Miguel Cabrera Rumors
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.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 6:04pm: Jon Paul Morosi reveals the three remaining players, and they're all pitchers: Burke Badenhop, Eulogio de la Cruz, and Dallas Trahern. Based on Kevin Goldstein's Tigers prospect list, the team surrendered its #1, 7, and 11th ranked prospects. Miller's not on the list due to big league experience but he'd be third if he was.
Morosi also notes that Marcus Thames, Brandon Inge, and Chad Durbin are now on the block.
Baseball Prospectus' Nate Silver weighs in on the big trade here.
FROM 12-4-07 at 5:30pm:
ESPN's Peter Gammons is reporting that the Tigers have acquired Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Mike Rabelo, and three minor leaguers.
This is what the hot stove league is all about, unexpected massive eight-player blockbusters. All the talk was that the Tigers would have a quiet Winter Meetings. Instead they traded for one of the best hitters in the game, adding an immediate 5-7 wins in the process. Swapping out Willis for Miller will probably be a push in 2008 before things swing toward the Fish.
Maybin and Miller are both elite prospects; it seems packaging Cabrera with Willis was the only way they could get both. Interestingly, it seems like Sports Review Magazine may have scooped this trade way back at 9:52am CST. I am surprised this link didn't get in my hands until now.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 5:22pm: Joe Frisaro at MLB.com says Cabrera and Willis are on the verge of becoming Tigers. And to think some people called the Winter Meetings boring. The Marlins got some absolute studs here, though it's surprising they couldn't get more dealing the two separately.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 5:15pm: Ozzie Guillen confirms Chicago's interest in Andruw, despite his agent.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 5:04pm: This is out of control! Now Jim Molony is saying the Tigers are nearing a blockbuster eight-player deal to get Cabrera and Willis for Maybin, Miller, and four others. In the same breath Molony adds that the White Sox are after Andruw Jones.
FROM 12-4-07 at 5:01pm:
This is unexpected. Joe Capozzi says the White Sox "are making a strong push" to acquire Miguel Cabrera. What's more, some kind of major announcement is coming soon and White Sox sources admitted it involves Cabrera.
Josh Fields, Gio Gonzalez, John Danks, and Gavin Floyd could all be involved. This would be an incredible move if Kenny Williams can pull it off. I never though those guys could net Cabrera against all other offers.
Capozzi adds that that the Tigers also made a push for Cabrera this afternoon.