Daniel Cabrera

Born: May 28, 1981
Height: 6’7″
Weight: 220
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: International Free Agent, 1999 (Orioles)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
High School: San Pedro de Marcoris, Dominican Republic
Agent: Mike Powers


Cabrera was highly regarded as an Orioles’ prospect, thanks to a power arm that produced mid- to upper-90s hit, as well as a slider that served him as an excellent swing-and-miss pitch.  He didn’t throw much else during his time in the majors.  Cabrera always struggled with his control, leaving him with high walk, wild pitch and hit batsmen totals.  He eventually collapsed after getting some promising results early in his major league career.  His velocity saw a steady drop from an average over 96 in 2005 to the 92-93 range in 2008 and only a little over 90 in 2009.  He’s had significant platoon splits, allowing left-handed batters to post an .833 OPS, while right-handed hitters managed only .686.  He’s been a groundball pitcher, allowing them 47.1% of the time over his career, but that didn’t stop him from having gopher ball problems over his last several seasons.

R:  2-3-0, 5.53 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 40.2 IP, 8.6 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

With the Orioles’ rookie team, Cabrera allowed only 31 hits in 40.2 IP, but walked nearly a batter an inning.

R+:  5-2-0, 7.14 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 60.1 IP, 3.7 BB/9, 10.3 K/9

Cabrera made dramatic improvements in advanced rookie ball, cutting his walk rate by well over half.  He didn’t allow a HR.

A:  5-9-0, 4.24 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 125.1 IP, 5.6 BB/9, 8.6 K/9

In his introduction to full season ball, Cabrera took a step back with his control, but remained hard to hit, allowing only 105 hits.

AA:  0-1-0, 2.63 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 27.1 IP, 4.0 BB/9, 11.5 K/9
MLB:  12-8-1, 5.00 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 147.2 IP, 5.4 BB/9, 4.6 K/9

The Orioles jumped Cabrera up to AA and, when he got off to a strong start there, brought him to the majors in May.  He stayed in their rotation the rest of the year, with mixed results.  His walk and K rates were poor, but he allowed an opponents’ OPS of .743, which was good considering that he had almost no experience above low A.

AA:  1-0-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 6.0 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 10.5 K/9
MLB:  10-13-0, 4.52 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 161.1 IP, 4.9 BB/9, 8.8 K/9

Except for a brief stint on an injury rehab, Cabrera spent the year with the Orioles, again with mixed results.  His K rate was excellent and opponents batted only .235 against him, but he walked too many.  He was also very erratic over the course of the season, with ERAs over 7.60 in April and August, and under 2.60 in July and September.

AA:  0-0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.25 WHIP, 4.0 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 15.8 K/9
AAA:  3-1-0, 4.07 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 24.1 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 10.0 K/9
MLB:  9-10-0, 4.74 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 148.0 IP, 6.3 BB/9, 9.5 K/9

Cabrera continued to get mixed results in the majors.  He fanned well over a batter an inning and opponents hit only .241 against him, but he led the AL in walks (104) and wild pitches (17).  He spent some time in the minors on an injury rehab, but still made 26 starts for the Orioles.

MLB:  9-18-0, 5.55 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 204.1 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 7.3 K/9

Cabrera’s performance slipped, as he allowed more hits than innings pitched for the first time and again led the AL in walks (108).  He also led it in losses and earned runs, and he hit 15 batters, had his K rate drop and had some problems with gopher balls (25) for the first time.

MLB:  8-10-0, 5.25 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 180.0 IP, 4.5 BB/9, 4.8 K/9

Cabrera had still more problems, as his velocity dropped from the mid-90s to 92-93, and his K rate dropped dramatically.  His HR rate increased again and opponents batted 286/376/450 against him, easily the worst line of his career to that point.

AAA (Ari):  0-1-0, 6.14 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 6.1 BB/9, 6.8 K/9
MLB (Wash):  0-5-0, 5.85 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, 40.0 IP, 7.9 BB/9, 3.6 K/9
MLB (Ari):  0-1-0, 6.55 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 5.7 BB/9, 5.7 K/9

After becoming a free agent, Cabrera signed with the Nationals despite being offered more money by the Pirates, because he wanted to stay close to his Baltimore home.  He spent the first two months of the season in the Washington rotation and struggled, with poor numbers across the board.  The Nats eventually released him, but he eventually signed with Arizona.  After tuning up in the minors, he got into six games, including one start, with the Diamondbacks and continued to pitch poorly.

AA:  0-1-0, 4.32 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 16.2 IP, 4.9 BB/9, 6.5 K/9
AAA:  0-1-0, 11.70 ERA, 2.10 WHIP, 10.0 IP, 6.3 BB/9, 7.2 K/9

Cabrera signed a minor league deal with the Angels, but was able to pitch in only 26.2 innings.  He eventually had Tommy John surgery.


Following the surgery, Cabrera didn’t pitch all year.

Cabrera is a low-risk flier for the Pirates.  Given his struggles, especially in recent years, it’s very difficult to see him contributing in AAA, much less the majors.  By the start of 2012 he wasn’t yet ready to pitch and stayed in extended spring training.

Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
2005: $325,000
2008: $2,875,000
2009: $2,600,000
2012: Minor League Contract
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2001
MLB Debut: 5/13/2004
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: 2013
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2004)
MLB Service Time: 5.054
March 15, 1999: Signed as an international free agent by the Baltimore Orioles.
December 13, 2008:
Non-tendered by the Baltimore Orioles and became a free agent.
December 29, 2008: Signed as a free agent with the Washington Nationals.
May 26, 2009: Released by the Washington Nationals.
August 10, 2009: Signed as a free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
November 5, 2009: Became a free agent.
January 28, 2010: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Chicago White Sox.
March 17, 2010: Released by the Chicago White Sox.
June 10, 2010: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Anaheim Angels.
November 6, 2010: Became a free agent.
January 27, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.