Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for the New York Mets, Asdrubal Cabrera dropped a bombshell, showing how frail the Amazin's clubhouse actually is, and how close it is to total collapse.
Cabrera returned from the disabled list Friday, and manager Terry Collins welcomed him with the news that he would no longer be the team's starting shortstop and would be moved to second base.
Veteran Jose Reyes played shortstop during Cabrera's DL stint and will remain there at least until prospect Amed Rosario is fully ready.
Cabrera's response to Collins' decision was to demand to be traded, which ruffled more than a few feathers inside the Mets clubhouse.
Each party is a bit right in this feud. At age 31, Cabrera is struggling through one of the worst seasons of his career, and it is not clear if this is just a long slump or if we are seeing the twilight of Cabrera's playing days.
Defensively speaking, Cabrera's numbers put him among the league's worst shortstops, with 11 errors in 171 throws, resulting in an awful fielding average of .936.
Among all shortstops in the majors, only young and inexperienced guys such as the Braves' Dansby Swanson (12) and White Sox infielder Tim Anderson (17) have committed more errors than Cabrera. But, to be fair, the rookies have had more chances than Cabrera, therefore, their fielder percentages (.962 and .935, respectively) are not worse than Cabrera's.
When it comes to advanced stats, Cabrera has minus-9 runs saved, making the case against him stronger.
On offense, he has been average so far (six home runs and 20 RBIs in 51 games), on par with his usual numbers, which are hardly extraordinary.
With such conditions, it won't be easy to find a new team for Cabrera that will guarantee him a spot as a starting shortstop.
In all fairness, however, the Mets' ways of dealing with Cabrera's struggles weren't right at all.
According to Cabrera's recollection, Collins informed him of the switch just as he came back from the DL, without any previous notice.
Cabrera noted that he should have been given time to prepare for the move during his rehabilitation assignment.
The player took this as a sign that the Mets are not counting him in their future plans and that they will not exercise the one-year, $8 million option they have on Cabrera for 2018.
Cabrera isn't the first player, nor will he be the last, to feel uneasy about being switched from the position he has played in for the majority of his career, the one where he feels most comfortable.
But he isn't being demoted to the bench. He would remain an everyday player in the majors, something that is a dream for many.
A drastic and radical decision, such as a trade demand, is something that should not be made while angry. Instead, it should be the result of reasoning with a calm mind, after a long chat with your agent, and only after studying the market and understanding the actual demand for a player of your skills and abilities, resulting in landing the job you really want.
However, what's done is done. Now the bridges between Cabrera and the Mets are torn apart, possibly forever.