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Asdrubal Cabrera to Nationals, per reports

The Nationals have reportedly re-signed infielder Asdrubal Cabrera

MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Asdrubal Cabrera and the Washington Nationals have agreed to terms on a one year, $2.5 million deal, per multiple reports. Cabrera finished the 2019 season with the Nationals after being released by the Texas Rangers, and this move could have implications for the 2020 Texas Rangers.

Cabrera finished the 2019 season as the primary second baseman for the Washington Nationals. The Nationals also have reportedly agreed to terms with free agent infielder Starlin Castro on a 2 year, $12 million deal. With Trea Turner at shortstop, the Nats would seem to be set to slot Castro and Cabrera at 2B and 3B in some combination.

How does that impact the Rangers? Well, the Nationals have been one of the teams most seriously linked to free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, and who have been linked to teams that are considering dealing a third baseman. The Rangers, of course, have third base as a priority this offseason, and the Nationals signing Castro and Cabrera could mean one less serious bidder out there.

Now, it’s still possible the Nationals look to make a splash for a third baseman — they could put Cabrera in a utility role, or sign Donaldson and put him at first base. At this point, however, it would appear the Nationals are unlikely to go big in that area.

That leaves the Atlanta Braves and the Minnesota Twins as the other big fish in the third baseman buyers pool. Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday that those two teams, along with the Nationals, had four year offers on the table for Donaldson, while Donaldson was planning on signing with the first team who offered the guarantee he is looking for, which Rosenthal says is thought to be around $110 million. The scuttlebutt has been that the Braves are the expected destination, but nothing has happened yet.

There’s also Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant and Kyle Seager on the trade market, theoretically, though I would be surprised if any of them was dealt. Arenado’s contract and no-trade clause complicate any possible deal for him, while even if the Cubs trade Bryant, it wouldn’t be until his grievance, which will determine if he is a free agent after 2020 or 2021, is resolved.

But with these two moves, the Nationals seem much less likely to make a big splash for a third baseman, which would seem to increase the chances that the Rangers do make one.