Player of the Day: Orlando Cabrera
The OC has the misfortune of costing his signing team a draft pick. Last time he was a free agent, this didn't matter. Didn't matter to the Angels, who gave the Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie to sign him. The Red Sox turned right around and gave their first rounder to the Cardinals, and while those two Red Sox have turned out pretty well, the player the Cards got, Colby Rasmus, has much more upside. Things like this have been going on as long as there has been free agent compensation.
The year I started following baseball, and became an Angels fan, the Angels failed to resign their DH, Don Baylor. He went to the Yankees. The compensation pick? Wally Joyner. The fact is it just doesn't make sense to give up a first rounder for a type A free agent unless that free agent is a great player- the Teixiera/Sabathia types. The second tier of free agency just simply isn't worth it. You should excuse Orlando if, after 30+ years of the same old same old, if he though nobody would care about draft picks this year.
But this is the year all the teams woke up, and Orlando is f***ed. He'll have to give his team a steep discount to compensate them for the lost pick, or wait until after the draft to sign. What teams could he improve?
Orlando projects as a -13 hitter, with a pretty good glove, so he should normally be worth 7-10 million. Here are some teams where he would be an upgrade, among those that might be close enough to contention and want to sign a 30+ shortstop:
Oakland: 6 run offensive upgrade on Bobby Crosby
Detroit: He'd be a 17 run offensive improvement on Everett, but the Tigers appear to be focusing on defense. Considering defense, OC probably has just a slight edge, less than 5 runs.
Baltimore: 13 runs on Cesar Izturis
That's pretty much it. Looks like slim pickins, and the OC should jump on the first halfway decent offer he can get.