Reports suggested earlier today that the Cleveland Indians were receiving interest from multiple teams on shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, but the team wasn’t sure if they were going to end up pulling the trigger on a deal. The Indians have indeed made a move, sending the 28 year old to the Washington Nationals in exchange for infielder Zach Walters.
Cabrera is expected to slide over to second base for the Nationals, given the presence of Ian Desmond at shortstop. Cabrera does have experience at the position, but hasn’t played there since the 2009 season.
A free agent at season’s end, Cabrera is batting .246/.305/.386 on the year in 416 plate appearances.
The move is an instant boost for the Nationals’ infield while Ryan Zimmerman remains on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Installing Cabrera at second allows the team to leave Anthony Rendon at third and gives the team a strong infield across the board as they try to hang onto their lead in the NL East.
The Indians will receive Walters in the deal, who scouts have had mixed reviews on to date. He’s naturally a shortstop but has seen time at second and third base as well. Cleveland is seemingly high on him, as they are paying all of Cabrera’s remaining salary this season. Walters has spent most of the season at Triple-A, but has appeared in 32 games for the Nationals this season. In 43 plate appearances he’s hit .205/.279/.462.
He’ll report to Triple-A Columbus initially, but could join the Indians’ major league roster before long.