Tag: Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander Facing Uncertain Tigers Futures for 1st Time

They were two of the biggest stars in baseball, and the Detroit Tigers ensured they didn’t get away.

“I want to finish my career here,” Miguel Cabrera told reporters when he signed an eight-year, $248 million deal in the spring of 2014.

“Once we started contract talks, I wanted to stay in Detroit, and I wasn’t shy about saying that,” Justin Verlander told reporters after signing a seven-year, $180 million deal a year earlier. “I think it all worked out.”

Or did it?

The Tigers spent a decade winning around Cabrera and Verlander, teaming one of the game’s most feared hitters with one of the most dominant pitchers. But in the three years since Cabrera re-signed, they haven’t won a single postseason game. They’re now determined to reduce a payroll that approached $200 million in 2016 and to renew a talent base that had aged to the point they’ve been considered a franchise in decline.

During general manager Al Avila’s end-of-season press conference in October, he acknowledged changes were coming, telling reporters, “I can’t call it a rebuild because we haven’t broken anything down. So, no, I’m not comfortable with the word rebuild. I’ve read retool, I don’t know if that’s the right term. I don’t know if there’s a term for what I want to do here.”

And now the question of the winter, in Detroit and elsewhere, is whether the Tigers would trade one or both of their biggest stars.

“I think they would,” said one American League executive who has talked with the Tigers. “There’s a big difference between them and the White Sox. The White Sox would have to get a ton to trade [Chris] Sale, and even then, their owner might not really want to do it. The Tigers are looking for value, but I think they would like to make a trade.”

Before you start panicking (Tigers fans) or plotting ways to put Verlander in your rotation and Cabrera in your lineup (everyone else), understand that a willingness to make a deal won’t necessarily lead to one. Even a desire to make a deal wouldn’t mean Cabrera and Verlander are done in Detroit.

ESPN.com‘s Jim Bowden recently put the chances of a Verlander deal at 20 percent and the chances of a Cabrera trade at 10 percent.

“I’d say 20 percent might be about right for Verlander,” said an American League executive who has spoken with Tigers decision-makers. “But it’s probably 5 percent at best for Miguel.”

Verlander would be easier to trade, partly because everyone needs pitching and partly because just three years and $84 million remain guaranteed on his contract. Cabrera likely could only go to an American League team that can eventually use him as a designated hitter, and only to a team that can absorb the guaranteed seven years and $220 million he has left.

Even at those long odds, it’s a bit of a shock to see the Tigers reach this point.

They’ve been pushing for a World Series title since 2006, Jim Leyland’s first season with the club and the year Verlander was the American League Rookie of the Year. Cabrera arrived after 2007 in a blockbuster trade with the Florida Marlins, and the Tigers won four straight American League Central titles from 2011 to 2014, advancing to the ALCS three straight years and to the World Series in 2012.

Verlander was the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 2011. Cabrera won the same award the next two years.

The Tigers were big spenders and big winners, and if they had to go over budget to get or keep a star, there was always a decent chance owner Mike Ilitch would OK it (or even push to make the deal himself). Ilitch was super competitive—everyone knew—and he was also aging and running out of time to win the World Series he craved.

He’s 87 now, and he still hasn’t added a World Series title to the four Stanley Cups he won with the Detroit Red Wings. But rather than chase this winter’s free-agent stars, as Ilitch did when the Tigers signed Justin Upton in an ill-advised deal last January, he and the Tigers have chosen a different path.

The payroll, they say, is going down. They say it doesn’t need to drop too much, at least not right away. They definitely want to drop below the threshold for paying luxury tax, whatever that turns out to be once Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association agree on a new collective bargaining agreement.

They don’t want to tear it all down and start over, as the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs did successfully and as other teams have copied. They want to keep competing as they build for the future, as the New York Yankees are trying to do.

The Tigers have already traded outfielder Cameron Maybin, who had a $9 million option for 2017. They’ve discussed deals for second baseman Ian Kinsler ($11 million in 2017), outfielder J.D. Martinez ($11.75 million) and designated hitter Victor Martinez ($18 million), officials say.

But none of those would be the franchise-altering trade that a Cabrera or Verlander deal would be.

None of them would change the Tigers’ future, short term and long term, the way moving one or both superstars could.

No other players could bring as much back in return. No other players could open up future budgets as much.

Cabrera’s contract pays him $28 million in 2017, $30 million a year for the four years after that, and $32 million in 2022 and 2023, when he’ll turn 40 (with two options and an $8 million buyout). Verlander also makes $28 million next year, with two more years at $28 million and a vesting-option year at $22 million after that.

The big money limits the potential suitors, but baseball officials surveyed by Bleacher Report agreed both players remain tradable this winter. That might not be true if the Tigers wait another year, with Cabrera (34 in April) and Verlander (34 in February) getting older at a time baseball as a whole is trending younger.

For teams looking for immediate help, age is less of an issue than performance. Verlander finished a close second to ex-teammate Rick Porcello in the AL Cy Young vote, his fifth top-five finish. Cabrera finished ninth in Most Valuable Player voting, the seventh time in the last eight years he has been in the top 10.

Still, only a few teams can afford to add a player making $28 million. The officials agreed a Cabrera trade would be tougher than one for Verlander, because it’s hard to see a National League team trading for someone who will likely need to become a designated hitter before his contract runs out.

Beyond that, both Verlander and Cabrera have full no-trade protection, so either would need to sign off on any possible move. That may not be the biggest obstacle, though, given that any team which could afford one of them would likely have a real chance of winning a World Series.

The other question rival officials ask is whether the Tigers would be better off keeping both of their stars. The long-term financial impact could be bad, but the Tigers might have a better chance of winning in 2017 with both of them than they would anytime in the next five to six years if they trade them.

“That [American League Central] division is winnable,” said one National League scout who follows it closely.

A Central Division team has played in the World Series each of the last three years and four of the last five, but none of the teams have the financial firepower present in baseball’s other five divisions. The Tigers have had the division’s highest payroll eight of the last nine years (2011 is the exception, with both the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins spending more).

Without all of that money to spend, the Tigers would have had to trade Cabrera and Verlander long before this or watch them leave as free agents. As it was, they kept both stars, giving them deals that seemed to make them Tigers for life.

It still could turn out that way. Cabrera and/or Verlander could enforce their no-trade rights and decide to stay. The Tigers could decide the offers they get aren’t strong enough to justify making a trade.

But keeping both stars now could well mean living with both of those big contracts all the way to the end. As it stands now, the Tigers have five players signed for $122.125 million in 2018 (Cabrera, Verlander, Martinez, Upton and Jordan Zimmermann) and four players signed for $105.125 million in 2019 (all but Martinez).

Even if those players all perform at high levels, it will be increasingly tough to build a winner around them if the overall payroll is going to drop.

“It’s going to collapse on itself,” the National League scout said.

The Tigers’ hope is they can keep that from happening by acting now. The hope is they haven’t waited too long already.

Most teams want to keep their stars right to the end, but few actually do. Of the 34 players on the Hall of Fame ballot announced last week, just two (Jorge Posada and Edgar Martinez) played their entire careers for the teams that originally signed them.

Verlander twice gave up a chance at free agency with the idea he would someday be able to say the same thing. Cabrera, traded from the Marlins to the Tigers when he was 24, twice gave up a chance at free agency with the idea he wouldn’t go anywhere else.

They committed to the Tigers, and the Tigers committed to them.

Whether they end up moving or not, this is the winter when commitment gets tested.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Andrew McCutchen, Miguel Cabrera, More

Hot-stove season is upon us, which means trade rumors are starting to fly at a fast and furious pace as teams across Major League Baseball seek to retool their rosters and gear up for title runs in 2017. 

And with big names like Andrew McCutchen and Miguel Cabrera surfacing in advance of this year’s winter meetings, the rumor mill shouldn’t stop churning anytime soon. 

Here’s a rundown of the latest buzz from across MLB


Pirates Entertaining Offers for McCutchen

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals were reportedly engaged in trade talks centered around McCutchen at the non-waiver trade deadline, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, but the discussions didn’t yield a completed deal.

However, those trade talks may have been indicative of the Pirates’ larger desire to move McCutchen at some point in the near future. 

“The talks, while unlikely to revive because of differences in McCutchen‘s perceived value, amount to the strongest indication yet that the Pirates are willing to move their five-time All-Star and franchise player,” Rosenthal wrote. 

A day after Rosenthal‘s news broke, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington disclosed the Pirates have been open to hearing proposals regarding their star center fielder, according to the Associated Press’ Ronald Blum

They recognize that we haven’t been adverse to moving guys as their contract nears expiration. It’s a part of how we believe we need to do things to continue to be competitive and continue to give ourselves a shot to win. If they see his name out there, they do what we do. If a really good player’s name gets popped out there, we make a call just to make sure we do our due diligence and to see if there might be a fit.

The five-time All-Star is coming off a down year at the plate that saw him bat .256 with a .336 on-base percentage, 24 home runs and 79 RBI, and based on his contractual status, it would make sense for the Pirates to shop the 30-year-old. 

McCutchen is owed $14 million in 2017 and has a club option for $14.5 million in 2018, so if Pittsburgh doesn’t want to invest more money in the aging outfielder long term, dealing him now for younger, cost-controlled pieces would be a prudent move. 

When it comes to potential buyers, contenders in win-now mode could do much worse than McCutchen

Although he could be starting to decline following a year that saw him finish with minus-0.7 wins above replacement, the 2013 NL MVP would be an upgrade in center for a load of prospective title hopefuls, and he could help shift the league’s balance of power. 


Astros Eyeing Cabrera? 

The Houston Astros are reportedly looking for a superstar addition, and they’re not afraid to pay for one. 

According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, that could mean making offers to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Cabrera: 

However, the Astros’ history suggests that dealing for Cabrera doesn’t align with their standard operating procedure. 

“Cabrera, 33, is guaranteed $212 million over the next seven seasons,” the Houston Chronicle‘s Jake Kaplan wrote. “The Astros under Jim Crane’s ownership group have not spent more than $47.5 million on a single player (Yulieski Gurriel).” 

Kaplan also noted that Cabrera would need to approve any trade to the Astros, which would also complicate matters for the AL West hopefuls. 

Furthermore, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow pumped the breaks on rumors that Cabrera could be Houston-bound. 

“I was asked, ‘Would we consider a trade for a Hall of Fame-caliber first baseman,’ and we’re considering everything,” he said, per Kaplan. “I think the media kind of ran with that.”

In other words, don’t bank on Cabrera suiting up for the Astros anytime soon. 


Rays Reportedly Intent on Dealing Pitching

The Tampa Bay Rays have a surplus of starting pitchers, and they appear intent on making a deal to take advantage of that as the offseason progresses.

The New York Post‘s Joel Sherman provided the details:  

“The demand is there,” Rays general manager Erik Neander said, according to the Tampa Bay TimesMarc Topkin. “When you have really good players, especially in an area where there is need across the league, I think it certainly plays that way.”

Topkin noted Chris Archer logically garners the most interest, but the 28-year-old told reporters he has “very good insight” he won’t be traded this offseason. 

That leaves the cost-controlled likes of Jake Odorizzi and Drew Smyly as the Rays’ most compelling potential trade chips for the time being. 

Among those two, Odorizzi would appear to be the more appealing pitcher to prospective buyers. 

The 26-year-old went 10-6 during the 2016 season, and he was steady to the tune of a 3.69 ERA, 1.194 WHIP and a mark of eight strikeouts per nine inningsSmyly, on the other hand, went 7-12 with a career-worst 4.88 ERA. 

Now, those numbers aren’t necessarily indicative of Smyly‘s overall skill set, but considering Odorizzi is younger and has more upside, the Rays could likely net a more lucrative haul if they deal him to try to reinforce other areas of their lineup. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com. Contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com

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Miguel Cabrera Would Transform Astros into an AL Power

Houston, we have a rumor.

You want details? Here you go, courtesy of MLB Network’s Jon Morosi:

Let’s unpack the particulars.

First, the Houston Astros are planning to increase payroll. That’s a positive development for Houston fans after their club crashed the postseason party with a wild-card berth and advanced to the division series in 2015 but fell to a third-place finish in the American League West last season.

The Astros want to get back to October glory. They want to topple the Lone Star State-rival Texas Rangers, who have won the last two division crowns.

Miguel Cabrera or Edwin Encarnacion would move the needle toward that end, but let’s focus on Cabrera.

He is, after all, one of the best hitters of his generation with 446 home runs and 1,533 RBI in his career. And the Detroit Tigers are ready for a fire sale, as they should be, per Kurt Mensching in a special to the Detroit News.

Add Cabrera to Houston’s lineup, and you could be looking at a new power in a wide-open American League.

The Astros fell exactly in the middle of the pack in 2016 with 724 runs scored and were No. 24 in baseball with a .247 average. 

Houston, however, has an enviable offensive core, including second baseman Jose Altuve (.338 average, .928 OPS, 24 home runs, 30 stolen bases), shortstop Carlos Correa (.274 average, 20 home runs, 96 RBI), right fielder George Springer (.815 OPS, 29 home runs, 82 RBI), catcher/designated hitter Evan Gattis (.826 OPS, 32 home runs, 72 RBI) and 2015 first-round pick Alex Bregman.

Now, imagine Cabrera in the mix. The 11-time All-Star and two-time MVP hit .316 with a .956 OPS, 38 home runs and 108 RBI for the Tigers in 2016. He’s a future Hall of Famer riding out his peak.

Plus, as MLive’s Evan Woodbery pointed out, Cabrera and Altuve “both hail from Maracay, a hotbed of baseball on Venezuela’s Caribbean coast.”

That could inspire Miggy to wave his no-trade clause. 

The Astros would likely need to part with legit prospects to land Cabrera. They have a loaded system, though, ranked No. 3 by Bleacher Report’s Joel Reuter

The bigger hurdle might be Cabrera’s contract, which will pay him a minimum of $212 million through 2023. Even if the Tigers toss in some cash, that’s a hefty investment for a guy who’ll turn 34 on April 18. 

On the other hand, as Morosi noted, Houston appears willing to nudge the budget northward and has few payroll commitments beyond next season. 

In all likelihood, Cabrera will be a financial drag before he’s off the books. Sometimes, though, you pony up now and worry about the future when it arrives. 

This is workable. With a shallow free-agent pool, it could be one of the winter’s most impactful moves.

“We can be better, and we’re going to keep trying to be better,” manager A.J. Hinch said at the end of August, per Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle

Hitting isn’t the Astros’ only need. Their starting rotation finished 2016 with a mediocre 4.37 ERA, with ace Dallas Keuchel (4.55 ERA) falling disconcertingly shy of his 2015 AL Cy Young Award-winning peak.

Keuchel, however, showed signs of recovery in the second half, shaving 25 points off his first-half ERA and winning three of his last four decisions.

The bullpen, meanwhile, finished 10th in baseball with a 3.56 ERA and boasts ample depth even after Houston traded right-hander Pat Neshek to the Philadelphia Phillies on Nov. 4.

This club is capable of contending. It pushed the eventual-champion Kansas City Royals to five games in the division series in 2015 and, despite a stumble back last season, remained relevant.

The Rangers are a threat. The Cleveland Indians desperately want to get over the hump after their devastating seven-game World Series defeat. Out East, the defending division champion Boston Red Sox and up-and-coming New York Yankees are forces, with the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays there, too.

There’s no obvious powerhouse. With the right machinations, the ‘Stros could be as safe a pick as any.

Having Cabrera protect the likes of AL MVP finalist Altuve and Correa would count as the right machination. 

It’s not reality. Far from it.

But it’s a rumor, and a titillating one at that.


All statistics courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

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Cabrera, Verlander Add New Headliners to MLB Rumor Mill as Tigers Eye Rebuild

Don’t be fooled by the optics of the Detroit Tigers’ 2016 campaign, one that saw the organization miss the playoffs by a mere 2.5 games.

They’re stuck in one of the worse places in today’s win-or-rebuild world of baseball.

The Tigers own MLB’s fourth-most expensive roster, but it’s one that isn’t talented enough to be considered a serious World Series contender. While every team seems to be trying to get younger, Detroit’s key players are aging.

So it came as no surprise Tuesday when general manager Al Avila revealed the organization will pivot.

Avila told Jason Beck of MLB.com:

We have to be open-minded to anything. That doesn’t mean that we’re dangling Player A out there and seeing what happens, but it does mean that in our conversations with other clubs, we will be open-minded, and if somebody has interest in a certain player, we’ll take a look at it. If it makes sense for the Detroit Tigers present and future, then we certainly will consider things that we feel will make us better.

Read: Starting pitcher Justin Verlander, first baseman Miguel Cabrera and other Detroit veterans could be traded this offseason.


What was most suggestive of the fact that two Tigers cornerstones and a slew of other high-priced players could move was that Avila said “this organization has been working way above its means as far as payroll for many, many years.”

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney confirmed the notion Saturday, writing: “But the message being received from the rest of the industry is a dramatic shift for one of baseball’s oldest franchises: They will listen to trade offers on everybody. Miguel Cabrera. Justin Verlander. Ian Kinsler. Anybody.”

Verlander and Cabrera, both 33, are two of four Detroit players above 30 years old who are making at least $18 million per year, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

But they can also still make a major impact on contending rosters.

Given that baseball’s 2017 free-agent class is drier than August in Death Valley, this could be the ideal time to trade them, too.

First baseman Edwin Encarnacion and outfielders Jose Bautista, Ian Desmond and potentially Yoenis Cespedes are among the cream of this year’s free-agent class in terms of high-impact position players. The market for starting pitchers is without a front-line starter like last year’s class, which included David Price and Zack Greinke, their performances this season notwithstanding.

So teams may forgo spending money in free agency and instead try to add via the trade market.

While Verlander may not be the top-end ace he was earlier this decade, his 3.04 ERA still suggests he has top-of-the-rotation stuff and could make an impact on a playoff roster.

The Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox, who were swept out of the playoffs this year, saw the Cleveland Indians cruise to the World Series with outstanding starting pitching, which each of them lacked all season.

Both the Red Sox and Rangers are loaded with young talent, which they could send to the Tigers to bolster their respective rotations.

Cabrera still swings an All-Star bat—he hit .316/.393/.563 with 38 homers and 108 RBI—and could become the centerpiece of a World Series hopeful’s lineup.

And immediate thoughts gravitate to a particular AL playoff team that lost a prolific slugger to retirement. Ahem, the Red Sox and David Ortiz.

In fact, Cabrera has better offensive numbers than any potential free agent.

But it seems in their current spots on the Tigers’ hole-filled roster, Verlander and Cabrera are playing useless roles. They’re like unused chops at a high-end steakhouse, thrown away when the restaurant closes.

Detroit appears as if it’ll be closing for business every October.

Without giving them the opportunity to impact a postseason, Detroit is wasting what few prime years Verlander and Cabrera have remaining.

The Tigers seem pointed toward a rebuild. Or a retooling. Or a reworking. Or whichever way the organization wants to spin what is to come.

Regardless, this much is clear: Detroit may not contend for a title the next few seasons.

By then, Verlander and Cabrera will be in their twilight years. And though they still may be effective, the Tigers can’t bank on the duo’s impacting a long-term rebuild.

Simply, the dearth of high-impact free agents could create the highest possible demand for both players. It may be the perfect time to deal them, and it could net the Tigers the highest possible return in younger prospects.

And that is Avila’s stated goal: to get “younger and leaner.”

So as the general manager opens his mind to all possibilities, it might be time to open the phone lines, too. Because Detroit is certain to get calls on Verlander and Cabrera.

The demand for them may never be higher.


Seth Gruen is a national baseball columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @SethGruen.

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Miguel Cabrera Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation on Tigers 1B

Miguel Cabrera has been the face of the Detroit Tigers since they acquired him before the 2008 season, but with the franchise boasting a large payroll featuring a lot of players over the age of 30, the two-time American League MVP could find himself on the trade block this offseason.  

Continue for updates. 

Tigers Open to Trades

Friday, Oct. 21

Per ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Tigers are willing to listen to offers for everyone on their roster, including Miggy.

The key phrase there is “willing to listen.” There’s a difference between taking a phone call when an opposing general manager asks about a player and actively shopping a player. 

The Tigers are in a difficult spot right now. They won 86 games in 2016, finishing two losses out of a wild-card spot, so it would be easy for general manager Al Avila to make a few tweaks in hopes of making a playoff push next season.

Per MLB.com’s Jason Beck, Avila said at his end-of-year press conference the Tigers want to add more youth and be able to run an organization “without having to go over our means.”

At some point, though, the front office can’t continue to spend so much money. The Tigers spent $198.5 million on payroll in 2016 and have $176.2 million on the books for 2017, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts

Cabrera is signed for $212 million through 2023 with vesting options for 2024 and 2025 at $30 million per season, so if he makes it all the way through his deal, he will be 42 years old. 

While he is still a great hitter, posting his eighth straight season with at least a .300 average and .500 slugging percentage, owing a player who is already 33 years old that much money over such a long period is a way to cripple the payroll. 

It’s a bad time to trade Cabrera because of his age and what he’s still owed, especially since the Tigers could seek multiple top-tier prospects in exchange for him. But Avila has to try whatever he can to help the team keep pace with the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central. 

With players such as Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez and Jordan Zimmermann all on the wrong side of 30, this Tigers are built around an aging core that’s not going to have many years of peak performance left. 

A team needs to take drastic measures when it is spending more than it ever has without making a playoff appearance since 2014. Exploring the market for a hitter like Cabrera would fall into that category. 

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Cabrera Reaches 30 Home Runs, 100 RBI for 10th Time

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera recorded his 100th RBI of the season in Tuesday’s 12-0 win over the Cleveland Indians, becoming one of 11 players in major league history to have 10 seasons with both 30 or more home runs and 100 or more RBI, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Unsurprisingly, the 33-year-old slugger reached the milestone in rather spectacular fashion, recording three hits, a home run and five RBI in three at-bats to bring his totals up to 35 homers and 102 RBI for the season.

Only six players have recorded 11 or more seasons with 30 homers and 100 RBI, with Cabrera almost certain to join that group in the coming years, seeing as he’s still going strong in his 14th MLB campaign.

He has already recorded 12 100-RBI seasons through his age-33 campaign, trailing only Jimmie Foxx and Alex Rodriguez (13 apiece) in that measure, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Best of all, Cabrera has been at the center of Detroit’s surprising recovery from a slow start, playing a massive role in the team’s 69-52 record since it fell to six games below .500 on May 14.

With just five games left in the season, Cabrera and Co. badly need a victory in Wednesday’s favorable matchup against Indians starter Zach McAllister.

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Miguel Cabrera Injury: Updates on Tigers Star’s Biceps and Return

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera will miss Tuesday’s game against the Kansas City Royals with a left biceps strain. 

Continue for updates. 

Cabrera’s Injury Not Considered Serious

Tuesday, Aug. 16

According to the team’s official Twitter account, Cabrera is listed as day-to-day. ESPN.com’s Katie Strang confirmed Cabrera was injured during Monday night’s game. 

Cabrera’s injury has not been deemed severe, but losing the 33-year-old for even a couple of games at this point could hurt the Tigers’ postseason chances. 

Detroit is entering Tuesday night’s game against the Royals 2.5 games back in the wild-card standings, and Cabrera is an indispensable piece of the team’s offense who has put up monster numbers all season long. 

Through 117 games, the two-time American League MVP is batting .310 with a .550 slugging percentage, .934 OPS, 27 home runs and 77 RBI. 

Cabrera has also been on a tear of late. In 52 at-bats this month, he’s batting .365 with a .673 slugging percentage, 1.084 OPS, four home runs and 11 RBI. 

Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been tabbed to start at first base in Cabrera’s absence. 

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Cabrera Moves into Top 50 of All-Time Home Runs List

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera moved into the top 50 of MLB‘s all-time home runs list Monday night, hitting a two-run homer off of Seattle Mariners pitcher Nathan Karns in the first inning of an eventual 8-7 Tigers victory, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Cabrera did the deed with a mammoth 454-foot blast to center field, giving him 423 career home runs, tied with Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre for 49th place on the all-time homers list.

It was his third long ball in the last five games, which followed a 14-game stretch in which he didn’t have any homers, though he still managed to keep his batting average right around .300 during that time.

In light of the recent hot streak, Cabrera’s season-long numbers are starting to look more like what is typically expected, with the 33-year-old Venezuelan slugger boasting a .309 batting average, .382 on-base percentage and .543 slugging percentage through 70 games.

He has 15 homers, 43 RBI and 40 runs, putting him on pace to finish the year with 33 home runs, 100 RBI and 93 runs.

Each of those numbers, while impressive by the standards of nearly any other player, would actually represent modest production for Cabrera, who already has nine 30-homer seasons to his name.

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Miguel Cabrera Injury: Updates on Tigers Star’s Back and Return

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera exited Friday’s game against the Chicago White Sox with a back injury. It is unclear when he will be able to return. 

Continue for updates.

Cabrera Listed as Day-to-Day

Friday, June 3

Per the Tigers’ official Twitter account, Cabrera was taken out of the game with lower-back tightness and is officially day-to-day. 

Cabrera headed to the disabled list for the first time in his career in 2015. He played in just 119 games—his fewest since his rookie season in 2003. His performance at the plate didn’t suffer, though, as the two-time MVP led the league with a .338 batting average to go along with 18 home runs, 76 RBI and a .534 slugging percentage.

Still, the timing of Cabrera’s calf problem wasn’t all that great for the Tigers. The massive eight-year extension Cabrera signed with Detroit wasn’t even in effect at that point. The deal began with the start of the 2016 season, and he’s due to earn $248 million through 2023 with $30 million options for 2024 and 2025, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Even when it was signed, the contract looked quizzical at best, and it’s only getting worse with Cabrera starting to look his age (33) and signed for at least the next seven years.

This is also the second time the right-handed slugger went down injured in 2016. He suffered a bruised knee after Tampa Bay Rays reliever Dana Eveland hit him with a pitch on May 22:

It goes without saying the Tigers don’t have a replacement who can deliver anything close to what Cabrera—one of his generation’s best hitters—can at the plate.

Manager Brad Ausmus could potentially move Victor Martinez to first base, but that would leave the team without a designated hitter, forcing one of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Aviles or Andrew Romine into the lineup.

With the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians setting the pace in the American League Central, the Tigers need Cabrera back as soon as possible to remain in the hunt for the playoffs.

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Miguel Cabrera Injury: Updates on Tigers Star’s Knee and Return

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera suffered a left knee contusion against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday but is ready to return to action.

Continue below for updates:

Cabrera in Lineup vs. Phillies

Monday, May 23

The Tigers confirmed Cabrera is playing first base and batting third for Monday’s game.

Cabrera Is Centerpiece of Tigers Offense

It looks like age is finally catching up with the 33-year-old. Last season was the first time since 2003 that Cabrera played in fewer than 148 games when he was forced out with calf issues. 

While on the field, though, he continued to keep up his All-Star-caliber play, hitting .315 with nine home runs and 26 RBI on the season.

This is Cabrera’s ninth season with the Tigers, and he has become one of the greatest hitters of this generation. In 2012, he became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to win the batting Triple Crown. 

Cabrera has shown time and time again throughout his career that he can hit to all parts of the field with power and consistency. He’s led the league in batting average in four of the past five years and has batted under .320 just once in the past seven.

He helped lead the Tigers to four straight playoff appearances from 2011 to 2014, including an American League championship in 2012. But the emergence of the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals has made the Tigers’ stronghold on the American League Central much weaker. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

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