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 went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles. Hitting leadoff in this one, Cabrera went yard for the first time this spring, taking O's reliever Donnie Hart deep in the eighth inning. Mets manager Mickey Callaway hasn't tipped his hand yet with regard to who will hit at the top of the lineup, but the veteran infielder certainly didn't hurt his chances of winning the job with this performance.
Cabrera is a candidate to hit leadoff this season, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. "He keeps getting hits to start off the game, so that is good," new Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "He is definitely going to be considered for [leadoff]." The team doesn't have any obvious leadoff hitters in its projected Opening Day lineup, making Cabrera as likely an option as any from among a group that includes Brandon Nimmo, Todd Frazier and Jose Reyes. Cabrera's .331 career OBP isn't ideal, but he posted a .351 figure last season and his fantasy value would get a bump if the veteran infielder does claim a spot at the top of the batting order.
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.