Orlando Cabrera, one of the last remaining Type-A free agents, signed a one year deal with the Oakland A’s today, taking the starting shortstop job from the incumbent Bobby Crosby. O-Cab gets $4M for the season, and the ChiSox get the A’s second rounder and a sandwich pick for their loss (here’s the updated draft order). It seems like whenever a team signs an infielder, the natural reaction is for Yankee fans to say “they should trade for [insert displaced player here] to be the utility infielder,” but when it comes to Crosby, not so fast I say.
Once a darling amongst baseball insider types (remember when Peter Gammons & Buster Olney touted him as an MVP candidate?), Crosby’s career has basically fallen off a cliff. Over the last three years, his wOBP has settled into the .278-.288 range, and his aggregate batting line is .232-.291-.349, simply attrocious for an everyday player. He hit just .210-.269-.313 from July on last year, so there’s no second half surge to get excited about, and his BABIP’s have been in line with his career average. So yeah, don’t hold your breath expecting a rebound.
Defensively, Crosby’s okay, but nothing special. He’s spent his entire career at shortstop (minors included), so expecting him to play second or third would be based on nothing but hopes and dreams. His UZR sits around 2.0 these days, obviously better than Derek Jeter but not enough to make up for his offense. Then, of course there’s his contract, which pays him $5.25M in 2009 before sending him off to the free agent pastures after the season. Yikes.
So just say no. Fight the urge to think that every team’s displaced players would be an upgrade for the Yanks’ bench, because the only thing Crosby brings to the Yanks is additional payroll. There’s no reason to give this guy a 40-man roster spot, or trade literally anything for him.
Photo Credit: Reuters via NYT