Friday, July 31, 2009
Hailing the O-Cab
The Twins on Friday traded for shortstop Orlando Cabrera (above) from Oakland for a minor league shortstop, Tyler Ladendorf.
This is a true going-for-it-now deal. Cabrera is 34 and on a one-year contract. If he qualifies as a Type A free agent — and he currently projects to — his contract prohibits his team from offering arbitation, so the Twins would not get any draft pick compensation.
He can hit a bit, and he's got a pair of Gold Gloves on his resume, but at 34 he's lost a step or two, and even in his youth he was rather miscast as a top-of-the-order hitter. Still, he should improve the middle infield, pushing either Nick Punto or Alexi Casilla out of the lineup.
Ladendorf is an interesting prospect, a shortstop with offensive potential, but odds are that he'll wind up moving to a different position before he reaches the majors (if he does).
This doesn't do anything to help the Twins in the long run or even the medium run — I don't expect them to re-sign Cabrera — and may hrut them over time if Ladendorf turns into a top-flight second baseman. Come 2010, the Twins will still have a hole in the middle infield.
But for 2009, it should work.