The team has reportedly agreed to pay Miguel Cabrera a baseball-record $292 million over the next 10 years, an insider familiar with the matter claims.
The source, who said the contract is subject to a physical, spoke Thursday night to reporters on condition of anonymity as the expected agreement had not been announced.
Cabrera is due $44 million over the final two years of his $152.3 million, 8-year-long contract that runs through 2015, and the person says the slugger will make $248 million over eight seasons in the new deal.
“Depending on whether Cabrera’s deal is structured as one 10-year contract or an eight-year deal starting in 2016, it will either surpass Alex Rodriguez’s $275 million, 10-year agreement with the New York Yankees for the richest contract, or Clayton Kershaw’s record for average annual value of $30,714,286 in the $215 million, seven-year deal he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in January,” The Huffington Post reports.
The Tigers and their owner Mike Ilitch, who wants to wing a World Series, intend to close this season’s training showing their fans they are in a good shape, they have a desire to be the best and finally that they have prominent on the world’s arena players.
The Detroit team offered to right-hander Max Scherzer $144 million over six years recently, but the AL Cy Young Award winner turned it down, likely setting himself up to become a free agent after the season.
Detroit dealt Prince Fielder and his $214 million contract in November to Texas — less than two years after giving it to him — for second baseman Ian Kinsler, sending $30 million to the Rangers as part of the swap.
The legendary player, who turns 31 next month, has been voted AL MVP in each of the last two seasons. He is the first one to win the award in consecutive seasons since Frank Thomas did it 20 years ago.
The Venezuelan slugger won the Triple Crown in 2012 — becoming the first player to lead either league in batting average, homers and RBIs since 1967, when Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski pulled off the rare feat.
“He has a .321 career batting average with 365 homers and 1,260 RBIs, numbers that rank him with the greatest sluggers in the history of the game. He has played six seasons in Detroit after spending his first five with the Marlins,” The Huffington Post reminds.
“He’s got an unbelievable stroke,” Hall of Famer Al Kaline, who works in the Tigers’ front office, once said. “It’s so effortless the way he gets through the zone so easily.”
The Tigers kept the successful 30-year-old off the free-agent market once before, when they gave him that $152.3 million deal six years ago.
Then the team moved Cabrera back to first base to replace Fielder after he played third base the previous two seasons. Former manager Jim Leyland has said Cabrera is talented enough to become a complete player.
“Hopefully someday when he goes to Cooperstown, people won’t just say he was one hell of a hitter,” Leyland once said.
The Tigers appear to be confident that Cabrera’s off-the-field problems are behind him.