What Miguel Cabera’s New Contract Means To The Tigers

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Miguel Cabrera‘s new 8 YR/$248 MIL contract extension comes days after the club couldn’t come to terms with reigning AL Cy Young Max Scherzer.

The numbers are mind boggling.

He breaks the ALL – Time record for Average Annual Contract per year (at $31 MIL AAV from 2016 – 2023, and also he is owed the most dollars at any given time by a contract at $292 MIL for the years of 2014 – 2023.

This man is the best pure offensive player in the game, and has only become better with age, but a lot of people are worried about the back end of this deal.

I fully understand that.

The back to back AL MVP champ has a Career Slash Line  of –  .321/.399/.568 – with 365 HRs and 1260 RBI in 11 years of playing.

Among the totals, includes 7 straight 30+ HR campaigns, and 10 consecutive years of 100+ RBI or more.

These seasons were all of the 10 full years the man played.  In 2003, Cabrera came up at age 20 to hit 12 HRs and drive 62 RBI In just 87 Games Played.

Oh yeah, his infusion into the lineup helped the Marlins pulled down a Wild Card Spot, before an improbable World Series win during Cabrera’s 1st stint in the big leagues.

You could tell great things were on the horizon with 4 HRs and 12 RBI in the 17 Games Played in the Title run.

Cabrera held down an OPS of .927 in his 1st 5 years of his career with the Marlins, and now has put forth a .995 clip with the Tigers.

The soon to be 31 Year Old, (April.18/2014), is the 3 time reigning AL Batting Champion, he won the 1st Triple Crown in the MLB since 1967 in 2012.

Some of the comparisons have come against one Albert Pujols, but with Cabrera, he is actually seemingly improving every year, not even declining slightly like the current Angel and former Cardinal.

This deal also extends to the 2024 and 2025 years for $30 MIL if the Tigers 1B can meet Vesting Options.

These Options would had to be met when Cabrera was in his 40 year old and 41 year old years in 2023 and 2024.

This could mean the entire deal could net him 12 YRs/$352 MIL.  Terms of those specifics haven’t been disclosed yet.

Cabrera’s deal will see him with the 3rd highest contract ever by the MLB, with Alex Rodriguez (10 YRs, 2008 – 2017 at $252.87 – with $22.13 MIL forfeit for PED suspension in 2014) and (2001 – 2010, 10 YRs/$252 MIL).

He is also the 7th different player to crack the $200+ MIL barrier, and he is the 3rd this offseason – with Robinson Cano (10 YRs/$240 MIL), and Clayton Kershaw (7 YRs/$215 MIL).

The AAV is just higher at $31 MIL per year, than the $30.71 MIL the Dodgers Starting Pitcher just inked a deal for.

Cabrera is also the 9th player to crack the top 50 Salaries of ALL – Time for the MLB, and has effectively dropped four players to be tied for 5oth in the history of the game, with a worth of $100 MIL per contract each.

The next contract doled out that is more than $100 MIL, will drop Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria, Carlos Lee and Ryan Zimmerman (all extended) from the top 50.

The man originally from Venezuela, also appears on the contracts top 50 list in 22nd position, for his 1st deal with the Tigers, (8 YRs.$152.3 MIL).

This deal may be more money than the franchise could afford down the road, but to quantify the results on the field is only a part of the equation.

Securing the services of Cabrera, will guarantee the future hall of famer will play his way into Cooperstown in Detroit, and hang his hat there.

Having this caveat will enhance the value of the club down the road.  He is basically the club’s Babe Ruth.

If the Tigers are able to pull down a championship during his tenure, that will only cement his legendary status even more.

The 2014 team represents the squad’s best opportunity to win a Fall Classic.  The “Motown Boys” still have Max Scherzer, Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter in the last year’s of their contract.

While Scherzer is more than likely to leave the nest, especially with Cabrera’s extension, Detroit may be able to retain the other 2 gentlemen for another season or 2 each.

But for right now, the 2014 Tigers have the best chance.

You also have to factor these players will all be a year older next year.

Another reason for Dave Dombrowski to help trade or sign for other defencies created by injuries to Jose Iglesias, Bruce Rondon and Andy Dirks.

84 year old Mike Illitch is also acting like one of the greatest MLB owners ever.  He is making financial decisions that could really cripple the bottom line for profit based on how the club has spent money.

The owner of the Detroit Wings, and the founder of Little Caesars, also has stated the wishes to win a World Series before he dies.

Illitch has won 4 Stanley Cups with the NHL club he owns.

The man has seen his teams thrive for attendance despite a horrific financial state of living for the Detroit Metro Area.

The Tigers have had back to back 3 Million plus attendances at Comerica Park, and were 3rd in attendance only to the Angels and Yankees, and outdrew the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox in 2013.

I am sure the franchise will also move the big fella to the DH position to preserve his career by putting less wear and tear on his body.

Choosing batter like Cabrera is also a lot safer than giving a lot of money to Scherzer, who could be hurt as a Starting Pitcher.

When you consider that Justin Verlander is signed through 2019, and as long as 2020 ( at virtually $28 MIL per year), the risk one of the 2 pitchers would miss serious time doubles.

You simply couldn’t have the team paying Verlander, Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez $70 MIL per year, and then re-sign Cabrera for the $30 MIL per year too.

The organization not retaining Scherzer past this year, completely allocated those extra bucks to sign the 1B long-term.

The other school of thought, was that the club could have signed Scherzer to a long term extension, and then ride out the Cabrera deal until the end of 2014, and let the chips fall where these two men having played for the team next season.

Scherzer’s decline of the deal the brass offered, made the decision forward in what the team did in going forward.

When I was talking about Miguel Cabera having a historical run with Detroit, let take a look at where he could factor on the ALL – Time lists for main category stats.

At nearing 31, he is signed for 10 more years.  I think he can hit 200 HRs in the next 5 years (40 HRs a year), and then club 135 more in the next 5 campaigns (27 HRs a season average.)

This would place Cabrera with 700 HRs at age 41.  He may be able to challenge Barry Bonds mark of 762 HRs if he can DH for a couple of more years.

With Bonds at 762 HRs, Hank Aaron at 756 HRs, Babe Ruth at 714 HRs, Cabrera could put himself in the upper echelon of power greats.

Willie Mays at 660 HRs, and wherever A- ROD ends up at (654 HRs currently,) may also be passed.

Perhaps a more likely stat for him to be the ALL – Time Leader is in the RBI stat.

Right now, Hank Aaron is the leader in history with 2297 RBI.  At just 1037 short right now, this man could club 600 RBI for 5 the next 5 years.

This would leave him 437 RBI short in his last 5 campaigns.

Cabrera has 412 Doubles, which is 380  behind ALL – Time Leader Tris Speaker at 792.

At 791 Extra Base Hits, he is 686 XBH behind Aaron for yet another stat.

Cabrera is also just 5 hits short of 2000 for his lifetime.  While I don’t believe he can reach Ty Cobb at (4191) or Rose (4256), he could near 3800 – 4000 hits, which would place him 3rd place ALL – Time.

He may also become the 3rd player in MLB History with 12000 AB+, joining Rose and Aaron, being only 5782 AB short.

All of these lists show you how capable Cabrera may be for his legend in the game.  A town like Detroit will cherish this man like they do with former greats Ty Cobb, Al Kaline and Charlie Gehringer.

Yes it was a kings ransom, but at least with this player, he is worth the risk.

The highest contracts in MLB history (Red means signed this offseason)

*1. Alex Rodriguez, $275,000,000 (2008-17)

*** With A-Rod’s suspension in 2014, he will forfeit $22.13 MIL bucks, so it will now end up 10 YRs/$252.87 MIL for the duration of his deal.

2. Alex Rodriguez, $252,000,000 (2001-10)

*3.   Miguel Cabrera ($248,000, 000(2016 – 2023)

*4. Albert Pujols, $250,000,000 (2012-21)

*5. Robinson Cano, $240,000,000 (2014 – 2023)

*6. Joey Votto, $225,000,000 (2014-23)

*7.  Clayton Kershaw $215,000,000 (2014 – 2020)

*8. Prince Fielder
, $214,000,000 (2012-20)

9. Derek Jeter
, $189,000,000 (2001-10)

10. Joe Mauer, $184,000,000 (2011-18)
*T11. Mark Teixeira, $180,000,000 (2009-16)
*T11. Justin Verlander, $180,000,000 (2013-19)
*13. Felix Hernandez, $175,000,000 (2013-19)
*14. Buster Posey, $167,000,000 (2013-21)
*15. CC Sabathia, $161,000,000 (2009-15)
T-16. Manny Ramirez, $160,000,000 (2001-08)
*T-16. Matt Kemp, $160,000,000 (2012-19)
*18. Troy Tulowitzki, $157,750,000 (2011-20)

*19.  Masahiro Tanaka, $155,000,000 (2014 – 18)
*20. Adrian Gonzalez, $154,000,000 (2012-18)

*21.Jacoby Ellsbury , $153,000,000 (2014-2020)
22. Miguel Cabrera, $152,300,000 (2008-15)

*23. Zack Greinke, $147,000,000 (2013-18)
*24. Cole Hamels, $144,000,000 (2013-18) 
*25. Carl Crawford, $142,000,000 (2011-17)
26. Todd Helton, $141,500,000 (2003-11)
*27. David Wright, $138,000,000 (2013-20)
28. Johan Santana, $137,500,000 (2008-13)
*29. Alfonso Soriano, $136,000,000 (2007-14)

*30. Freddie Freeman, $135,000,000 (2014-21)

*31Shin-Soo Choo, $130,000,000 (2014-20)
*32. Matt Cain, $127,500,000 (2012-17)

T*33. Vernon Wells
, $126,000,000 (2008-14)

T-33 Barry Zito, $126,000,000 (2007-13)
*T-33 Jayson Werth, $126,000,000 (2011-17)
*T-36. Ryan Howard, $125,000,000 (2012-16)
*T-36: Josh Hamilton, $125,000,000 (2013-17)
*38. CC Sabathia, $122,000,000 (2012-16)
39. Mike Hampton, $121,000,000 (2001-08)
T-40. Jason Giambi, $120,000,000 (2002-08)
*T-40. Matt Holliday, $120,000,000(2010-16)

*T-42:  Cliff Lee, $120,000,000(2011-15)
*T-42: Elvis Andrus, $120,000,000(2015-22)
44. Carlos Beltran, $119,000,000 (2005-11)
45.Ken Griffey Jr., $116,500,000 (2000-08)
*46. Jose Reyes, $106,000,000 (2012-17) 

T-47Homer Bailey, $105,000,000 (2014 – 2019)
T-47. Kevin Brown, $105,000,000 (1999-2005)
*T-47: Ryan Braun, $105,000,000 (2016-20)
*T-50. Ryan Zimmerman,* $100,000,000 (2014-19)
*T-50. Evan Longoria, $100,000,000 (2017-22)
T-50. Carlos Lee, $100,000,000 (2007-12)
T-50. Albert Pujols, $100,000,000 (2004-10)

*Denotes Active Contract

Just Outside the Bar

*54Adam Wainwright, $97,500,000 (2014-18)

55. Carlos Zambrano, $91,500,000 (2008-12)
56. Mike Piazza, $91,000,000 (1999-2005)

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at http://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/
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