In what was almost a foregone conclusion as of this morning, the Twins have agreed to terms with the Oakland Athletics regarding shortstop Orlando Cabrera.
Cabrera, 34, has been one of the league’s hottest hitters this past month and should fit in to the two-hole nicely. He’ll be a decent upgrade offensively over both Nick Punto and Alexi Casilla.
Defensively, though, Cabrera hasn’t performed as well as he has in recent years. The Twins’ current defense is rock-solid and this could help Cabrera progress to his defensive mean.
One option Ron Gardenhire also has, though, is to put Cabrera in the bottom of the order and leave either Punto or Casilla in the two-hole. I don’t think very many want that to happen.
If Gardenhire replaces Brendan Harris with Cabrera and slides Punto to second base, there has been no upgrade. If Punto doesn’t have at-bats taken away from him as a result of this trade there would be virtually no visible change.
The Twins gave up Tyler Ladendorf to the A’s. Ladendorf had the 14th highest ceiling in my Top 15 Prospects list last year, but is more than three years away from the major-leagues.
The bottom line on this trade is that the Twins aren’t significantly better with Cabrera on the lineup, but wonders have most likely been done to Mauer’s desire to stay in Minnesota.