Cabrera, who turned 28 on August 11th, was acquired by the Giants in an off-season trade from the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. It was arguably the most lopsided trade of the winter meetings. Coming into today, the Dominican born Cabrera was batting .346 with an OBP of .390 and was leading the NL in hits with 159 and runs scored with 84. Cabrera was also the 2012 All-Star Game MVP. As for Sanchez, he was 1-6 with a 7.76 ERA with the Royals before being dealt to the Colorado Rockies for pitcher Jeremy Guthrie. Unfortunately for the Rockies, Sanchez isn’t pitching any better for them going 0-3 with a 9.53 ERA in three starts since the trade.
But now the Royals may have the last laugh. Unless Cabrera pulls a Ryan Braun, he is done for the 2012 season as well as five games of either the post-season or the beginning of the 2013 season. Cabrera is a free agent at the end of this season and looking for a big payday. Now that is in doubt.
Cabrera began his big league career with the New York Yankees signing with them as an amateur free agent in 2001. He made his big league debut with the Yankees in 2005 and remained with them through the 2009 season collecting a World Series in his final season in the Bronx. However, Cabrera was viewed as an underachiever and was traded to the Atlanta Braves prior to the 2010 season for pitchers Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan. Cabrera had another forgettable season with the Braves and was released.
He signed as a free agent with the Royals prior to the 2011 season and finally began to fulfill his potential. Cabrera collected 201 hits for a career best .305 batting average, 18 homeruns and 87 RBI.
Entering today, the Giants were tied atop the NL West with their archrival Los Angeles Dodgers and as I write this are losing 2-0 to the Washington Nationals in the second inning as Tim Lincecum faces off against Stephen Strasburg.
The Giants have lost a key cog in their offense with the suspension of Cabrera. Although Buster Posey has had a sensational second half and the acquistion of Hunter Pence from the Phillies is beginning to pay dividends, the rest of the lineup isn’t much to write about. Yes, Brandon Belt is starting to live up to his name and there’s Pablo Sandoval but he’s already been on the DL twice this season. Their pitching is still very good with Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner but Lincecum still hasn’t quite got his freak on although he has pitched better since the All-Star Break following a 3-10 start. He’s 3-2 in the second half but has a tall order with the Nats today. While Grant Hughes from The Bleacher Report doesn’t think this will shrink the Giants, I have my doubts. Hanley Ramirez is looking awfully good in Dodger Blue.