Phillies Add Versatile Infielder By Trading For Asdrubal Cabrera
The Phillies sit in first place in the National League East, 2.5 games ahead of the Braves and seven games ahead of the fading Nationals. To try to stay there, the Phillies made their first significant move before the trade deadline on Friday, acquiring second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets to bolster the infield. In return, the Mets acquired righthander Franklyn Kilome.
On the heels of the move that brought in righthander Bobby Wahl in the Jeurys Familia trade, the Mets have clearly made acquiring power arms a focus of their sell-off.
Asdrubal Cabrera, INF
Cabrera has been an extremely reliable, if well-traveled, middle infielder. The Phillies will become his fifth team in the past five years, but Cabrera has hit at every stop. He was hitting .277/.329/.488 for the Mets with 18 home runs. This is the eighth consecutive year that he’s hit 14 or more home runs. While Cabrera has only played second base this season with New York, he’ll likely move to the other side of the bag in Philadelphia. Cesar Hernandez has been a solid second baseman, but the Phillies have struggled much more at shortstop (where Scott Kingery has tried to learn on the job) and at third base (where Maikel Franco has been inconsistent but has played better lately).
Cabrera was primarily a shortstop for the Mets in 2016 and split time almost equally between second, third and shortstop in 2017. Cabrera’s range isn’t what it once was if the Phillies ask him to play shortstop, but the position has been a black hole for Philadelphia, so he still may be the club’s best option, at least until J.P. Crawford comes off the disabled list.
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Franklyn Kilome, RHP
Once one of the Phillies’ top prospects, Kilome’s stock has fallen a bit in recent years due to inconsistent performances. Still, there is plenty about Kilome to like and plenty on which to dream. He throws his fastball in the 90-94 mph range and has touched as high 96 this year. The pitch has shown late tail and is spotted well to his glove side. He complements the fastball with a low-80s curveball that is a potential plus pitch, as well as a mid-80s changeup that projects to be above-average. The curve shows 11-to-5 break but is inconsistent at times and can get loopy. His changeup shows average fading action and he sells the pitch well. He’s still lean and has room to add strength. If everything comes together, he has the makings of a mid-rotation starter. If not, he’ll fit well in a bullpen.