Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting the Detroit Tigers and two-time reigning AL Most Valuable Player Miguel Cabrera have agreed on a long-term contract extension.
This is the third consecutive year that Dombrowski and the Tigers have signed someone to a $200+ million contract.— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) March 27, 2014
Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sportss reports Cabrera's extension is for eight-years and $248 million, an average of $31 million, and will run through 2023. The $31 million a year average during the extension years will be the highest in baseball history. As reported earlier by Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, the Tigers' total commitment to Cabrera will be for ten-years and $292 million. That includes the two-years and $44 million left on his current eight-year, $152.3 million contract, signed in March of 2008.
Heyman is now reporting the Tigers' full commitment could reach 12-years and $352 million. No details as of yet, but there are reportedly vesting options in years 11 and 12, at $30 million a season. Cabrera will be 32 when the extension kicks in for 2016. The new contract will keep Cabrera wearing the Olde English D until at least the age of 40, which should cover the remainder of his career.
The Tigers have not confirmed any of the reports, as the extension agreement depends upon Cabrera passing a physical.
Cabrera's contract tops the previous biggest deal ever doled out by the team, Prince Fielder's a 9-year, $214 million deal signed in 2012. After Cabrera's monster deal, the largest current contract on the Tigers is Justin Verlander's seven-year, $180 million agreement, which has a $22 million vesting option for 2020.
The Tigers began extension negotiations with their slugging first baseman after the team could not agree on a contract with reigning Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, who will be come a free agent after the 2014 season. The Tigers have been clearing payroll this past off season, starting with the Fielder trade, in order to lock down one of the best players in the game for the remainder of his career.
Cabrera joined the Tigers on December 5, 2007, acquired along with pitcher Dontrelle Willis from the then Florida Marlins for a gaggle of prospects; pitchers Andrew Miller, Dallas Trahern, Eulogio De La Cruz and Burke Badenhop, outfielder Cameron Maybin, and catcher Mike Rabelo.
The trade has turned out to be one of the best in Tigers' history. In his six years with the team, Cabrera has hit a remarkable .327/.407/.588, posting a .995 OPS, along with 227 home runs and 737 RBIs in 3524 at bats over 940 games.
As a Tiger, Cabrera has won the last three AL batting crowns, along with two home run titles (2008, 2012), two RBI crowns (2010, 2012) and made four All-Star teams (2010-13). In 2012, he was the first player to win the Triple Crown since Carl Yazstremski accomplished the extremely rare feat in 1967.
In the last five seasons, Cabrera has finished in the top five in AL MVP voting, winning the award in 2012 and 2013. He is the first player to win back-to-back MVP awards since Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox in 1993–94. He is just the third Tiger to win more multiple MVP awards, the others being Baseball Hall of Fame members Hank Greenberg (1935, 1940) and Hal Newhouser (1944–45)
Cabrera has proven to be quite durable, averaging 157 games a season with Detroit. He battled a groin injury over the final month of the 2013 regular season, holding him to just 148 games, the lowest amount since his 2003 rookie season. Cabrera underwent surgery in December to correct the issue. He hasn't missed a beat since his return, Cabrera showing he has fully recovered by hitting .378/.474/.622 with three home runs and eight RBIs this spring,
Long on record saying he wanted to finish his career with the Detroit Tigers, Cabrera will now have that opportunity.