Twins acquire shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Athletics in exchange for minor-league infielder Tyler Ladendorf.
Looking to shore up their middle infield, the Twins were also connected to second baseman Freddy Sanchez, but considering that the Giants gave up former first-round pick Tim Alderson to land him, this is a bargain by comparison, especially with the Athletics kicking in some cash. Cabrera, now 34, appears to have lost a step defensively this year (-7.9 UZR and 14 errors), but when your shortstop options have combined for a pathetic .241/.303/.330 line, who cares, really.
Cabrera got off to an awful start with the Athletics, and through June he had a positively lousy .247/.290/.316 line. But he has been unconscious in July, batting .373/.400/.500 with two homers, 16 RBI and nine stolen bases. As I mentioned earlier, he leads the majors with 41 hits this month. The Twins have landed a proven veteran with post-season experience. He’ll do just fine.
As for Ladendorf, he was the Twins second-round pick in 2008. The 21-year-old shortstop batted .410/.500/.721 with four homers and 17 RBI in rookie ball, but has struggled since being promoted to Single-A Beloit. The important thing for Atheltics’ fans to know is that Cliff Pennington is on his way to Oakland. In the end, Billy Beane did well to get something for Cabrera, knowing that they couldn’t get any compensation for him over the winter.