Bring Everth Cabrera and Gordon Beckham to Oakland

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The Oakland Athletics are in desperate need of some middle infield players for the 2015 season. Billy Beane has made several moves that indicate that he’s either A) Lost his mind and think it’s 2017 or B) setting up a chess game so many moves ahead that his opponent doesn’t realize they’re not playing checkers. With the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players quickly aproaching, two names have popped out to Athletics fans as potential grabs for Billy Beane; Everth Cabrera and Gordon Beckham.

Everth Cabrera, shortstop for the San Diego Padres, would be a replacement for Jed Lowrie who, to our knowledge, will not be asked to return to Oakland next year. One nice thing about Cabrera is that he is under team control for two more seasons and should come pretty cheap considering he’s missed 139 games in the past two seasons. Everth Cabrera, according to MLB Trade Rumors, is slated to make $2.9 million in arbitration this year. 

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Cabrera’s 2013 numbers would be an improvement over Lowrie and his 2014 numbers would be a slight dip, albeit with much less playing time than Lowrie. If Beane thinks his coaching staff could get Everth Cabrera at or above his 2013 numbers, he’d be a decent replacement at the plate. His defensive numbers, however, leave something to be desired. Having played 40 fewer games than Lowrie, Everth Cabrera managed to match him in errors (13) and comes in lower in terms of fielding percentage. His WAR is 0.6 with Lowrie sitting at 0.8 but, again, his 2013 year was much stronger. Don’t discount that he is a 2013 all star and finished eighth for Rookie of the Year. Based on his 2014 numbers, he’s a gamble, based on 2013 he’s a no brainer and this sentence is exactly the type of player Beane is attracted to.

So, we grab Cabrera for shortstop and keep Eric Sogard at second base. Or do we? Well, there’s a young man named Gordon Beckham who suddenly finds himself a premature free agent. Beckham is the perfect candidate for Beane interest.

For starters, he can play second base or third base which will be useful if Brett Lawrie gets hurt this season. For second starters, he’s a right handed bat which means he could platoon with Sogard who, you all know, I actually like quite a bit. For third starters, he’s going to be hecka cheap and could be one suggestion from Daren Bush away from having a 20+ home run season.

In 2014, Beckham brought in a .227 batting average but he hit .293 against lefties. As was the case with Everth Cabrera, he’s had better years than 2014 but, like Cabrera, he could do wonders in Oakland. If he were to sign with the Oakland Athletics and platoon with Eric Sogard (a platoon I can endorse if we have an everyday shortstop) we’d be looking at a .260 average at second base and a .325 on base percentage. That would be a vast improvement over last year’s totals at second base. Beckham is expected to earn $5 million in arbitration.

Signing Everth Cabrera and Gordon Beckham out of free agency, as opposed to acquiring them through trade, would allow Beane to fill all of the available positions he needs to fill while still keeping all of his players available for prospect trading. The hot stove period is filled with drama and wild speculation but I’m kind of hoping this one comes to play. What are your thoughts? Let me know below.

Next: Were Donaldson and Beane At Odds This Season?

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