Miguel Cabrera Rumors

Odds & Ends: Morillo, Bay, Cabrera, Gonzalez

Some links to read before the weekend draws to a close…

Discussion: Should Detroit Move Cabrera?

Over the past week, we've heard rumblings about the Tigers making players such as Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson available in order to shed payroll in the coming years. In his latest column, Ken Rosenthal offers up another question: should the Tigers look to trade Miguel Cabrera? Rosenthal opines that it makes financial sense for the Tigers to do just that.

Cabrera, 26, is entering his prime and is already established as one of the game's elite hitters. His bat is the cornerstone of Detroit's offense, and his 209 career home runs and career line of .311/.383/.542 would draw interest from many teams. Cabrera is owed $126MM over the final six years of his contract, however. He also had his share of off-field issues at the end of the season, as the Tigers lost a three-game lead on the AL Central with four games to go. Could the $126MM be spent more effectively by the Tigers? Fangraphs would say that for the time being, Cabrera is worth the money; they valued his performance at $24.3MM in 2009.

The Tigers will have $102.1MM committed to Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Guillen, and Brandon Inge in 2010, before arbitration raises to other players including Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson.

However, following the 2010 season, the contracts of Ordonez, Bonderman, Robertson, Willis, and Inge will be coming off the books in Detroit, freeing up more than $57MM. Given that information, is it better to trade their best hitter to save payroll and stock the farm system, or try to gut it out and work through the financial difficulties that 2010 has to offer? Rosenthal speculates one possible trade scenario to Boston, an exchange of Cabrera for Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Lowell, and a solid prospect such as Lars Anderson or Stolmy Pimentel. What's the better move for the Tigers, and what kind of package could Cabrera fetch if he were available on the trade market this offseason?

Cafardo On Cabrera, Penny, Upton

In his latest column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe examines the differing opinions on this year's free agent market and passes on some info from around the majors. The highlights:

  • One National League GM on the top players in this year's free agent class: "[Matt Holliday] won’t get what Mark Teixeira got. No chance. [John] Lackey may get A.J. Burnett money, but I’m not even sure anyone would go that high."
  • A separate source tells Cafardo that many teams will wait out the market this winter, potentially resulting in a few bargains for thrifty teams later in the offseason.
  • Cafardo wonders if the Detroit Tigers would entertain trade offers for Miguel Cabrera, who will make $20MM next season. If so, Cafardo thinks the Red Sox would get involved.
  • The Seattle Mariners believe they're very close to contending, which will mean hanging on to Felix Hernandez and pursuing players like Lackey and Jason Bay this offseason.
  • The San Francisco Giants are interested in bringing back Brad Penny.
  • Cafardo says it "isn't far-fetched" that the Rays could deal B.J. Upton. He suggests Upton's availability will depend on Carl Crawford's future with the team, or lack thereof.

Red Sox Notes: Hoyer, Ellsbury, Okajima

Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald shares a few of his thoughts about the Red Sox hot stove. Here are some highlights:

  • With Jed Hoyer taking the reins as the Padres' GM and Kevin Towers having been offered a position in Boston, Silverman thinks Adrian Gonzalez trade talks will restart in the offseason. Given how well Hoyer knows the Red Sox farm system, talks could progress faster than they have in the past.
  • Silverman says, though, that Hoyer's history with Boston doesn't necessarily mean a trade will happen. He points to former Epstein assistant and current Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes, and notes that Arizona and Boston haven't made a significant deal since Byrnes was hired.
  • If the Padres decide to hang on to Gonzalez, the Red Sox could potentially turn to Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera in their search for a power-hitting corner infielder.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury's below average defense in center (he posted a -12.3 UZR/150 in 2009) has the Red Sox thinking of moving him to left field.
  • If the team were to move Ellsbury to left (Silverman doesn't expect they will), it would be more difficult to find a replacement center fielder than a left fielder. Silverman thinks Boston should keep an eye on Carlos Beltran's situation in New York, given the Mets' struggles this year and the fact that Beltran would likely only be about $2MM more expensive per season than someone like Jason Bay.
  • Hideki Okajima is eligible for arbitration, but his contract states that he must be made an offer by November 10, so expect that to happen within a couple weeks.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Mulder, Pedro, Cabrera, Holliday

On this date 32 years ago, Carlos Beltran was born. Beltran is still one of only 19 players to ever sign a contract for at least $100MM (four currently play for the Yankees). With three years left on Beltran's seven-year, $119MM deal signed in 2005, let's take a look a what is being written in the Blogosphere…

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com. If you have a suggestion for this feature, Cork can be reached here, and followed on Twitter here.

Miguel Cabrera Staying Put

Talking to MLB.com's Jason Beck, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski moved quickly tonight to shoot down recent ESPN speculation that first baseman Miguel Cabrera could be traded.  Said Dombrowski:

"I think it's absurd, absolutely absurd.  We have no interest in trading Miguel Cabrera.  We have had no talks regarding Miguel Cabrera. Not only is it one of the last things we would ever consider, we have an owner [Mike Ilitch] who wouldn't do it. This is our core player who's our foundation."

Given that the Tigers signed Cabrera to an eight-year, $152.3MM extension just one year ago, it didn't make sense that they'd change their mind so quickly on their investment.  Cabrera is only 26 and seems headed for an MVP-type year.

Heyman’s Latest: Burnett, Lowe, Hudson, Tex

SI.com’s Jon Heyman has several new blog posts up.  Let’s take a look.

  • The Yankees planned offers in the four-year, $60MM range for A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe, but that’s not sufficient for either pitcher.  Burnett wants five years, and Lowe presumably at least $16MM per year and perhaps five as well.
  • The Indians, Mets, and Yankees are in on Orlando Hudson, who wants a five-year, $50MM deal.  The Dodgers are another possibility.  The New York teams would have to do some shuffling to make room for Hudson.  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the Indians’ interest yesterday evening.  The Tribe is also in on Orlando Cabrera, according to Yahoo’s Tim Brown.
  • Heyman says the Angels will make a "fair proposal with a deadline" for Mark Teixeira, with Miguel Cabera‘s eight-year, $153MM deal as a baseline.  This echoes recent columns from Ken Rosenthal and Bill Ladson.

Teixeira Interested In Washington?

Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports a mutual interest between the Washington Nationals and talented free agent Mark Teixeira. "[Maryland] is his home," mentions an anonymous source in Ladson’s article. The source also sets Miguel Cabrera’s eight-year, $153MM deal as a benchmark for Teixeira’s next contract.

Presumably, any hometown discount afforded the Nationals would also apply to the Baltimore Orioles, another team widely assumed to be on Teixeira’s short list of favorable destinations.

Stark’s Latest: Bonds, Howard, Vargas

ESPN’s Jayson Stark has a new Rumblings and Grumblings up; let’s take a look.

  • Stark surveyed execs from three teams about why Barry Bonds remains unemployed.  They provided the answers you’d expect, and collusion isn’t one of them.  One of the team officials believes a major injury to one of the 14 DHs could very well result in a Bonds signing.  Related note: Gary Sheffield just tore a tendon in his finger.  Meanwhile, Joel Sherman speculates that Bonds would be a nice match with the Blue Jays.
  • There are signs that Ryan Howard wants an unprecedented contract – he won’t be using Miguel Cabrera as his model.  A trade before he reaches free agency (after the 2010 season) seems likely.
  • Stark says the Mets are eyeing Claudio Vargas but would want him to work at Triple A for a while first.  They’re not showing interest in available guys like David Wells, Jeff Weaver, or Robinson TejedaDavid Lennon of Newsday counters by saying the Mets do have interest in Tejeda, though nothing is close.

Miguel Cabrera Signs Extension

4:08pm: John Lowe has the year by year breakdown and adds that there are ten teams Cabrera can be traded to without his permission.

TUESDAY, 12:44pm: Cabrera’s seven-year extension is official.  $20MM a year is a solid price for 25 year-old superstar who has never been injured.  And Cabrera sets himself up for one more massive deal, just like A-Rod did.

MONDAY, 8:57am: Though we don’t have an official announcement and press conference from the Tigers yet, it’s obvious that an agreement has been reachedSabernomics thinks Cabrera will be worth $268MM over this time period; PECOTA feels differently.  Cabrera will only be 32 when this contract ends.  Though their ages don’t match up, Jim Salisbury and Todd Zolecki believe this deal could be a comparable for Ryan Howard.

SUNDAY, 8:52pm: Danny Knobler clarifies: it’s a seven-year extension worth around $140MM, starting with the 2009 season.  Regardless, it’s a team-friendly deal.

12:18am: According to ESPN’s Enquire Rojas, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is set to sign an eight-year, $153.3MM extension.  That’s $19.16MM per year for 2009-16.  Definitely less than I expected him to sign for.  We’ll examine the deal more closely when details become available.