Transactions: Signed Orlando Cabrera


Signed 2B/SS Orlando Cabrera to a 1 Year Contract

The Indians already have two Perezes in the bullpen; now they have two Cabreras in the infield.

The "other" Cabrera has been a very good defender for most of his career (winning two Gold Gloves with six years between them), and a fairly reliable bat for a shortstop. Despite playing in a friendly hitter's park last season, he only managed a .354 SLG, which is why he was still available with less than a week before pitchers and catchers report. He's also gotten a reputation as a mercurial guy, something that won't help him get jobs as his skills erode.

At first glance, Orlando doesn't seem to fit this roster. The Indians really needed a third baseman, not a shortstop who's going to challenge for time at second. This signing, rather than clarifying the muddled infield situation, makes it even more opaque. Orlando has barely played second base, and although he should be able to play the position, it'll take some time for him to get used to turning double plays with his back to the runner. There's way too many variables right now to guess what the second-third combo will be, but regardless of who plays where, O. Cabrera will be the backup at shortstop. If Asdrubal goes down with an injury, or can't hack it at short, Orlando would make a nice fill-in.

The Indians have a lot of infielders at AAA and the major-league roster, but they don't have a lot of good fits. I know that roster flexibility is good to have, but this is getting ridiculous. Jason Donald, who came up a shortstop, played second base last year, and may move to third this season. Jayson Nix, who played second base most often in his early career, should compete with Donald at a position he struggled with in 2010. And now, Orlando Cabrera, a fine defensive shortstop, will come to camp hoping to win the everyday second base job. That's just the expected major-league configuration; there's a whole secondary cast of characters in Columbus to think of, too.

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