The Mets will exercise infielder Asdrubal Cabrera’s $8.5 million club option for 2018, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. New York would have had to pay Cabrera a $2 million buyout in order to decline the option.
Cabrera, 31, began the year as the Mets’ everyday shortstop but played primarily at second and third base after returning from a disabled list stint in June. Over 540 plate appearances, Cabrera posted a .280/.351/.434 slash line with 14 home runs.
While the Mets’ decision to exercise Cabrera’s option obviously signifies that they’re comfortable beginning next season with him on the roster, it’s hard to tell how he fits into their 2018 plans. Amed Rosario is expected to be the Mets’ everyday shortstop next season, Wilmer Flores will be back and could hold down a starting infield spot, and there’s always the possibility—no matter how remote—that David Wright could get back on the field after nearly a two-year layoff due to injuries. In addition, if the Mets are going to try and compete for an NL East title again—which would make sense considering they're just a year removed from awarding Yoenis Cespedes the highest average annual salary in franchise history—they’ll likely have to add infield depth through the trade or free-agent markets.
Cabrera, who requested a trade back in June after then-manager Terry Collins moved him to second base but later recanted, could be a versatile bottom-of-the-lineup option for the Mets if he’s again willing to be flexible and move around between second, third, and shortstop. But it also wouldn’t be shocking to see him dangled as a trade piece this offseason considering the drama that surrounded his mid-season position switch earlier this year.