It wasn’t often under Sandy Alderson’s watch that the Mets signed a player to a multi-year deal and had it turn out well, but Asdrubal Cabrera was a downright bargain from the time he was signed right up until the day he was traded. And the fact that he was still valuable enough to net a pretty decent minor league arm in a trade as a rental was icing on the cake.
Coming off a pair of seasons in which he hit very well, Cabrera had somewhat reluctantly and awkwardly given up the starting gig at shortstop by the end of the 2017 season. But with his option picked up after that season—an obviously good move at the time—and Todd Frazier signed to play third base on an everyday basis, Cabrera was slotted in for the starting gig at second base. And while he wasn’t going to win any awards for his defense out there, he was sure-handed enough to make it play when taking into account the way he was hitting.
Having previously set a career high in wRC+ with a 120 in 2016 and followed it up with a 112 in 2017, he was at his very best in his last several months with the Mets. In 407 plate appearances, he hit .277/.329/.488 with 18 home runs and a 124 wRC+, and he was one of just a few players who could say they were a constant, productive presence in the Mets’ lineup over that span of time. At the time he was traded to the Phillies, he had 2.2 fWAR and 1.4 bWAR.
In the end, Cabrera earned $24.75 million over the course of three seasons, a bargain for the type of production he provided. And the aforementioned minor league arm, Franklyn Kilomé, made for a great parting gift. There probably isn’t a scenario in which Cabrera would return over the winter, especially since Amed Rosario and especially Jeff McNeil looked so good over the last couple of months of the season, but his performance during his time in Queens should be remembered fondly.