Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski spoke with the media about the Miguel Cabrera situation just after 4 p.m. today. The highlights:
- Dombrowski has spoke with Cabrera today. Cabrera was “down, feels bad and was apologetic”;
- Dombrowski said “We have an issue here that needs to be addressed and helped”;
- Dombrowski expects Cabrera to join the club soon, but he’s not exactly sure when. First position player workouts are Saturday;
- Dombrowski was asked if he was disappointed in Cabrera, but he wouldn’t comment on that.
Cabrera won’t be disciplined by Major League Baseball over all of this because there isn’t a mechanism for baseball to do anything about criminal stuff that doesn’t involve the game. The focus of all of this going forward, then, must necessarily be on Cabrera’s health and obvious alcohol problem. If you’re Dave Dombrowski, you have to weight sending Cabrera to some sort of treatment program. Or, you have to wonder whether it’s better to get him back into baseball activities — a routine and physical conditioning that makes drinking harder for him –paired up with in-camp counseling.
No easy answers, of course. And it’s certainly the case that the person who is best positioned to help Miguel Cabrera is … Miguel Cabrera.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.