It’s been known for some time now that the one piece the Phillies seem to be lacking is a right handed hitting outfielder with some pop. Over the past several weeks the usual suspects have been linked to Philadelphia; Josh Willingham, Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence.
But yesterday another name made its way into the mix, when Morosi said the Phils are in talks with the Royals for their center fielder. Morosi noted that a deal for Cabrera isn’t necessarily close, but he’s heard from sources that the teams have exchanged names.
Cabrera offers the Phillies a cheaper alternative to those listed above, and the club has made it known that they would rather not exceed the luxury tax threshold. The center fielder is only making $1.25 million this year and is again arbitration eligible next season.
While he would come at a reduced cost, his production is comparable to the other sluggers that are rumored to be available this summer.
That being said I have to disagree with a point Morosi tries to make, comparing Cabrera to Beltran. In his report he calls Cabrera Beltran-lite and says the two have similar numbers this season. I’m fine with the Beltran-lite tag and even saying the numbers aren’t too far off, but Morosi goes on to ‘prove’ his point by showing the OPS’s of Beltran (.911) and Cabrera (.793). That looks like a significant difference to me Jon Paul.
Anyway, back to the trade talk.
Cabrera would seem to fit the bill for what the Phils are coveting this July. In 95 games with the Royals this season, the 26 year old has put up a line of .294/.331/.456 with 12 home runs, 54 RBI’s and 61 runs scored while swiping 14 bases.
Kansas City is also known to have possible interest in moving veteran outfielder Jeff Francoeur but is unlikely to trade both he and Cabrera this season.
It will be interesting to see some of the names involved in a possible deal since Cabrera would be more than simply a salary dump. I would assume Dominic Brown is off the table at this point, but players such as Vance Worley and Jonathan Singleton are sure to come up in trade talks this summer.
As we approach the 31st, the Phillies continue to be aggressive in their pursuit of a right handed bat. We can all now add Cabrera to the list of possibilities.