Asdrubal Cabrera: “I would love to stay here”

This trading deadline, we saw Cy Young award winner David Price get dealt to the Tigers. The Red Sox shipped stud left-hander Jon Lester to the A’s for slugger Yoenis Cespedes.

Martin Prado, John Lackey, Allen Craig, Gerardo Parra and Andrew Miller were also part of deals this July 31.

It was a busy trade deadline, one in which the Nationals’ acquisition of infielder Asdrubal Cabrera didn’t draw much attention. Cabrera ended up being a key piece of the Nats’ run to the National League East title, however, solidifying the right side of the Washington infield and coming up with clutch hits down the stretch.

Now, Cabrera will become a free agent, and his future with the Nats is in question. Could Mike Rizzo make a push to re-sign the 28-year-old two-time All-Star, or is this it for Cabrera’s tenure with Washington?

cabrera-white-second-base-throw-sidebar.jpgAsked about his future after the Nats were knocked out of the postseason on Wednesday night, Cabrera said he would be open to retuning to D.C., given how much he enjoyed his two-plus months with the team.

“I would love to stay here,” Cabrera said. “A lot of good guys. A good team. I would love to stay here. But it’s not my decision.”

Cabrera hit .229 with a .700 OPS in his 49 regular season games with the Nats, slugging five homers, driving in 21 runs and swiping three bases. An established shortstop in his nearly eight years with the Indians, Cabrera played second base almost exclusively with Washington, and displayed a smooth glove, solid range and a strong arm at that spot.

He’s said in the past that he would prefer to play shortstop going forward, but admitted after the Nats’ Game 4 NLDS loss to the Giants that he would be open to playing second if it meant that he had a better shot at a deep playoff run.

“I mean, I don’t know,” Cabrera said. “It depends. A team like this team, a good team that want me to play second, I would love to stay here. I just want to win. I’ve got eight seasons already. I want to be in the World Series one day.”

Where Cabrera ends up playing next season could hinge greatly on how the shortstop market plays out this offseason. There aren’t many proven shortstops available through free agency this winter (Hanley Ramirez, Jed Lowrie and Stephen Drew are a few of the other available ones, with J.J. Hardy now off the market after signing a three-year extension with the Orioles yesterday), and Cabrera’s services could be in demand.

The Nationals could have a hole at second base if they end up making Ryan Zimmerman their everyday first baseman next season. That would leave Anthony Rendon playing third base, and while Danny Espinosa is still under contract, the Nats would likely look to add another experienced infielder this winter, either through free agency or a trade.

Cabrera was a well-liked teammate during his time with the Nats, and he quickly felt comfortable in the Washington clubhouse, thanks in part to fellow Venezuelan teammates Wilson Ramos and Jose Lobaton. Cabrera’s future with the Nats is uncertain, but he certainly is open to re-signing with the team that acquired him at the deadline more than two months ago.

“I really enjoy it to play with this team,” Cabrera said. “Great guys. Good teammates. Good front office. I was really happy to be here and be in this moment with the team.”

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