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Like Stripes On the Fur Coat of a Tiger - 02/04

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When Miguel Cabrera signs a long-term contract, it's going to be a big one. How big will it be? Lynn Henning ponders that question in the Detroit News, tossing out figures like six years and $125 million.

Considering that Johan Santana just inked a near-$140 million deal, I'd be surprised if the contract Cabrera eventually signs isn't worth at least $150 million. (Henning reminds us that the Tigers offered that kind of money to another player once, but Juan Gonzalez let the franchise off the hook by - inexplicably - turning the offer down.)

I'd also be surprised if Cabrera agreed to terms with the Tigers this season. I'm guessing he'll want to play 81 games in Detroit before deciding whether or not he wants to play baseball here for the next five to six years, and might not want to deal with the distraction of a contract negotiation while he's playing baseball. Surely, Cabrera's agent will also want to explore the possibilities of what his client might earn on the open market, especially if the Yankees or Red Sox are interested.

But after playing for apathetic Florida crowds, Cabrera might get caught up in the fever Detroit has for the Tigers these days. And this town could bowl him over if they make a World Series run. (We got a fever! And the only cure is a World Series championship!) His fellow countrymen - Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez - might also wear him down. That's certainly the hope here.

On Friday, Rob Neyer posted his ranking of the 10 best center fielders in baseball. Tigers fans might not be entirely pleased with his top pick, but Neyer can't deny the phenomenon that is our man, Curtis Granderson. (And finishing second on the list was largely a matter of age. Neyer's best - B.J. Upton - is four years younger than Grandy.)

Since I referenced Johan Santana in the first stripe, I'd also like to direct you to something I wrote about that trade for a new site Mike McClary and I just launched. The blog is called BaseballBlend, and we created it because of our mutual love for baseball and our desire to write about the other 29 teams in the sport, rather than just save that chatter for our instant message conversations. Sure, I could sprinkle general baseball posts in among the Tigers stuff here - and I probably will throughout the season - but keeping it all about our team here feels like the right way to go.

Regardless, we hope you'll check out BaseballBlend, if you get a chance, and consider adding the feed to your RSS reader. At the very least, it has one sweet logo.

Besides posting some outstanding work on defense and baserunning data, Lee is also taking community projections for your 2008 Detroit Tigers over at Tiger Tales. So far, you can predict stat lines for Pudge Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez. I need to get in on that action.

Jason Beck has been covering the Caribbean Series for MLB.com, which means he's been following a few Tigers playing winter ball. Miguel Cabrera opted out of the series, at the request of his big league employers (and a minor quadriceps injury), but Denny Bautista, Freddy Guzman, and Francisco Cruceta are doing all they can for the Aguilas Cibaenas (Dominican Republic 1).

Over at Motown Sports, the members annually Adopt a Tiger, and any Tigers prospect who owns a handful of Jimmy John's franchises has a very strong chance of becoming the official Tigers prospect of Bless You Boys.

Anthony Tomey of the Erie Seawolves, we are rooting for you here at BYB. Sure, the potential to hook a blogger up with a Vito helps his candidacy. (Not that I'm looking for such a handout. I'm just jonesing for a sandwich.) But the dude went 4-0 with a 2.21 ERA last year. (And he's an EMU Eagle.) It's not all about the subs.