One of the questions on the minds of many Detroit Tigers fans over the past few seasons: What do the Tigers do with Miguel Cabrera?
It’s no secret that Miguel Cabrera’s production has dropped significantly over the past few seasons and he still has two years remaining on his contract that will pay him $32 million per season. Spotrac has Miggy’s AAV ranking #6 in the league, with the top eight contracts all topping $30 million on average, so his contract doesn’t seem as monstrous as it once did a few seasons ago. With the Tigers seemingly turning the corner in 2021, there are a few routes the Tigers can potentially go.
With the Universal DH going into effect, on the surface, that opens the door to multiple trade partners for the Tigers. Even with 15 new potential trade partners, many clubs either already have DH options available or won’t be willing to take on the rest of Cabrera’s contract. Of the teams looking to compete for a World Series title, there are only a small handful of teams that might actually be willing to make the move to add Cabrera (even then, the list is very short). The question then shifts to what is the value of Miguel Cabrera and what is the return for him?
While simply releasing Cabrera would allow the Tigers to open up the roster spot and move on, doing so this season would be extremely irresponsible. The Tigers still owe Miguel $64 million and I don’t any reason why the team would willingly just eat the rest of the contract before or during the upcoming season, especially while Miggy is likely to record hit 3,000 and the team has expressed how Cabrera has been “a good soldier” during the rebuild so they will want to feel that they are doing right by him. It is definitely possible for the Tigers to look at releasing Cabrera after the 2022 season, but I believe it is also unlikely.
Cabrera stayed relatively healthy over the past few seasons, playing in 130 games last season. A. J. Hinch seemed to push all of the right buttons and managed Cabrera well to get the most out of him and will most likely work with Miguel to try to get the most out of him during the rest of his tenure with the team. At this point in his career, the Tigers know that keeping him around the organization and being a mentor on the young team is his role. His presence was a contributing factor as to why Javier Báez decided to join the Tigers and hopefully Cabrera can have a positive impact on encouraging other free agents to join the organization. Besides, if the Tigers aren’t making a move with Miggy, why not try to get the most out of him in the clubhouse?
Miguel Cabrera has been a pillar with the Tigers, the face of the franchise, and a future Hall-of-Famer. The Tigers organization rewarded Cabrera with his massive contract extension in 2014 and will ensure that he receives his due in his last two seasons as a Tiger. Cabrera has also expressed his desire to bring a championship to Detroit in a recent interview, so the Tigers know that he wants to stay and see it through. Whether you love it or hate it, Miggy doesn’t look like he will be going anywhere.
What do you think the Tigers should do with Miguel Cabrera? Let us know in the comments below!
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