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Indians finalize $16.5 million deal with Asdrubal Cabrera

Apr 4, 2012, 11:19 AM EST

Asdrubal Cabrera Getty Images

Asdrubal Cabrera and the Indians have agreed to a two-year, $16.5 million contract extension, with an official announcement today that he’ll make $6.5 million in 2013 and $10 million in 2014.

Cabrera was already under contract for $4.55 million this season after avoiding arbitration with a one-year deal and would have been arbitration eligible for the final time in 2013, so a two-year contract pre-pays for that and also buys out his first year of free agency in 2014.

Cabrera hit .273 with 25 homers in 151 games last season after hitting .284 with a grand total of just 18 homers in his first 387 games. However, his .794 OPS last year wasn’t that far out of line from his previous .741 career mark and at age 26 he’s right in the middle of his prime.

Obviously the Indians are betting that Cabrera’s out of nowhere power breakout last season was legitimate, or at least suggests he’ll maintain more power than he showed prior to 2011, but even if that proves to be a one-year fluke his defense and on-base skills are plenty valuable too.

Cabrera gets a big chunk of guaranteed money, the Indians delay his free agency for another year, and he can still hit the open market as a 29-year-old.

  1. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Obviously the Indians are betting that Cabrera’s out of nowhere power breakout last season was legitimate

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, this guy’s numbers scream “regression”. Joey Bats he is not.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Also worth noting: his dWAR last year was -0.7 and HE has gotten worse defensively every season since 2007.

  2. Lukehart80 - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Cabrera was almost as valuable in 2009, despite hitting only 6 HR.

    His HR total will almost certainly drop this year, but there’s a good chance his AVG and OBP will rise, as both were below their previous level last season. He had the lowest BAPIP of his career, so there should be an uptick there.

    Unless you think he’s going to be only half the player he was last year, if Cabrera stays healthy, this extension will work out for the Indians.

  3. Kevin Gillman - Apr 4, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Even if his HR numbers regress, he still is a solid hitter, and can drive in runs. He’s hit .300 before, so there is nothing wrong with Cabrera hitting .284 15 HRs/75 RBIs. With a healthy Choo, and Santana having another season can certainly make up for the 10 HRs lost, and then some.

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