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Everth Cabrera still makes sense for the Yankees

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Just because the Yankees already announced their non-roster invitees doesn't mean they can't still add more pieces. We learned that when the team signed Kyle Davies to a minor league deal and gave him an invitation to spring training. If they're still willing to give uninteresting pieces like Davies a shot then they have to be willing to offer similar deals to players who can actually be of some use in the future. That is why it still makes sense for them to pursue shortstop Everth Cabrera.

Not many teams are very high on Cabrera at the moment, which is likely the reason why he is still out on the free agent market after being designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres in December. After a few seasons of mediocre offense and poor defense, the switch-hitting shortstop exploded on the scene in 2013, hitting .283/.355/.381 with 37 stolen bases in 95 games, earning himself an All-Star appearance and, unfortunately, a 50-game suspension as part of the Biogenesis group. He returned a year later, but could only manage to hit .232/.272/.300 with 18 stolen bases before his season fell apart in July because of a hamstring injury.

Believing that his abilities had eroded and with the PED stigma now surrounding him, the Padres cut ties with him and so far other teams, not even the Mets with their black hole at shortstop, have shown interest in picking him up. The Yankees need to change that. He's not going to be anything close to a savior, but at 28 years old he's still too young to completely give up on. Whether it was chemically fueled or not, he's shown All-Star talent in the past and offers solid speed on the base paths after stealing 37 bases in 2013 and 44 the year before that.

He's also shown the ability to hit lefties at a minimal of at least league-average, which doesn't say much, but is more than what Didi Gregorius has shown over his career. For his career, the Yankees' new shortstop has a 33 wRC+ against lefties, while Cabrera has shown the ability to reach a 94 wRC+ mark against them and even reaching 169 in his 2013 season. Compare that to Stephen Drew's 70 wRC+ and Brendan Ryan's 75 wRC+ and Cabrera could be the organization's best option at shortstop when facing a left-handed pitcher. His poor defense might not make him much of a regular in the field, but if he can hit decently against southpaws, there's no reason he can't be useful as a utility infielder off the bench at some point during the season.

I would advise the Yankees to extend him a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Get him into camp and see what he can and cannot do at this point and if they decide to carry all of Gregorius, Drew, and Ryan, then let him play shortstop at Triple-A. Right now it's expected that Ali Castillo will be Scranton's everyday shortstop, so it's not like he would be getting in the way of anyone useful down there. Maybe he performs better than expected and earns a shot or maybe he doesn't and we forget all about him. If things work out for the best, he still has two years of arbitration eligibility and he might be an improvement over Brendan Ryan.

Even with the Yankees serious about giving Rob Refsnyder and maybe even Jose Pirela a shot, there's still room for Everth Cabrera. If they decide to pass up on him, it'll be because of the steroids issue. They already have to deal with Alex Rodriguez, so there's no way they would go out of their way to bring in another Biogenesis guy, especially after they just got rid of another one in Francisco Cervelli. If they end up looking past him it'll be more for PR reasons than anything else, because, from a pure baseball perspective, there's no reason not to sign him at this point.