Orioles are close on a deal with Everth Cabrera


Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles are nearing a deal with former All-Star infielder Everth Cabrera. The 28-year-old free agent signing with the Orioles will make for an interesting spring for Baltimore.

The pending deal is reported to be close to $2.45 million for one year.

For the past six seasons, Cabrera has played for the San Diego Padres. He is a career .248/.319/.333 hitter with 20 doubles, 128 RBIs and 126 stolen bases.

This past November Cabrera was charged with resisting arrest after being pulled over for the suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana. A trial is set for April. This coupled with Cabrera’s 50 game suspension in 2013 for his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal led to the Padres non-tendering him this off-season.

The Orioles signed another player who was involved in the Biogenesis scandal and 40 home runs later, the Nelson Cruz signing proved to be one of the better off-season signings the Orioles have made this decade. This proves Baltimore is not afraid to take a chance on a player who brings some “baggage” with them into spring training.

Baggage aside, Cabrera is an extremely viable option for the Orioles to use at the leadoff spot in the lineup. He has played in 231 career games batting in the lead-off spot, more than any other spot in the order.

Cabrera is most dangerous when he gets on base. In 2012, he led the major leagues with 44 stolen bases and stole another 37 bases in 2013. In 26 attempts last season, Cabrera stole 18 bases.

His speed on the base paths is something the Orioles are in dire need of, having come in last for stolen bases in the major leagues last season.

Defensively, Cabrera has played the majority of his major league games at shortstop; 461 games to be exact. However, the Orioles already have J.J. Hardy at shortstop so unless Hardy goes down due to injury, that position is locked up. Cabrera’s best chance at a position in the Orioles’ infield is at second base.

Although he has only played 12 career games at second, the Orioles were not satisfied with how Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop sung the bat last season.If Cabrera can prove to hit with some consistency as well as show off his defensive ability at second base, an interesting competition might be upon us for Spring Training.