As reported earlier, the Detroit Tigers have signed two time most valuable player, Miguel Cabrera, to an eight year, $ 248 million contract extension that will keep him under Tiger control through the 2023 season. The deal will be added to the two years and $ 44 million remaining on his existing contract, and will include two vesting options for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
According to the terms disclosed by Jon Heyman on twitter, Cabrera will earn $ 28 million per season, the same as team mate Justin Verlander, in 2016 and 2017. The annual salary will then increase to $ 30 million for four seasons from 2018- 2021, and increase again to $ 32 million in 2022 and 2023. By the time the eight year extension has run it's course, Cabrera will be 40 years of age, and will have received over $ 400 million in salary from the Detroit club.
But wait, there's more! After the 2023 season, ten years from now, there are two option years. The options are team options for $ 30 million each for the 2024- 2025 seasons. The options will vest automatically if Cabrera finishes among the top ten in the league's MVP voting the previous season. If both options are picked up by the team or are triggered, that would bring the total of the extension to ten years and $ 300 million. The options include an $ 8 million buyout should they not vest and the club decides not to exercise the options.
And we're not done yet. There are a number of performance bonuses, including a $ 2 million bonus for each MVP award, that could increase the total even more.
The eight year, $ 248 million extension, by itself, represents the highest average annual value ever paid to a baseball player at $ 31 million per season, surpassing Clayton Kershaw's $ 30,714,286 average salary in the deal that he just signed this past winter.
Cabrera's $ 248 million contract extension, by itself is the third highest contract, behind only the two contracts signed by Alex Rodriguez with the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. Those deals were worth $ 252 million and $ 275 million at the time they were signed. The first contract signed by Rodriguez was never completed as he opted out with four years and $ 108 million remaining on the deal. His second contract, signed with the Yankees, will also not be fully paid, as he stands to lose about $ 24 million due to his 162 game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.
All totaled up, between the current contract and the eight year extension, the Tigers will owe Cabrera $ 292 million over the next ten years. Even without the two vesting options, that is the largest amount of money ever paid to one althlete by one team, in any sport. In fact, the only non baseball sports contract to crack the top 20 list is Floyd Mayweather's $ 180 million deal with Showtime, which ranks 11th on the all time money list.
Not a bad living for playing baseball.