The MLB Winter Meetings don't take place until next week, but today is an important day in Detroit Tigers history. In fact, one might argue it is the most important offseason date in team history. On December 4th, 2007, the Tigers traded six player to the then-Florida Marlins for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.
Today, the trade is one of the most lopsided deals in MLB history. Cabrera has somehow gotten even better than his days with the Marlins, accumulating 45.4 rWAR in seven years with the Tigers. He has made five All-Star teams, won two MVP awards, and has finished in the top 10 of the AL MVP voting in each of the past six seasons. The face of the franchise, Cabrera signed one of the largest contract extensions in MLB history, keeping him in a Tigers uniform through the 2023 season.
However, the trade was not always considered a slam dunk. The Tigers sent a huge prospect package to the Marlins, including a pair of top 10 prospects in Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller. Some pundits may have argued that the Tigers overpaid for Cabrera, though any Google searches for "Miguel Cabrera overpay" immediately turn up a zillion columns related to his current contract. The general consensus was that the Marlins got a solid return for a franchise player, though the deal may haunt them in the end.
Well, haunt them it has. Maybin and Miller flopped in south Florida, though both -- Miller, in particular -- have seen a modicum of success elsewhere. Burke Badenhop has also carved out a nice career as a reliever. Dontrelle Willis was arguably the worst piece of the deal on either side, compiling -1.1 rWAR in three seasons with the Tigers.
But enough about the aftermath. Today is about celebrating the moment. To do that, I leave you with two questions:
1. Where were you (or what were you doing) when you heard about the trade?
2. What was your initial reaction?
Like many, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was my sophomore year at Michigan, and I was just getting home from class. I saw the trade news on ESPN, or some other publication -- news wasn't broken by teenagers with too much time on their hands in those days -- and I erupted. Miguel [redacted] Cabrera! I might have called and texted a dozen people. I'm not sure, the details are fuzzy. But I was delirious in the best kind of way. I loved the deal then, and I love it just as much today. Miguel Cabrera is ours, and the rest of baseball can't have him.
So I leave it to you, BYB. Were you as happy with this trade then as you are now?