SARASOTA, Fla. — If the Orioles complete the signing of infielder Everth Cabrera this week, there will be room to question why the club was willing to take a chance on a player who was involved in the Biogenesis scandal and has a pending charge of misdemeanor resisting arrest hanging over his head.
It's not that complicated.
The club has a positive recent history with "second-chance" players, and Cabrera potentially fills a big hole in the roster. Presumably, the team has done its homework and feels that he will not be a problem in the clubhouse. The deal appears to be pending an early resolution of the legal issue in California.
In a sense, the team inoculated itself with the very successful signing last year of 2014 Most Valuable Oriole Nelson Cruz, who was just off a Biogenesis suspension but turned out to be a strong leader and a good citizen during his -- regrettably -- only season in Baltimore.
Cabrera is not on the same level. He's a speedy infielder who does not necessarily project into the everyday lineup, but could fill several roles for the Orioles, batting leadoff and spelling J.J. Hardy at shortstop. He can catch the ball, can get on base and has stolen 90 total bases in the past three seasons.
I'll weigh in on everything surrounding this potential signing in my column later today and in tomorrow's print edition of the Baltimore Sun.