PHOENIX – Shortstop Orlando Cabrera signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Oakland Athletics on Monday. He will replace the light-hitting Bobby Crosby, who is still on the roster but apparently out of a job.
Cabrera, who played with the Chicago White Sox last season, is the last free-agent shortstop to sign in a market that lost steam shortly after Edgar Renteria signed a two-year, $18.5 million deal with the San Francisco Giants early in the offseason.
Oakland had been negotiating with Cabrera for several weeks, but stepped up its interest when rumblings of the Toronto Blue Jays swinging a sign-and-trade deal with the White Sox gathered steam over the last 24 hours.
Cabrera took a huge pay cut. He made $10 million last season and didn't exactly have a horrendous year, batting .281 with 93 runs, 19 stolen bases and 186 hits in 161 games.
But the market for free agents took a steep drop in the last few months. Shortstop Rafael Furcal signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Dodgers that represented close to a 30 percent pay cut, then the bottom dropped out. The Dodgers signed second baseman Orlando Hudson to a one-year, $3.38 million deal recently and the Angels got perennial 100-RBI producer Bobby Abreu for $5 million over one year.