The Twins today acquired 34 year old, twice gold glove winning shortstop Orlando Cabrera for 21 year old Shortstop, Tyler Ladendorf, who was the Twins' second round pick in the 2008 amateur draft and split this season between Elizabethton (high Rookie) and Beloit (A).
Let's see what the Twins are getting with Orlando Cabrera:
Cabrera has played in the post-season 4 times: 2004 world champion with the Red Sox, 2005 and 2006 with the Angels and 2008 with the White Sox. When he was traded to the Red Sox mid season in 2004 (by the Expos in a 4-team trade with the Twins and the Cubs - the Twins traded Mientkiewicz to the Red Sox and received Justin Jones by the Cubs. Another interesting point in that trade was that current Twin Brendan Harris went to the Expos by the Cubs), he spark plugged the Red Sox with a .294/.320/.465 performance in 58 games. That season was a contract year for him, similar to this season.
His current line is .280/.318/.365 with a .302 wOBA, however after the All-Star break he has been on fire hitting .386/.415/.525 with half of his season total 4 home runs. The Athletics had him bat on the lead-off spot for a while and he disappointed (.224/.263/.308; 153 PA), however when he was switched to the second spot of the order, he has been hitting .305/.346/.381 (244 PA). For a comparison, players who occupied the Twins #2 spot were hitting a combined .245/.299/.372 (475 PA). Also, the player who he will likely replace, Brendan Harris has been very cold recently, hitting .203/.239/.313 since the All Star break.
Defensively this has been a bad season for Cabrera posting a -7.9 UZR (projecting to -9.6 UZR/150). However, last season he posted a 14.0 UZR (13.1 UZR/150), which suggest that there is potential to return to his previous form defensively. For comparison purposes, Brendan Harris at SS has a -1.2 UZR (-2.4 UZR/150) and Nick Punto a -1.0 UZR (-2.4 UZR/150).
Tyler Ladendorf was one of the top Twins' middle infield prospect who has been thought as a potential 5-tool player. He is 21 and just promoted to Beloit. With this trade the Twins are actually doing something similar to what the did with the Luis Castillo trade from the Marlins in the 2006 off-season: trading potential with actuality.
What impact would Cabrera have with the Twins?
Best case scenario is that he will hold the every day shortstop position, his defense will improve with better fielding teammates, his hitting will be solid and solidify the number 2 spot in the batting order and hopefully be a piece of the puzzle that propels the Twins to a path similar of his 2004 Boston Red Sox team. It remains to be seen whether this will happen, but overall this is a good trade with low risk for the Twins since they did not part with a current MLB player or a player expected to help the team within the next 3 seasons.
2 hours for the trade deadline and I have a feeling that the Twins are not yet done dealing