Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tiger's Miggy Gets A New "Fat" Deal

Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers have apparently agreed to an eight-year $153 million contract. The deal will keep Cabrera in the Motor City until at least 2016. This is a great deal for the Tigers, as Miguel should easily have cost over $20 million annually on the open market.

Just 24 years old, Cabrera already has 138 HR and is a career 313 / 388 / 542 hitter (and he is still three years away from a player's traditional peak years). His VORPs for his career are (starting in '07 and going back) 71.4, 78.7, 68.5, 43.7, and 9.3 (half-season). The most similar player (via Similarity Scores) to him through age 24 is Hank Aaron, followed by current/future Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Robinson, Orlando Cepeda, Al Kaline, Mickey Mantle (and maybe Andrew Jones and Vlad Guererro). That is some pretty elite company, and it could be argued that Miguel deserves a contract closer to the one A-Rod got. Alex is the better talent, and the better defender and base-runner, but paying Cabrera $25 million for his age 32 season seems safer than paying Rodriguez $30 million for his age 40 season.

The contract disappoints me, as I was hoping the Tigers would lose him to free agency (and preferably to the NL) since the Indians are my team in the AL Central. He may go down as one of the all-time great hitters, and should be in the MVP debate for years to come.

No comments: