The Cleveland Indians have traded shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, according to Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Cabrera is headed to the Washington Nationals, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. They will be receiving shortstop Zach Walters from the Nationals, according to Nick Camino of Newsradio WTAM 1100.
I recently wrote about why the Indians should have dealt the shortstop, noting that they have Francisco Lindor as a very good replacement for him, while also getting perhaps a good return for him. While Zach Walters is not a fantastic return, he does have some major league experience and perhaps could help the Indians out at third base or even in the outfield, as Michael Bourn is on the disabled list.
The 24-year-old Walters has seen limited action in the major leagues with the Nationals, making only four starts in the 40 games he has played in, and only appearing in the field 12 times. Over his brief 52 plate appearances, Walters is hitting a triple-slash line of .234/.308/.489 with three home runs and six runs batted in. Walters is a traditional shortstop, but has seen time at second, third, and in the outfield at the minor league level. It will be interesting to see how the Indians utilize him.
The Nationals will be getting their man in Asdrubal Cabrera to help fill in during Ryan Zimmerman's disabled list stay with a grade three hamstring strain. It appears as if Cabrera will slide over to second base, and Anthony Rendon will fill in at third. On the season, in 416 plate appearances, Cabrera is hitting a triple-slash line of .246/.305/.386 with nine home runs and 40 runs driven in. In his 1341 2/3 innings at second base, Cabrera has registered a higher UZR/150 (-1.7) than in his 6,300 1/3 innings at shortstop (-10.4). By moving him back to second, the Nationals may be getting a better defender.
Cabrera, along with Justin Masterson, were the two Indians that had an expiring contract after this season. While the Indians did not get an overwhelming return for either of them, getting a return in general is better than getting nothing at all. For the Nationals, they will be getting three months of Asdrubal Cabrera and then may see him head elsewhere. But for now, he is in Washington to win a World Series.