Hot Stove 2010: But what about Miguel Cabrera?

Judging from the popularity of certain posts in recent days, it seems that a lot of people are interested in acquiring Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers are desperate to trim payroll, and they’re poking around to gauge interest in case they want to dump one or two of a number of young and still productive players, including Edwin Jackson, Curtis Granderson, and now Cabrera. And who wouldn’t want to add a right-handed, 26-year old 30-HR hitter with a .311/.383/.542 resume? My suggestion to you is to read this great article by Matt Klaassen at FanGraphs.

Cabrera is a very good hitter still, but the problem is that you’ll be paying equal value for that skill, so trading away good players to acquire him is means you’re actually losing value through his prodigious contract. Yes, I’ve advocated bringing him here in the past, but that was before he had a contract to match his expanding girth. Cabrera is owed $126M over the next six years, and has bonuses if he wins MVP or reaches other incentives. That would be okay if you could be confident he’d work hard and keep in shape, but he’s proven lousy at both of those so far. And we haven’t even gotten to the drunkenness and domestic violence issues. With that considerable contract, growing weight problem, work ethic and character questions, I’m not sold that we want Cabrera for this team.

Still, his talent is worth acquiring if Detroit wants to unload him on the cheap. There aren’t too many teams that can afford to take on his salary; even the Mets are reluctant to spend big this offseason, it looks like. So if Dave Dombrowski wants to drop Cabrera in our laps for two or three B-level prospects, that’s fine by me. Just don’t give up Clay Buchholz (or equivalent) to get this deal done.


2 Responses to Hot Stove 2010: But what about Miguel Cabrera?

  1. Pat says:

    I think it would be a wise move for us to get Cabrera if he was available cheap.

    I think the weight problem hasn’t been an issue since Cabrera joined the Tigers. I think he can play a passable first base, and is improving there.

    So I guess that’s where we differ.

    I’d rather get Cabrera than Adrian Gonzalez, because Miggy would be cheaper, prospect wise, and controlled longer.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    Hey Pat, it all comes down to what you consider to be “cheap”. Personally, I don’t pull the trigger unless he comes for one top prospect and one high-ceiling one. I don’t want to give up more than that for a max contract player who might not last for the duration of the contract, given his physical and emotional issues.

    My guess is that Detroit won’t be able to move him for at least a couple of years. As heavy as that contract looks today (pun intended), in a few years it could be rather reasonable for his talent level. Six years is a long time to try to predict the future.

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