Miguel Cabrera may have just signed a new contract extension that’s worth a total of $292 million with the Detroit Tigers, but he should do the right things. After how he performed on MLB Opening Day, the Tigers now-first baseman should hand in his glove and uniform, walk away from the money, and retire.
Cabrera, the immortal threat at the plate that we once knew, is no more. As Detroit was able to escape with a 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth, Cabrera wasn’t much of anything. Sure, he stepped up to the plate four times and reached base twice—once on a walk and once on a double, but he let Victor Martinez knock a dinger before him this season and let Alex Gonzalez play the hero and score the biggest hit and two biggest RBIs of the game.
Sure, if Cabrera continued with these percentages for the remaining 161 games of the season, he’d hit .333 with a 1.167 OPS, which is hardly slouching in the batter’s box. However, if he’s not going to hit for power and drive in runs, he’s simply not as valuable of a player as the contract he just signed would make him out to be.
At 30 years old and with him turning 31 in just over two weeks, Cabrera is at the age where he could start to decline. Given how he played on Opening Day, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. It might mean that he won’t get the payday that he just signed, but he’ll go out before he disappoints himself, his team and his fans this season with decreased production.