In an article on the Washington Nationals’ recent moves, including the signing of infielder Starlin Castro to play second in D.C. in 2020, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal noted on Friday that the Nats had, “... exchanged proposals with free agent Asdrúbal Cabrera, who was the Rangers’ primary third baseman last season before getting released on Aug. 3 and signing with the Nationals four days later.”
Cabrera, 34, put up a .323/.404/.565 line with 10 doubles and six home runs in 38 games and 146 plate appearances after signing on with the Nationals, and the veteran infielder was 7 for 30 with a double in 12 games (and seven starts) in the postseason, starting five games and appearing in all seven as Washington beat the Houston Astros in the 115th Fall Classic.
MLB Network analyst Jon Heyman was first to report that Cabrera is now the latest member of the 2019 championship roster to return to the Nationals, having reportedly agreed on a 1-year/$2.5M free agent deal today, after The Athletic’s Robert Murray wrote on Twitter that the two sides were close to an agreement.
Nats in agreement with Asdrubal Cabrera. @ByRobertMurray said close— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 4, 2020
Rosenthal wrote on Friday that if the Nationals brought Cabrera back for a third run with the club, he, “... could slide back to third, perhaps in combination with Howie Kendrick, whom the Nats re-signed to a one-year, $6.25 million contract in December,” after Cabrera spent most of his time at second after signing in D.C. last August.
With Castro reportedly signed to play second next season (on a 2-year/$12M deal), the addition of Cabrera gives manager Davey Martinez multiple options in the infield, and in spite of the signings the past two days, the Nationals are reportedly still in the mix for free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, who is, according to Rosenthal’s reporting, waiting for one of the team’s interested in his services to get to $110M over four years.
With the Nationals, Atlanta Braves, and Minnesota Twins all reportedly offering Donaldson four-year deals, Rosenthal wrote, “[h]e has informed teams of his desired guarantee and is simply waiting for one of the clubs to hit his number, sources say.”
Are GM Mike Rizzo and Co. going to land Donaldson as well? Do they have enough options at second and third now with Castro, Kendrick, Cabrera, and top prospect Carter Kieboom to field a competitive lineup even if they miss out on Donaldson, or do you still expect another move to address the absence of Anthony Rendon, who left for the Los Angeles Angels via free agency this winter?