Giants add Orlando Cabrera to their infield 

July, 31, 2011
Orlando Cabrera has been a member of four different teams that have won divisional titles, including the Red Sox, Angels, Twins and Reds. He now has a chance to be part of another division winner in 2011 with his new team, the San Francisco Giants. The Giants acquired him from the Cleveland Indians on Saturday in an exchange for 23-year-old outfield prospect Thomas Neal.

Cabrera, 36, was hitting .244/.277/.321 with 13 doubles, four home runs and 38 RBIs for the Indians at the time of the deal. He started the year as the Indians’ everyday second baseman, but when he didn’t hit and his lack of range was exposed he was eventually replace by rookie Jason Kipnis. Cabrera is known as a clubhouse leader and a winning player, and he will fit in nicely in a Giants locker room full of unselfish, veteran players. With Mark DeRosa, Freddy Sanchez and Miguel Tejada all on the disabled list, the Giants had a definite need for infield help.

Earlier this week, the Giants acquired Jeff Keppinger in a trade from the Astros, but they quickly realized that wasn’t enough depth. Cabrera is expected to get playing time at both second base and shortstop for the Giants. His range is now limited, his bat is now slower and he’s a player on serious decline. However, his makeup and attitude will be a plus and he’s the type of clutch player who will win a few games for the Giants over the last two months of the season, and maybe even off the bench in the postseason.