Redlegs Rundown

January 31, 2010 2:11 PM

Going Bold, Old at Shortstop



AAGM049_8x10-celebrate2004ALDSgame2~Orlando-Cabrera-and-Pokey-Reese-Posters.jpgThe Cincinnati Reds announced yesterday that they signed shortstop Orlando Cabrera to a one-year deal worth $3 million. Cabrera is a proven guy, showing the organization's commitment to achieving that elusive winning season. This signing, along with that of Scott Rolen last year, replaces the supposed "go young and build for the future" mentality with a "win now and pacify the masses" mentality.


Cabrera is the brother of one-time Red Jolbert Cabrera.


I think I'm one of the few people na├»ve enough to think Paul Janish is ready for an entire season at shortstop in Cincinnati. Just check my Facebook groups. Janish shows the potential to hit, racking up 21 doubles in 90 games last year, but has never done so particularly well. Cabrera, because he's 35, is a step down defensively from Janish (although he did win Gold Gloves with the Expos and Angels), but with an offense as paltry as the Reds', Cabrera's  .275 career batting average looks worlds better than Janish's bitter relationship with the Mendoza Line. In fact, Mario Mendoza and Paul Janish have quite a bit in common: fantastic defensive shortstops who struggle at the plate. Not exactly relevant, but interesting nonetheless.


All said, Cabrera fills the vacant #2 spot in any Dusty Baker lineup and provides a solid glove at shortstop. Like Rolen, he's old but can still get it done. I have to admit, I did not expect this organization to make the moves it did this offseason. The offseason was filled with talk of having to rely on young guys like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs to lead the team, which is a risky gamble in itself. Who knows what this season holds for these guys learning on the job, but at least shortstop and third are occupied by proven, still capable veterans.


But Cabrera is certainly not the right-handed power bat the Reds have been looking for. Here's to hoping they bring Jonny Gomes back, even if it is for a minor league deal.

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