Cabrera reinstated to 40-man roster
All-Star shortstop officially back after 50-game suspension ends
SAN DIEGO -- The home clubhouse at Petco Park was a serene place to visit Monday, with the exception of staff who worked to pack uniforms, helmets and just about anything else you can think of for the offseason.
About the only person in the room who didn't appear in shutdown mode for winter was shortstop Everth Cabrera, one of only two players who made it to the clubhouse a day after the regular season ended.
"I can't wait for Spring Training," Cabrera said, smiling.
Cabrera was officially reinstated to the 40-man roster on Monday after he was on the restricted list as part of his 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy.
The move was a procedural one for the Padres, as Monday was the first day they could add their All-Star shortstop to the 40-man roster.
Catcher Chris Robinson, who got his first Major League hit -- a home run, no less -- last week against the Giants, was designated for assignment.
Cabrera said he's been working out and will continue to do so in preparation for 2014. He said that it was unlikely he could play winter ball and would only return to his native Nicaragua for the holidays.
Other than that, Cabrera's focus will be on getting ready for next season and playing a full season, which is something he didn't do in 2013, as he was suspended in August for the final 50 games of the season as part of Major League Baseball's Biogenesis investigation.
At the time of his suspension, Cabrera was enjoying a breakout season in the field and especially at the top of the order.
Cabrera hit .283 with a career-high 108 hits in 95 games and finished fifth in the National League in steals (37), despite his lengthy suspension.
Cabrera hit .305 with 31 steals and a .382 on-base percentage in his first 69 games of the season before landing on the disabled list with a strained left groin in June. He missed 17 games before returning to the lineup just prior to the All-Star break and then traveled to New York for the All-Star Game on July 16 at Citi Field, though he didn't appear in the game.
"He was a catalyst," Padres manager Bud Black said.
His suspension now behind him, Cabrera said he's committed to being a "better person with a better attitude toward the game."
"I want to pay back this team and the fans," he said. "I want to be a special player in this game."