, 11:05 PM EDT

Orlando Cabrera Getty Images

The Indians are definitely doing more adding than subtracting at the moment, but they’ve decided Orlando Cabrera is expendable and they traded him to the Giants for outfielder Thomas Neal.

Danny Knobler of and Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle had the initial reports.

Cabrera had hit just .244/.277/.321 while serving as the Indians’ primary second baseman for most of the first four months.  He had recently lost time to rookie Jason Kipnis, and he figured to see his role scaled back further.  With Cabrera out of the picture, the Indians could bring back either Cord Phelps or Luis Valbuena from the minors.

The Giants will likely shift Cabrera back to his natural position of shortstop.  He probably won’t be an everyday guy, but he should be able to help out, particularly against lefties in a job share with Mike Fontenot.  One wonders if Miguel Tejada will be released to make room for him.

Neal, 23, is a fringe prospect.  He had a big year at Single-A San Jose in 2009, but he posted a .799 OPS in Double-A in 2010 and a .761 mark in the PCL so far this year.  He projects as a fourth outfielder at best in the majors, and he probably won’t make a significant contribution this year.

  1. tomemos - Jul 30, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Giants fan here who thinks this is a TERRIBLE trade.

    • tomemos - Jul 30, 2011 at 11:42 PM

      I don’t take it personally, but I am curious as to who the thumbs-down are coming from.

      • robertterwilliger - Jul 31, 2011 at 12:17 AM

        orlando cabrera is thumbs-downing you for every handshake he knows.

      • clydeserra - Jul 31, 2011 at 12:47 AM

        yeah, I don’t know where the thumbs down are coming from, this is a horrible trade.

        I love orlando cabrerra as a player on your team to root for, but he is no longer a useful baseball player.

      • rogagrant1 - Jul 31, 2011 at 4:15 AM

        Tomemos, any trade that involves Thomas Neal should not be labeled “terrible.” In no reality does that guy rate an adjective that strong.

        G’s are going for it and only had to give up a fringe prospect for a solid MLB vet and you guys are bitching?

        This is a good trade for the Giants (and I’m a fan). Neal is just another in a long line of mediocre Giants “prospects” who hit well in the minors but couldn’t produce in the big leagues. John Bowker, Todd Linden, Lance Niekro come to mind.

        We’ve seen it at pitcher, too. A lot of people bitched when we dealt Tim Alderson and now he’s a mess, can’t find his velocity.

      • tomemos - Jul 31, 2011 at 12:08 PM

        Acquiring Beltran is “going for it.” I’m in favor of that. I don’t see how acquiring Orlando freaking Cabrera is “going for it.”

        Maybe–probably–Neal will never be a big leaguer. But even if not, there’s still a negative to picking up Cabrera: he’s not an improvement over Crawford, but because Bochy loves veterans he’ll get lots and lots of games to prove himself, event hough he stinks. When you get a player you’re not only getting the player’s pure value; you’re also getting the way that player is going to be used. The way Cabrera will be used could very well hurt the Giants.

    • Mark - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:54 AM

      On the other hand, any team acquiring Cabrera should be considered terrible. He can’t play defense and he can’t hit, so giving up anything for him, even if it’s Neal, is pretty sad.

      Cabrera’s hitting…well he’s not really hitting, but when it’s his turn in the lineup he has a 244/277/321 line. For the record, he was a terrible defensive 2B this year, and now moving to SS that’ll be even worse. You could probably make the argument he’d be worse then Tejada at this point in his career.

      Oh, and just for the record, Giants SS’s have posted a 577 OPS. Cabrera’s got a 598 OPS for the season. So he’s not an upgrade defensively, or offensively.

      But yeah, you gave up Thomas Neal, a fringe prospect as you suggest, for someone who is at best equal to what you already had on the roster and at worst a downgrade.

      Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned he’s below replacement level according to Fangraphs. And you gave up a fringe prospect for him. Terrible trade sums it up quite well.

  2. granted42 - Jul 31, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    The Giants don’t need to be adding more weak hitters, they need to fire Hensley Meulens, and get a hitting coach who did better than .220 lifetime in the Majors. It’s only been three games, but it appears Beltran is fitting in nicely with this offensive juggernaut.

    • tomemos - Jul 31, 2011 at 12:04 PM

      It’s not Meulens’ fault, it’s Sabean’s. (Beltran will turn it around. At his age he couldn’t possibly be screwed up by one coach.)

  3. rsox3fan - Jul 31, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    Me thinks your getting the thumbs down from Tejada fans,maybe.Hey, Orlando Cabrera was the glue for a Redsox world series win,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,ok maybe not.

  4. citynative - Jul 31, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    If your solution is to fire the hitting coach in professional baseball then you dont know what your talking about. Even a great chef can only do as well as the quality of his ingredients. or to put it another way… you cant make chicken salad out of chicken —-.

  5. goawaydog - Jul 31, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    flat out boring … this is Tejada part deux. Leave the Crawford kid in who everyone is supporting and is dynamic in the field even though he can’t ht a wiffle ball. now we have another statue at SS who isn’t going to put any pop in the lineup.

  6. TheBlindUmp - Jul 31, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    this trade is nothing, not bad, not good. Sabean is fishing, mixing it up, seeing if a little shake up can create some magic. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride; we’re in first place! Go Giants!

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