Asdrúbal Cabrera joined the Washington Nationals in San Francisco, signing as a free agent after he was released by the Texas Rangers earlier this month.
Cabrera, of course, played for the Nats back in 2014, when he was acquired in a deadline deal, and the 33-year-old, 13-year veteran said over the weekend in New York that he decided he’d return to the Nationals, after receiving interest from the Mets as well, at least in part because of his son.
Cabrera played for the Mets between 2016-18, but was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in July of 2018, and he signed with Texas over the winter when New York went in another direction.
When the Mets and Nationals came calling again after he was released by the Rangers, the infielder had a decision to make.
“The [Mets] called me and told me they want to come back here,” Cabrera said, as quoted by Yahoo!Sports’ reporter Matt Ehalt.
“But, you know what, personally, they have the opportunity to keep me here in offseason and they bring in different guys from different teams. That was the one that make me, I told my family, my kids, and my son, Meyer, he was the one to tell me to come back to Washington. Best I do for him. That’s why I made the decision.”
Cabrera started the finale against the Giants in Oracle Park, and the second and third games in Citi Field over the weekend, with Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez explaining that he wanted to get Brian Dozier, whose family is awaiting the birth of his first child, some rest.
“He’s good,” Martinez told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr on Sunday.
“I know he’s expecting any time soon. Just giving him a couple of days off. Right now, I want to give him a couple days off. We got some tough righties, trying to get Asdrúbal in the lineup a couple of times and get him going. I thought it would be perfect to get him to play these next two days.”
Cabrera went 4 for 12 in the three starts, after a pinch hit appearance in his first game with Washington in San Francisco, and he came up big with a bases-loaded double to right field in Sunday’s series finale in New York, driving in two runs to put the Nationals up 5-3 in what ended up a 7-4 win.
Cabrera lined a high, 95 MPH fastball up in the zone to right field for the double, taking left-hander Justin Wilson to the corner to put the Nats up by two.
That came after three runs scored on an error on his bases-loaded grounder in the top of the first.
“He comes over here, a veteran guy, I know he’s trying to put the ball in play, he’s not trying to get big,” Martinez said after Sunday’s win.
“He’s just trying to put the ball in play and to stay inside the ball and to hit the ball to right field like that was tremendous.”
Not a bad start for a player who was released by the Rangers to make room on their roster for their young infielders.
“Awesome,” Martinez told reporters. “Once again, [GM Mike Rizzo] was looking at the waiver wires, and DFAs, and we were able to pick up a really good player, so he came through today. And like I said, we’ve got to get him in there a couple times a week to keep him fresh, but he’s a big help.”
Cabrera is back in the lineup for the series opener with the Cincinnati Reds tonight in the nation’s capital.
NOTE: No Juan Soto in the lineup after he rolled his ankle late in Sunday’s game. Read up on that development here.
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 1ST OF 3 WITH THE REDS:
Complete list of @MLB rookies with at least 15 HRs, 15 SBs and 15 2Bs:— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 12, 2019
- Victor Robles
The end.#OnePursuit pic.twitter.com/mcyhxG6OwZ