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Indians rumors: Blue Jays interested in Asdrubal Cabrera

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Even if the Indians decide to ship Cabrera out, would they ship him to a team they're chasing for the second Wild Card spot?

Duane Burleson

The Toronto Blue Jays are interested in Asdrubal Cabreraso says Ken Rosenthal, among the most plugged in of baseball reporters.

The Jays have Jose Reyes at shortstop, so they'd be acquiring Cabrera to play second base, something he hasn't done for a while, but also something many seem to assume an MLB shortstop will be able to do (because second base is an easier position). Toronto hasn't made the playoff since winning the 1993 World Series, but is currently holding the second Wild Card spot, and is also only 3 games out of 1st place. They are looking to go all-in on this season, trying to make whatever upgrades they can.

That makes them something of a tricky trade partner for the Indians though. The Tribe are still in that same Wild Card race, and so in addition to (maybe) hurting themselves for the rest of 2014 by sending away their starting shortstop, they'd be helping the team they're trying to catch.

Now, I'm not sure moving Cabrera would actually hurt the team that much, because Jose Ramirez plays better defense, has better speed, and seems like only a very small downgrade overall. The Indians could also bring up top prospect Francisco Lindor, who's probably ready to provide more overall value than Cabrera, due to his plus-plus defense. The Indians may not want to start his service time clock this soon, but there's a reasonable case that with the team still in contention, Lindor's potential is worth it.

The other side of it, helping the team they're chasing, is valid, to some degree, but there are so many teams in the race right now that if the Indians are worrying about what team they're trading Cabrera to, they're basically limiting themselves to the 2 or 3 teams in the National League who might have interest.

Toronto isn't going to move one of their very best prospects for a modest upgrade for two months, but would they move someone like Roberto Osuna, a 19-year-old righty with a really good fastball, who just returned from Tommy John surgery? If so, I'd be in favor of the Indians trading Cabrera. If Toronto just wants to send a couple pieces of organizational filler, I'd prefer the Indians pass.