Opening Day 2015: Asdrubal Cabrera Tampa Bay Rays Starting Shortstop Over Nick Franklin

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Apr 06, 2015 11:24 AM EDT
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Asdrubal Cabrera #3 of the Washington Nationals
Asdrubal Cabrera #3 of the Washington Nationals fields a ball in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants during Game Four of the National League Division Series at AT&T Park on October 7, 2014 in San Francisco, California. "

The start of the baseball season here and the Tampa Bay Rays have decided that Asdrubal Cabrera will be the everyday shortstop in 2015 and that is a significant move by the team, as Nick Franklin and Tim Beckham were expected to step up, but Cabrera has been the most consistent option this spring and he now has the job.

Cabrera previously was with the Nationals and he played second base for the team and now he will take over at shortstop for the Rays. Cabrera is on a one year deal and Hardball Talk writes that the position selection could have to do with having him better trade value come the deadline this summer. The Rays are expecting to be in a rebuilding year this season and the front office likely wants a more consistent option in the middle of the infield with Cabrera.

Cabrera has played well over the last month and that is one reason why manager Kevin Cash feels comfortable slotting him into that role. The Tampa Bay Times first reported the news and it's likely the team will use a combination at second base with Franklin and Logan Forsythe. Cabrera is 29 years old and he previously has made two All-Star teams and he could provide some pop in the lineup. Franklin is dealing with an injury and that may have helped make the decision. 

Cabrera is on a one-year deal worth $7.5 million this season and he is looked at as a defensive upgrade over Yunel Escobar, who was shortstop for the team last year. The Tampa Bay Time reported that the team sees Cabrera as a sure thing at the position defensively and that's why they want him playing every day.

Cabrera playing every day could mean Franklin development gets pushed back a bit, or he could be moved to second base full time. Franklin was acquired in a trade last season with the Mariners.

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