Everth Cabrera is no longer a Padre.
Today, he was non-tendered by the team. This is not a huge surprise, given his troubles over the last few years, highlighted by his PED use, and his August DUI which included a charge of resisting arrest.
It is sad because Cabrera has talent. Who can forget his 2012 season when he came up in June, replacing the washed-up Jason Bartlett. Even though he missed the first two months of the season, Cabrera still wound up leading the league with 40 stolen bases. The next season, he was named to the All-Star team, and in addition to his 37 steals, he also played some solid defense.
But then, the Bio-Genesis scandal hit. And then the events of this August. And his awful ’14 season, which featured a .272 OBP–inexcusable for anyone, but especially a leadoff hitter.
The Padres now have a gaping hole at shortstop that needs to be filled. Whereas they could have been spending time and resources chasing a power-hitting outfielder or first baseman, they now need to focus on a new shortstop. Youngsters Jose Rondon and 2014 first round draft pick Trey Turner are each at least two years away.
The only current in-house option is Alexi Amarista; while he provided serviceable play after Cabrera’s injury and arrest, he is not viewed as a viable long-term option. Other options include free agents Jed Lowrie and Stephen Drew. Signing one of them to a two-year deal might be the way to go until Rondon or Turner is ready.
Given that the Padres felt that he was less than forthcoming about what happened on the night of his arrest, I think they did the right thing in letting him go. This young man has talent, and so a few other teams will likely take a look at him.
But until he gets his act together, he’s probably going to have a repeat performance, regardless of where he ends up.