With the monster 10-year deal worth $292 million that Miguel Cabrera just agreed to with the Detroit Tigers, the first baseman has now become an extremely rich man, and rightfully so. The native of Venezuela is arguably the second coming of Babe Ruth and may very well still have his best years ahead of him. Cabrera continues to improve his game season after season. However, just because a 10-year deal is set in place, doesn’t mean that every one of them needs to be spent in Detroit.
Before fans of the Tigers raise their paws in the air in objection, they need to sit back and ask themselves this very question: How are the Tigers going to pay and attract other players to play with Cabrera over the next few years? Although Cabrera deserves the money that has been thrown his way, he can’t win a World Series on his own, and from the looks of it, within a few years he may be forced to try and do just that. That is, of course, unless the Tigers decide to trade him to a contender at the time for a whole slew of prospects that the Motor City will undoubtedly need within a few years.
The Tigers’ minor league system is arguably the worst in baseball and it is bound to eventually catch up with them. Sacrificing the rosters on the Triple-A Toledo Mudhens and beyond, Dave Dombrowski has constructed a MLB club that is ready to win now. Whether they can win the Fall Classic or not still remains to be seen, but the savvy GM is certainly hopeful. Signing Cabrera to an eight-year extension ensures that the slugger will be around for the foreseeable future to lead the Tigers to the promised land, but by no means does he have to remain a Tiger for the duration of his contract.
Whether the Tigers win the World Series within the next three to five years or not, expect Dombrowski to figure out a way to rejuvenate his depleted minor league system towards the latter part of Cabrera’s contract. Cabrera isn’t going to last forever, let alone the next 10 years. If his plan of winning multiple championships over the next few years falls through, Dombrowski could be forced to send Cabrera to a contender at the time.
Teams such as the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have proven that they have no problem spending big bucks to keep their team on the map. Expect them and others to be in the running for Cabrera when the final few years of his contract are in front of him, no matter how ridiculous the amount of money he is still owed really is. Cabrera is that good and that valuable. He could be the final piece to a lot of other puzzles that will have a chance at winning a World Series, especially when Cabrera is the last big name on what will surely be a starving Tigers’ roster a few years down the road.