Tampa Bay Rays to Sign Asdrubal Cabrera


Sep 9, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera (3) throws to first base for the force out of Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (not pictured) during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. Washington Nationals defeated against the Atlanta Braves 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a one-year deal with infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, pending a physical.

According to ESPN, Cabrera agreed to a deal before Christmas but has yet to undergo a medical due to the holidays. The deal is for a reported $8 million.

The Cabrera signing likely means that either Yunel Escobar or Ben Zobrist will be traded, with the latter receiving plenty of interest in recent months.

Zobrist will make $7.5 million in his final year while Escobar still has three years left on his contract. Also, the Rays could have signed Cabrera to then flip him at the trade deadline.

It’s unclear where exactly Cabrera will play due to Escobar being the team’s shortstop and Zobrist primarily played second base. A likely scenario would see Zobrist, if he isn’t traded, spend more time in the outfield after the Matt Joyce and Wil Myers trades, and have Cabrera slot in at second.

Cabrera, 29, is a two-time All-Star. He spent the first seven years of his career in Cleveland before being traded midseason in 2014 to Washington, where he hit .229 in 49 games with five home runs.

In his career, Cabrera has a .268/.330/.409 slash line with 87 career home runs and 451 RBIs. He has a career .974 fielding percentage career in 963 games.

With his reported $8 million salary, Cabrera will be the second highest paid player on the team in 2015 behind just Evan Longoria.