Cubs can solidify the bench by signing veteran Asdrubal Cabrera

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Asdrubal Cabrera would deepen the Cubs roster heading into next season.

It has been said hundreds of times, but we will say it again, the Chicago Cubs will not be spending big money this offseason. Regardless of the direction the team goes, the Cubs will want to bring in guys who can fill various roles. Anyone they bring in via free agency will most likely be low-cost.

Shoring up depth can be seen as both easier and more difficult simultaneously. Why? Because depth can often come cheap, but harder because cheap depth still needs to be reliable. With that said, the Cubs will want to bring in some position depth that can contribute both on the field and at the plate. This brings us to veteran Asdrubal Cabrera.

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Cabrera, 35, is a free agent this winter after spending last season with the Washington Nationals. Back in his many years with the Cleveland Indians (2007-2014) he was a two-time All Star and Silver Slugger recipient. He is a career .268/.330/.426 hitter with 188 home runs, a 105 wRC+ and 27.5 fWAR in 1,712 games.

Making the case for Cabrera in 2021

Cabrera has normally been a starter in his career. At age 35 the course of his career is changing. Last season he was re-signed by the Nationals to be bench/depth, but made more starts due to injuries on the team. In 52 games he hit .242/.305/.447 with eight home runs and 95 wRC+.

Bringing him in to be a bench piece is certainly not out of the question. His contract with the Nationals last year was worth $2.5 guaranteed (just under $1.2 million prorated). Cabrera is not going to cost much. Despite the mediocre slash in 2020, he slashed .269/.332/.448 from 2015-2019 and hit 20+ homers in two of those seasons. Not that he is getting younger…but despite one weird shortened season, there is reason to believe there is some decent production left. As previously mentioned regarding the Nationals injuries, he was forced into a much bigger role than anticipated last year.

Other nice things about Cabrera is that he is a switch hitter and versatile on the infield. He posted a .315 average and 1.001 OPS last year against lefty pitchers. His versatility allows him to play all over the infield, as he’s seen time at first, second, short and third base. Cabrera has also spent his time at DH. Depending on what moves are made this winter, having depth at any of those positions could be very important for Chicago.

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The past few years the Cubs have tried bringing in versatile veteran players like Daniel Descalso, Hernan Perez and Jose Martinez and they just did not produce at the plate, or really play much at all. Cabrera can potentially bring some offensive production and some decent pop for an older infielder.