The Philadelphia Phillies reportedly will acquire infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the New York Mets, per SNY’s Andy Martino. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, RHP Franklyn Kilome will go to the Mets in return for Cabrera. ESPN‘s Buster Olney first reported the Phillies interest in Cabrera this past weekend.
Cabrera, 32, is in the midst of one of the finest offensive seasons of his career. He’s slashing .277/.329/.488 with 18 home runs, 58 RBIs and an 11.9 offensive WAR. Whether the Phillies use him off the bench, as a super-utility player or some combination of both, he certainly upgrades their lineup as they attempt to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011.
A natural shortstop, Cabrera had played exclusively at second base for the Mets in 2018. Cesar Hernandez has dealt with a foot injury recently, but he’s pretty entrenched at second base. However, if there’s some concern about him potentially needing to go on the disabled list, Cabrera could slide into second. Scott Kingery could as well, but the Phillies may feel more comfortable keeping him at shortstop at this juncture. The other possibility is that Cabrera will now get a bulk of starts at shortstop – a position where defensive metrics haven’t been favorable to him – and Kingery will slide into the super-utility role.
Cabrera does have limited experience at third base. However, since J.P. Crawford was placed on the disabled list with a broken hand on June 20, Maikel Franco is hitting .344 with eight home runs and 16 RBIs. So the guess here is as long as Franco stays hot, he’ll get the bulk of the starts at third.
Kilome was ranked as the No. 10 overall prospect in the Phillies system when MLB Pipeline released their midseason prospect update Thursday. The 23-year-old righty had been 4-6 with a 4.24 ERA in 19 starts for Double-A Reading. While Kilome has high upside – though it may be even higher as a reliever than a starter – the Phillies have a surplus of young starting pitchers with Aaron Nola, Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta, Enyel De Los Santos, Ranger Suarez, JoJo Romero and Sixto Sanchez.
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