In the deal the Giants sent outfield and middle of the road prospect Thomas Neal the other way. Neal had a breakout season a couple years back in San Jose and since then hasn't quite had the same success at higher levels.
I am not thrilled by this deal but it isn't going to break the Giants farm system by any means either.
Cabrera is over the hill and playing like it. He has a .242/ .275/ .318 triple slash line, his offense has never been his calling card and with all the miles on him I am not expecting too much out of him. With his plate approach expect few walks (3.7% walk rate) and a moderate amount of strikeouts (11.8%) and a bunch of ground balls.
His defense was once elite at shortstop but with age he has lost that ability. This season he moved over to second base but the primary responsibility with the Giants will be at shortstop. I am expecting him to be solid but not spectacular and most likely around average.
Taking all of this into account and I think you have maybe a 1 win player over the course of a full season. Over the remaining games he will probably be worth about 0 to half a win and will be paid approximately $400K by the Giants. That leaves a surplus value of about $1.5 million. It is highly unlikely that he will be a type A or B free agent and I wouldn't suspect that the Giants would want to risk offering him arbitration so there is probably not going to be any compensation draft picks after he leaves this off season.
What they gave up:
The Giants gave up one of their outfield prospects in Thomas Neal. He is likely the 3rd or 4th best outfielder in the organization behind Gary Brown, Francisco Peguero and possibly Jarrett Parker. Neal's ceiling is a non-start regular at a corner position but after a couple disappointing seasons where he battled injuries and adjusting to higher levels of competition it looks like he will be a back up 4th outfield kind of player.
That is still nice to have around but it isn't likely that the Giants gave up too much especially with higher ceiling outfielders in the organization already.
Here is his career stat line:
As a B- hitting prospect prospect his surplus value would be approximated at around $3 million. He doesn't have a huge upside but should have a fairly high floor and will likely make the majors and it could be as soon as next season.
This trade is far less exciting than the two previous ones made by the Giants. It doesn't offer much of an upgrade and it certainly doesn't involve a blockbuster name. The Giants get approximately $1.5 million in surplus value and give up about $3 million. The dealt from an area of relative strength to give themselves some more options at short stop so this isn't a bad move by any stretch of the imagination it isn't a game changer.
I would have loved to have stuck with Brandon Crawford at shortstop but with such anemic offense I guess even the most marginal of improvements are needed to eek out a couple more runs.
I hope that he finds the fountain of youth and gives the Giants a couple solid months at shortstop.
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