Reinstated LHP Aaron Fultz from the 15-day Disabled List
Designated RHP Fernando Cabrera for Assignment
Two years ago, I thought Cabrera was one of the best prospects in the organization. And even given the generous benefit of hindsight, I still believe he's an extremely talented pitcher. At the time, Cabrera had just finished a season split between Buffalo and Cleveland, and had fared well in both places. He had forced his way into an excellent bullpen, and seemed poised to take on a more important role in 2006. That he was out of options made it a dead certainty he would make the roster.
Unfortunately, the same mechanism which forced him into the big leagues eventually led to his departure from the organization. Aside from a wink-wink rehab stint in early 2006, Cabrera's been in the majors because he had to be. Yes, if he had pitched well, this wouldn't be an issue. But Cabrera is just 25 years old, and could still be reasonably classified as a young, promising pitcher. He has a serious problem spotting his fastball, which serves as a setup pitch for his vicious splitter. Whoever can get his mechanics in order will have themselves a dominant relief pitcher.
Cabrera will be very enticing to any team out of contention, teams who can afford to let Cabrera get regular innings and figure it out through trial-and-error. He won't pass through waivers. To make this move now makes little sense, since I believe he can't be traded without also passing through revocable waivers. I know the team's in a pennant race, and that having a useless pitcher in the bullpen's a problem. But the move came at an inopportune time - why not DFA him a week earlier, and force the issue on the trade market?