Philadelphia Phillies: Acquiring Asdrubal Cabrera shows team means business

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 26: Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the New York Mets reacts after hitting a RBI double in the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 26, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 26: Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the New York Mets reacts after hitting a RBI double in the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 26, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Phillies made a trade on Friday night, bringing in New York Mets infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and trading away RHP Franklyn Kilome.

Fans of the Philadelphia Phillies have been begging general manager Matt Klentak for weeks to go out and make an acquisition for his club, one that has continued to defy the critics and non-believers by simply playing their brand of baseball. They continue to pitch well, the bullpen has gotten better, and on most nights, they get enough offense to carry them to a win.

This Phillies team is not loaded with All-Stars, at least not yet. The defense has been dreadful, near the bottom of the league in errors allowed. Lately, it seems like they average at least one pass ball per game.

But on any given night, they can flat out hit the ball into the next time zone, with the latest example being Thursday’s drubbing of the Cincinnati Reds, (courtesy of Jace Evans, USA Today) a game which featured seven home runs by four different players.

Despite the embarrassing defensive ineptitude and at times, inconsistent offense, there is something about this team that is very evident, as they do not know how to quit. Say what you will about Gabe Kapler, but he clearly has this team buying into what he is selling, and they are as confident a team as there is in the entire league.

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With the Phillies sitting in first place with a 2.5 game lead before Friday, Klentak felt the time was now to make a move in order to shore up the defense and add another bat the lineup. Enter former Mets infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, the newest member of the Phillies.

Cabrera was acquired from the Mets Friday evening for pitching prospect Franklyn Kilome. Cabrera is 32, so he is no spring chicken, but was quietly having a pretty solid year for the Mets. Cabrera is hitting .277 with an OPS of .817, both of which are better than his career average. He also has 18 home runs this season.

Offensively, he certainly won’t hurt the Phillies, but Cabrera was most likely brought in to provide more stability on defense. Cabrera has played mostly at second base this season for the Mets, but a good part of his career has been spent at shortstop. It’s a good bet that he will see some time at that position.

It’s no secret that Scott Kingery has struggled at shortstop this season. There shouldn’t be too much concern surrounding Kingery though, especially considering he is a rookie playing out of position.

But Kingery is a natural second baseman, and for right now, he isn’t going to supplant Cesar Hernandez there. And with Maikel Franco playing his best baseball of the season, third base appears to be locked down as well.

It will be important to continue to get Kingery some valuable playing time, but Klentak obviously felt that the defense needed a boost, and it’s certainly a plus that Cabrera is still hitting above league average. He’s not Manny Machado, but Cabrera should help this ball club right away. Phillies management loves Kingery, but you have to read between the lines here. They need better defense, and Kingery is still learning.

Klentak’s willingness to make a move which improves Philadelphia says a lot about how he views his team. He clearly believes they can be contenders right now, and it’s quite possible that he’s not done making moves.

The trade deadline is July 31, and Klentak may have a few more moves up his sleeve. The Phillies could be in the market for another starting pitcher or a reliever, though Klentak seems reluctant to mess with his rotation. A bullpen addition wouldn’t come as a surprise either.

It is also important to point out that earlier this morning, Klentak also made a move from within, calling up outfielder Roman Quinn (via NBC sports) from triple-A. Quinn is one of the Phillies top hitting prospects and should provide a nice bench option for the team moving forward.

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This is an exciting time for the Philadelphia fans, as the team is currently in first place and show no signs of slowing down. They have made two moves thus far which should solidify their bench and improve the defense, with more moves potentially on the way. It’s looking more and more like this Phillies team could be primed for a long overdue return to fall baseball, but also it’s important to focus on one game at a time instead of jumping too far ahead.