Asdrubal Cabrera fell short of a second straight 20-homer season, but the 32-year-old nonetheless continued to enjoy a late-career power revival in 2017. His 46 extra-base hits were supported by an excellent 36.8 percent hard-hit rate, and Cabrera made himself a tough out even when he wasn't swinging by posting the second-best walk rate of his career. Though he thrived at the dish, Cabrera was forced from the shortstop position by mid-June after displaying poor range in the field. He originally fought the move and requested a trade, but later recanted and embraced a full-time utility role, splitting duties at second and third base. It's expected Cabrera will see most of his starts at the hot corner in 2018, but he'll retain eligibility at three positions in most formats, with that versatility offering a nice little bump to his fantasy value. Don't expect much, if any, help in the steals department, however, as his stolen-base total ticked down each of the last three years.
Cabrera figures to see consistent playing time at second base after the Mets signed third baseman Todd Frazier, Matt Ehalt of The Bergen Record reports. Cabrera was formerly in the mix to play third base during the 2018 campaign, however, his role quickly changed after the Mets signed Frazier on Monday night. With third base solidified, Cabrera will be used at second or off the bench. The 32-year-old batted .280 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI a season ago, and will look to replicate those numbers in the upcoming year.
Cabrera is the leading candidate to start at third base for the Mets in 2018, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Cabrera bounced around the Mets' infield last year, appearing in 30 or more games at second base, shortstop and third base. While he's expected to start somewhere around the infield in 2018 after the Mets picked up his option, it appears New York would prefer to use him at the hot corner while looking elsewhere for a fill-in at second base. The 32-year-old has hit a respectable .280 with a .798 OPS, 37 homers and 121 RBI over the past two seasons (276 games) with the Mets.
The Mets exercised their $8.5 million club option to keep Cabrera on the team in 2018, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Cabrera is expected to hold a starting spot in the infield for the Mets next season, after hitting .280 with a .785 OPS during 135 games this past year. He also smacked 14 home runs and had 59 RBI, while cutting down on his strikeouts to achieve his lowest rate since the 2010 season.
Cabrera is not in the lineup Sunday against the Phillies. Cabrera will make his way to the bench a day after slugging the game-winning home run in extra innings. Phillip Evans will take over at third base and bat second in his stead.
Cabrera went 4-for-6 with a home run and four RBI in Saturday's win over the Phillies in 11 innings. His three-run homer in extras lifted the Mets to a win and gave Cabrera his second four-hit game of the season. Cabrera has experienced a dip in power this year, but he's improved his walk rate significantly and made more consistent contact. The Mets are likely to pick up Cabrera's $8.5 million option for 2018, according to MLB.com.