Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski just spoke with the media in Lakeland, Florida and said that Miguel Cabrera will be evaluated by doctors before reporting to spring training.
Here’s Dombrowski, courtesy of Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:
“He’s cooperative and realizes he has an alcohol problem and he fell off.”
Dombrowski doesn’t have a specific timetable for Cabrera’s return, but he told Tom Gage of the Detroit News that he hopes to have a better feel for when he’ll be in camp by the middle of next week.
Interestingly, Passan reports that similar to Josh Hamilton, Cabrera’s agency SFX had someone who traveled with him in support last year. We can only assume that he didn’t have that same level of support during the offseason.
Cabrera’s rehabilitation is the most important part of this story, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com wrote this morning that Cabrera is unlikely to be suspended for this week’s DUI. Dombrowski echoed that opinion, telling Gage that he would be “surprised” if MLB levies any penalty or suspension.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.