By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – Just days after announcing they failed to sign 2013 Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer to a massive extension, the Detroit Tigers have reportedly closed an even larger deal with superstar slugger Miguel Cabrera.
According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN and Baseball America, the Tigers will pay Cabrera nearly $300 million for the remaining two years of his contract plus eight additional years. Jon Morosi of MLB Network has confirmed the news of the signing, first reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, and Morosi said the total amount of Cabrera’s new deal is $292 million.
While Cabrera will be 40 years old at the end of the contract, he has a reputation as an impressively durable player. He hit .354 in 18 spring training games following offseason core muscle repair surgery. Even battling the injury that necessitated that procedure, Cabrera played in 148 regular season games in 2013. In 10 full years in the majors, Cabrera has just twice missed more than five games in a season. Since 2004, only Ichiro Suzuki has played in more games, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Most likely a future first-ballot Hall of Fame player, Cabrera won the Triple Crown in 2012 and followed up that season with even better numbers in 2013. He was named American League MVP in both seasons and likely would have won in 2011 as well had not a pitcher (teammate Justin Verlander) snagged the honor that almost always goes to a position player.
Cabrera’s current contract is for $152-million over eight years, and he will become a free agent after the 2015 season.
Morosi also tweeted that the Tigers are expected to make the official announcement within the next 24 hours.