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Thursday, November 1, 2007
Cabrera trade is a possibility

While the free-agent markets for Alex Rodriguez and Mike Lowell promise to spin upward and onward, industry sources say that clubs have been notified there is another major bat and third baseman on the market -- Florida's Miguel Cabrera. At the age of 20, Cabrera hit three homers in the NLCS against the Cubs in 2003; then in the World Series, he was dusted by Roger Clemens, got up and drove a home run to right-center field.

With their immediate economic situation unsettled because of uncertainty surrounding a new stadium, the Marlins have no choice but to market the 24-year old superstar, who is two years from free agency and will be on the free-agent market before owner Jefferey Loria can move into that ballpark. According to sources, the asking price will be enormously steep, but why not? While there have been some defensive issues for Cabrera at third base, he ranks as one of the most powerful and productive infield corner bats in the game. Trading for a 24-year-old middle-of-the-order third/first baseman should bring Florida at least three significant young players.

Remember, when the Marlins had to trade Josh Beckett under similar circumstances, they targeted and received Hanley Ramirez, who in two years has blossomed into one of the game's premier stars.

The Yankees, who may lose Rodriguez, will certainly be in, but they would have to include Phil Hughes, which is unlikely. The Red Sox, who may lose Lowell, will likely be in as well, but they will have to start with right-hander Clay Buchholz. The Dodgers, who need a middle-of-the-order bat, would seem to have the most to offer with left-hander Clayton Kershaw, left-hander Scott Elbert, right-handed reliever Jonathan Meloan and third baseman Andy LaRoche. The Angels also have a cornucopia of prospects, if they are not in the A-Rod sweepstakes.

A-Rod is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time. Here is an offensive comparison:

Rodriguez .306 .389 .578 .967
Cabrera .313 .388 .542 .930

Rodriguez .308 .363 .551 .916 148 463
Cabrera .313 .388 .542 .930 138 523