Tigers Give Cabrera Record Extension
Reports are out that the Detroit Tigers have reached a contract extension with first basemen Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera, who is still under contract for two years, would get an additional eight years and $248 million. Throw in two more vesting options and the Tigers could have Cabrera for 12 total years and more than $300 million.
This extension guarantees Cabrera 10 more years and $292 million. That’s the most money that any team has owed any player at any time.
Cabrera is 30 years old – and turns 31 next month. He’s been a picture of durability. He’s played at least 148 games every year since 2004. He’s the two-time defending MVP. He won the Triple Crown in 2012. He’s won three consecutive batting titles.
Cabrera is the best pure hitter in the game. Most people agree on that.
But most also agree it’s impossible to keep the production Cabrera has into a player’s late 30s, or in this case, 40s.
He’s averaged a .321/36/123 slashline over his career. You just can’t keep that up. Cabrera has been great for 10 years. He’s already achieved an entire career’s worth of numbers. You can’t expect him to do that for 10-12 more seasons.
Furthermore, he’s been an everyday player since he was in his early-20s. You don’t see players these days hold up for 22 seasons, especially when you factor in the length of spring training and the postseason and the toll that takes on your body.
While it’s easy to blame Cabrera for being “greedy,” is he really? He’s still under contract for two more seasons. The Tigers came up with this deal.
And even for the best hitter in baseball, I don’t get it. Let him play this season, see if that production is still there, and then extend him for three or five more years at big money.
Baseball contracts are out of hand. The contracts are guaranteed, unlike the NFL. The years and money have gotten so big that most teams can’t compete. And if you do land that player, it cripples your roster for years.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, teams are very upset at the Tigers for this move. Maybe this is the thing the league needs to realize things are out of control.