Miguel Cabrera Rumors
SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers and Miguel Cabrera's agent have "begun to talk" about a long-term deal. Heyman believes a deal could be hammered out fairly quickly given the nice fit with Detroit for Cabrera. Heyman doesn't have inside info on the years or amount, but got Cabrera to admit that ten years, $200MM sounded about right.
Would an extension start with 2009, Cabrera's last arbitration year? I imagine so, though maybe the ten years would start with 2010. Regardless, Cabrera's level of production is truly worth $20MM annually into the forseeable future. Doesn't hurt that he's gotten into shape a bit, either.
ESPN's Keith Law has some good info up on his personal blog. I have always wondered about this stuff. In the post, Law discusses how little sense it makes for the Phillies to pay Ryan Howard more than his service time calls for. But also in the comments Law explains which players Howard's agent can compare him to for an arbitration hearing.
For comparison purposes, a player may be compared to players in the same “service class” in the current year or in prior years, and third- and fourth-time eligibles may be compared to free agents who have signed in the current year or in prior years. Single-year salaries are more powerful comparisons than multi-year deals, since the individual salaries within a multi-year deal may be skewed due to bonuses, backloading, or other factors.
Law notes that Howard's comp could be Miguel Cabrera, who made $7.4MM last year. Howard logically deserves more than that based on a stat comparison, making the Phillies' $7MM submission seem low.
Miguel Cabrera agreed on a salary around what was expected with the Tigers - $11.3MM for 2008. I recently talked to the Detroit Free Press's Jon Paul Morosi about the long-term possibilities, if you're interested.
Danny Knobler says this was Cabrera's agents' preference - get the one-year deal done with today's deadline and then work on a something long-term.
Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press snags our Rumor Royalty honor for the Tigers. Here's a link to the paper's Tigers page and one to Morosi's blog. Many thanks to Jon for participating. Click here and scroll to read all Rumor Royalty entries.
MLBTR: We've heard chatter that Miguel Cabrera could be baseball's next $200 million player. Is there any chance this could happen with the Tigers? Seems that it would require an 8-10 year commitment.
Morosi: This much is clear: The Tigers love Cabrera and will do what they can to sign him long-term. (He's two seasons away from free agency now.) I'm confident that they would make him a six-year offer for a little more than $100 million. But there's a big gap between those figures and a 10-year deal in the $200 million range. There is little doubt that his free agency years will be valued at more than $20 million each; he has better career offensive numbers than Torii Hunter, whose contract with the Angels averages $18 million per year.
MLBTR: The Tigers have become major spenders in recent years. Do you expect them to make a play for any of the big name free agent starters next winter, such as C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Ben Sheets, or Oliver Perez?
Morosi: I don't anticipate them being major players in the market for big-money starters next off-season. Then again, I didn't think they were going to trade for Dontrelle Willis when I arrived at the winter meetings last month. Right now, they have four starters -- Willis, Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson -- who are under club control through at least 2009. That's pretty good depth. And Kenny Rogers could borrow a page from Jamie Moyer -- who is two years his senior -- and pitch longer than anyone expects.
On the other hand, the Tigers might need to look for a starter next winter if Rogers leaves/retires and one of the other four is injured or traded.
MLBTR: Will we see Brandon Inge and/or Marcus Thames in the Detroit organization on Opening Day? Which one is more likely to be traded?
Morosi: Inge is the more likely of the two to be traded, but I wouldn't be surprised if both are still with the team on Opening Day. A quiet development here has been Vance Wilson's uncertain health after missing all of last season with an elbow injury that ultimately required Tommy John surgery. Jim Leyland said during the Tigers' caravan over the weekend that he's concerned about whether Wilson will be ready for the start of the season. Inge, who preceded Pudge Rodriguez as the starting catcher, could provide some insurance there. (Last year's backup, Mike Rabelo, went to Florida in the Cabrera/Willis deal.)
The Tigers are still trying to trade Inge -- Leyland said as much over the weekend -- but it doesn't seem that there's a big market for him as a starting third baseman. And the Rolen-Glaus trade meant two more teams solved their third base questions, reducing the number of potential suitors for Inge. So, he may have no choice but to accept a bench role.
Detroit has been open to trading Thames at various times, but he's still a very valuable player for this team. He has 44 home runs over the past two seasons in roughly the same number of at-bats (617) that some everday players get in a single season. He's continued working out at first base this winter, and he could get some part-time at-bats there, in the outfield, and at designated hitter on Gary Sheffield's days off.
Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press has an article up today in which he tosses around some numbers regarding a possible Miguel Cabrera contract extension. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski admitted his desire to sign Cabrera long-term recently.
Morosi expects Cabrera to receive an $11MM contract for '08, if he doesn't sign long-term soon. Morosi calculates that if Cabrera signed right now, six years and $105MM might be a reasonable amount. That would be $11MM for '08, $14MM for '09, and $20MM per year thereafter.
By the way, I'm happy to report that Morosi has agreed to answer some questions for our Rumor Royalty series. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments.
The daily, and sometimes twice daily, odds n' ends roundup...
- A site called You Been Blinded got its hands on the huge A-Rod binder Scott Boras handed out in 2000.
- The Mariners are highly unlikely to trade young hurler Brandon Morrow or start him in Triple A.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski stated his desire to sign Miguel Cabrera long-term. The lack of an extension window was a big reason why the Angels dropped out on Cabrera.
- Talking Chop breaks down the Braves' payroll and finds they have about $83MM committed.
A few good reads that I didn't know how to fit elsewhere.
- LENIII does a Johan Q&A. I can't say much has changed but he does dissect the situation well.
- Mike DiGiovanna also does a mailbag, with tidbits about Howie Kendrick, Miguel Cabrera, Paul Konerko, and many others.
- I know I said I like to skip minor signings, but it's interesting to see Gabe Kapler out of retirement, signing with the Brewers.
UPDATE, 12-8-07 at 2:47am: More excitement...throw Abraham Nunez into the mix of Marlins third base targets. This team is going places.
FROM 12-7-07 at 11:27am:
MLB.com's Joe Frisaro posted a new column last night full of good Marlins hot stove chatter.
- The most interesting note is that the Marlins talked to the Reds about swapping Dontrelle Willis for Josh Hamilton, prior to the blockbuster with Detroit.
- With Miguel Cabrera, the White Sox and Rangers were involved during the Meetings before the Tigers jumped in. The Rangers backed out when they couldn't get an extension window for Cabrera. The Tigers wanted the same but obviously it wasn't the dealbreaker. The Angels, Dodgers, and Giants were involved before the Meetings, with the Giants offering Noah Lowry.
- Frisaro says there are "strong indications the Marlins will sign Jorge Cantu. He'll be in the mix at third base.
- The Fish are offering the Phils Scott Nestor for Wes Helms, who'd also compete at the hot corner.
- The Mets have some interest in Alfredo Amezaga, though the Marlins are inclined to keep him.
- Miguel Olivo will be released soon, so throw him into the catcher market with Michael Barrett.
Anthony Castrovince has a few notes about the Indians this evening.
- For Miguel Cabrera, the Marlins asked for Asdrubal Cabrera, Adam Miller, and then some. Obviously the Tribe said no thanks.
- There's not much going on with the Indians and Jason Bay. And rumors of their interest in Alex Rios proved false.
- Cliff Lee has been linked to the Mariners, Pirates, and Blue Jays. However no one has given the Indians an actual offer for Lee.
- Castrovince suggests the Indians may explore a long-term deal for Fausto Carmona this spring.
Angels GM Tony Reagins recently held court with the media to debunk most of the Angels rumors swirling about recently.
- The Angels are not currently in the mix for Johan Santana. Reagins spoke to Bill Smith last night, but not about Johan.
- The Angels haven't met with the Orioles, so there haven't been discussions about Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada at the Meetings.
- Reagins wasn't involved much with Miguel Cabrera before the Tigers snagged him.
- On the less boring front, Reagins said "some interesting and exciting things have surfaced" with surprising new teams. Get your speculating caps on.