Cabrera ready for spring training

Nicaragua’s Everth Cabrera was named the country’s Athlete of the Year for 2012 and has just signed a new contract with the Padres that will more than double his salary

After leading the National League in stolen bases last season, Nicaraguan speed demon Everth Cabrera, the San Diego Padres presumptive starting shortstop for the 2013 season, was named Nicaraguan Athlete of the Year in a private ceremony Friday evening.

The award was the second bit of good news the 26-year-old Big Leaguer has received in the past month. On January 18, the Padres announced they have reached a new $1.27 million contract deal with the Nicaraguan switch-hitter, avoiding arbitration.

Cabrera earned $495,600 last season for the Padres, when he batted .246 and swiped 44 bases in 115games.

Cabrera, whom the Padres consider to be one of the most exciting young players in the Majors, told Nicaraguan sportswriters at Friday’s award ceremony that he feels 100% physically and mentally and is ready to report to the Padres’ Spring Training in Arizona.

Cabrera, who was born in Nandaime, said he hopes to bat .280 this season and contend for the National League stolen base record again.

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