02/10/11 5:27 PM ET
Indians come to terms with shortstop Cabrera
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti would neither confirm nor deny the report in an e-mail to MLB.com. If Cabrera's deal with the Tribe is indeed a big league contract, the Indians would need a subsequent transaction to vacate a spot on their 40-man roster.
Cabrera, 36, provides Cleveland with a veteran presence within an infield that is currently filled with question marks. Prior to adding Cabrera, the Tribe was entering spring with holes at second and third base with a wide variety of infielders in the running for the starting jobs.
Multiple reports have indicated that the Indians have no plans of moving Asdrubal Cabrera from shortstop, meaning Orlando Cabrera would compete for the open job at second base. Other players who are among those in the mix at second include Jason Donald, Jayson Nix, Luis Valbuena and Cord Phelps.
At third base, the Indians have candidates in Donald, Nix, Phelps, Jack Hannahan and Jared Goedert, among others.
Cleveland has highly touted prospects for second and third base in Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall, respectively, but both players figure to open the season with Triple-A Columbus. Signing Cabrera adds some experienced depth to help solidify the infield picture until Kipnis and Chisenhall are deemed ready for the Majors.
Over 14 seasons in the big leagues, Cabrera has posted a .274 average with a .320 on-base percentage between stints with the Expos, Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, A's, Twins and Reds. Last season, Cabrera hit .263 with a .303 on-base percentage, four homers and 42 RBIs in 123 games for the National League Central-champion Reds.
Cabrera has limited experience as a second baseman, but he has earned a reputation as one of baseball's top defenders at short. He boasts a pair of Gold Glove Awards, picking one up with the Expos in 2001 and another as the shortstop for the Angels in '07.
Cabrera would become the second Major League free-agent signing during Antonetti's first offseason as the Indians general manager. Earlier this winter, Cleveland brought back outfielder Austin Kearns on a one-year pact worth $1.3 million.
Indians pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear, Ariz., for Spring Training on Tuesday with their first official workout scheduled for Feb. 17. The rest of the position players are due to report to Spring Training on Feb. 18 and the first full-squad workout is slated for Feb. 20.