St. Louis Cardinals rumors: Asdrubal Cabrera trade talk puts a name to the Cards' infield needs

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

The St. Louis Cardinals' apparent interest in the Cleveland Indians' Asdrubal Cabrera puts a name to the Cardinals' obvious needs in the middle infield.

For a while now, St. Louis Cardinals rumors in this mostly barren offseason have centered around the middle infield, just because people aren't dumb, and the Cardinals' middle infield is the weakest and most upgradeable spot on their roster. But until now we haven't had specific names to go with the rumors, which is why we followed Stephen Drew's declined option and

talked all about Hiroyuki Nakajima, one of the top international free agents of the 2013 offseason. Now, finally,

local soothsayer Joe Strauss has connected the Cardinals to Asdrubal Cabrera, the Cleveland Indians' power-hitting shortstop.

So: Yea or nay? Cabrera is an obvious upgrade over the Cardinals' current Rafael Furcal-Daniel Descalso combo, and his career line of .279/.342/.416 would look very nice in an offense that's already stuffed with solid hitters. At 27 he's a reasonable bet to produce for the two years remaining on his contract.

Of course, only two years remain on his contract. The Cardinals would have to trade from their (admittedly stuffed) pile of prospects under team control to get him, and it's hard to be sure whether he's worth it. (As we'll discuss later on in the trade-rumor season, probably over and over, his value is highly dependent on which defensive statistic you trust.)

But he's good enough to start arguing about, which is enough for me at this point in the Hot Stove League season.

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