The Detroit Tigers have initiated extension discussions with superstar slugger Miguel Cabrera, write FOX Sports' Jon Morosi. Though Cabrera isn't set to be a free agent until after the 2015 season, the Tigers appear intent on locking him up before his walk year, as to avoid the recent Max Sherzer fiasco. Morosi notes that the talks are in extremely preliminary stages, and that the two sides have yet to set a deadline on discussions, meaning negotiations could continue into the season.
Cabrera has been the most dominant hitter in baseball over the past two seasons, hitting .338/.417/.620 with a 175 OPS+ and 14.5 WAR. He has captured the past two AL MVP awards and is widely considered to be the second best player in baseball. Since joining the Tigers prior to the 2008 season, he has been worth 40.4 WAR and has posted just one season with a wRC+ lower than 140. In fact, Cabrera has been worth at least 5.0 WAR in eight of the past nine seasons.
Cabrera is nearing the end of an eight-year, $152.3 million contract extension that he signed with Detroit in March of 2008. Morosi suggests that his next contract will likely eclipse the ten-year, $240 million deal that Albert Pujols signed with the Angels back in 2011. Cabrera is currently set to be a free agent at the same age Pujols was (32), and their performances have been particularly comparable.
As I mentioned above, this comes on the heels of the Tigers breaking off extension talks with 2013 Cy Young award winner Max Sherzer earlier today, citing unreasonable contract demands on Sherzer's part. Detroit reportedly offered him a six-year, $144 million deal, but it was rejected by Sherzer and agent Scott Boras. The Tigers are hopeful that they will be able to keep both Sherzer and Cabrera, though the total cost should exceed $400 million.