The Detroit Tigers and Miguel Cabrera have both had enough informal conversations about a possible extension to expect a deal to get done, a friend of the player tells Jayson Stark of ESPN. Rival executives tell Stark the framework for a deal is somewhere between three and four more years of $28 million tacked onto the end of his current deal, which ends in 2015.
The time to strike is now while Cabrera has leverage, an agent tells Stark:
"If I represented him," said one veteran agent, "I'd try to negotiate something right now. He's got better leverage at 30 than he'd have if he was trying to go someplace else at 32. I'd be shooting not so much for the years, but for the highest AAV [average annual value] in the game. And I think he could get that."
Patrick O'Kennedy at Bless You Boys points out such an extension could put the club in a tough position in coming years:
If Cabrera receives an extension at $30 million per year, the club will be obligated for almost $100 million for four players: Cabrera, Verlander, Fielder, and Sanchez. $26 million or more will come off the books just as Verlander's extension kicks in for the 2015 season, due to the expiring contracts of Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez. Max Scherzer is scheduled to hit free agency the same year. If a few of the Tigers' young farm hands would step up production and contribute by then, that would be
very niceabsolutely necessary.
Speculation: As Stark and O'Kennedy both point out, it wouldn't make sense for the Tigers to be so open to big extensions (Fielder: 9 years, $214M; Verlander, 5 years, lots more) without including Cabrera on the money train. Makes sense to me.
Would you tack on another $100M onto the end of Cabrera's deal? Comment below.