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A's agree to terms with Cabrera and Garciaparra on one-year contracts03/06/2009 1:31 PM ET
PHOENIX, Ariz. - The Oakland A's agreed to terms with infielders Orlando Cabrera and Nomar Garciaparra on one-year contracts, the club announced today. To clear space on the 40-man roster, the A's outrighted infielder Yung-Chi Chen to Triple-A Sacramento. Chen will remain in camp as a non-roster invitee.
Cabrera batted .281 with eight home runs and 57 RBI in 161 games with the Chicago White Sox last year. He also stole 19 bases and had career highs in walks (56) and strikeouts (71). The 34-year old ranked second in the American League in singles (144), sixth in plate appearances per strikeout (10.28) and tied for sixth in hits (186). Cabrera had a .978 fielding percentage, which ranked fourth among AL shortstops.
Cabrera made his ML debut with Montreal in 1997 and played for the Expos until he was dealt to Boston at the trading deadline in 2004 in a four-team, eight-player deal that also saw Garciaparra go from the Red Sox to the Cubs. He played for the Los Angeles Angels from 2005-07 and spent last season with the White Sox. The native of Colombia is a .274 career hitter with 105 home runs, 684 RBI and 184 stolen bases in 1572 games over 12 seasons. Cabrera won Gold Gloves with Montreal in 2001 and Los Angeles in 2007 and his .981 fielding percentage since 2005 is the best among AL shortstops. He has appeared in postseason play in four of the past five seasons, including 2004 as a member of the World Champion Red Sox.
Garciaparra is a .314 career hitter in 13 big league seasons and his batting average ranks seventh among active players. He also has 226 home runs and 920 RBI in 1369 games. The 35-year old made his Major League debut with Boston in 1996 and was named AL Rookie of the Year in 1997. He finished second in AL MVP voting in 1998 and then won back-to-back AL batting titles in 1999 and 2000. A six-time All-Star, Garciaparra remained with Boston through the trading deadline in 2004 when he was dealt to the Cubs. He returned to Chicago in 2005 and has spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, earning NL Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2006 after batting .303 with 20 home runs and 93 RBI. Garciaparra appeared in postseason play last year for the fifth time and is a .321 hitter with seven home runs and 24 RBI in 32 career postseason games.
Garciaparra hit .264 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 55 games with the Dodgers last year in a season interrupted by three stints on the disabled list. He has eight stints on the DL over the last five years, but has a .292 average, 53 home runs and 251 RBI in 441 games over that span. Last year, he appeared in 31 games at shortstop, 11 at third base and eight at first base. Garciaparra played primarily shortstop over the first nine seasons of his career, but over the last four years he has appeared in 194 games at first base, 88 at third base and 57 at shortstop.
In addition to Cabrera and Garciaparra, the A's have also acquired Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies and signed Jason Giambi as a free agent since the end of the 2008 season. Those four additions have combined for 14 All-Star games, six Silver Slugger Awards, three batting titles, two Gold Gloves, a MVP and a Rookie of the Year. They have a .294 career average, 855 home runs, 3366 RBI and 361 stolen bases in 5489 major league games and also have 116 games of postseason experience.
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