Cabrera played shortstop for the Indians, but figures to see time at second base for Washington, which currently leads the NL East by a game and a half over the Atlanta Braves. He's in the last year of a three-year, $21 million contract, so it's a quick late-season rental for the Nats as they race toward October.
The Nats gave up Zach Walters, a 24-year-old shortstop who got a brief appearance in the big leagues this season, but only hit .205 in 43 plate appearances. He's not a "top prospect," but a young player with many years of team control left. He hit .300 in Triple-A this season with 15 homers and 48 RBIs.
Cabrera has hit .246/.305/.386 this season with nine homers and 40 RBIs. He had a great 2011, hitting 25 homers and driving in 92 runs, but hasn't been able to match that production since. With Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman hurt, and the team shifting second baseman Anthony Rendon to third, there's a hole at second where Cabrera will fit. He played some second base early in his career with the Indians. Ian Desmond is Washington's every day shortstop.
While Cabrera hasn't been especially potent with his bat, he represents an upgrade over second baseman Danny Espinosa, who is hitting just .217.
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