Saturday, April 03, 2004

M's Trade for... Jolbert Cabrera? 

In a move that will surely have many scratching their heads, and others fuming, the M's today traded Aaron Looper and Ryan Ketchner to the Dodgers for utilityman Jolbert (HOLE-Bert, and I'm guessing other bloggers will have fun with that name) Cabrera. Cabrera hit .307/.336/.489 against lefties last year and played every position except catcher.

Cabrera would have to be considered an offensive improvement over Ramon Santiago, and over Willie Bloomquist as well. I'm guessing this means that either Spiezio is going to the DL and Santiago is going to AAA. However, this PI article hints that it may very well mean Bloomquist is headed to the minors.

All in all, it looks like we just got a minor upgrade on Willie Bloomquist at the cost of a middle relief prospect in Looper, and a young unheralded pitcher in Ketchner. Not the trade we bloggers were looking for, but one that should help the M's a little in 2004.

Here's the ESPN profile on Jolbert...

2003 Season
After totaling just 12 at-bats for the Dodgers in 2002, little was expected of Jolbert Cabrera at the beginning of last season. He started the year as half of a second-base platoon, but he kept hitting and Jim Tracy kept finding a spot for him. In the last two months of the season, Cabrera hit .312.

Hitting, Baserunning & Defense
Cabrera takes a big cut and has enough power to reach either gap or yank a pitch over the left-field wall. Righthanders can beat him with breaking stuff off the plate, but he handles just about everything that lefties have to offer. The 31-year-old has above-average speed and can swipe the occasional bag. Cabrera played every position but pitcher and catcher last year and held his own wherever he went.

2004 Outlook
While many utility players tend to get over-exposed with more playing time, Cabrera actually hit better as the season moved along. At times last year, he was the best righthanded hitter on the club, and now looks to have at least a part-time job locked up for this coming campaign.

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