Phillies GM Klentak on Cabrera: “I Think he Answers our Most Pressing Need”
Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has made his first move to improve his team as the MLB Trade Deadline approaches.
Klentak spoke with the media after the team traded for infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the New York Mets, discussing what he brings to the team.
"We think this was our most pressing need. It was important to get this one done," general manager Matt Klentak said of Cabrera.
Cabrera, a .277 hitter this season, is an offensive upgrade for what the Phillies have had at shortstop and third base. Cabrera’s WAR (wins above replacement) on the season is 1.0 while Scott Kingery currently has a -0.7 WAR and third baseman Maikel Franco has a 0.7 WAR.
Cabrera’s career-high .817 OPS this year will be one of the best on the Phillies roster. It is only topped by Rhys Hoskins (.879). That .817 number is a huge upgrade over Kingery’s .619 OPS and a slight upgrade over Franco’s .807 OPS. Those two players have started a majority of the team’s games at shortstop and third base, where Cabrera could see most of his time.
"He's proven in the batter's box," Klentak described. "He's a solid hitter and can cover three defensive positions. We see him playing second, short and third. Adding a player with flexibility to our roster was really important. We think he's an excellent roster fit for our current group of Phillies.
Klentak said while he felt this deal fills the teams most pressing need, he didn't rule out trying to find more talent in the trade market, before the Tuesday deadline.
“We will continue to make phone calls looking for any possible way to upgrade the club,” Klentak admitted.
The team gave up minor league pitcher Franklin Kilmore in the deal, who entered the season ranked as the 68th best prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball Prospectus.
Cabrera represents a win-now move near the deadline by Klentak. Cabrera has one year remaining on his deal.
Prior to Satuday’s action, the Phillies stand 2.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.