Miguel Cabrera had a fantastic season (although not MVP-worthy, with all due respect to my Japanese media colleague) for the Tigers. He had a .942 OPS, hit 34 homers and scored 96 runs. He’s also only 26.
There are assorted rumors out there that Cabrera will be made available via trade and — hey — the Red Sox could play him at first base. It’s not quite Adrian Gonzalez, but it would be an impressive acquisition.
But at the risk of being derided by my statistically inclined friends, isn’t this one of those situations where in three years everybody shakes their head and says, ‘Yeah, we should have seen this coming?”
Cabrera is generously listed at 240 pounds by the Tigers. That was probably in 2005. Once an outfielder and then a third baseman, he is now a first baseman and may soon he headed to DH. I’m not a big fan of UZR, but he was at 2.8 last season after a -5.0 in 2008.
He also is owed $126 million over the next six seasons. Certainly, Mr. Cabrera could see the error in his ways, take up yoga and be slender and flexible come 2015. But the odds are against that.
Then there’s this: As the Tigers were trying to get into the playoffs in October, Cabrera decided that was a good time to go out and get hammer drunk. Mrs. Cabrera was not pleased when he rolled in just in time for The Today Show and the police were summoned. Taken to the hospital, he was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .26.
According to the police report, Cabrera was released only after it was determined he was not in medical danger. Now that’s drunk.
Drinking is no crime, thankfully. But when your team is trying to make the playoffs, it’s probably best not to do that. Imagine for a second how that would have played in Boston.
The Tigers are owned by pizza magnate Mike Ilitch and have a pile of money. If Cabrera is being shopped, it’s not for budgetary reasons. It’s because they decided they would be better off without him. That should give teams plenty of pause.
Want to read something fun? Check out the daydreaming Chad Finn did over on his blog.