Miguel Cabrera to have surgery tomorrow

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While it was still being speculated about before Game 4, when he appeared to receive his Hank Aaron Award, the Tigers confirmed late last night that Miguel Cabrera will undergo surgery tomorrow to repair his injured groin.

Cabrera laid waste to American League pitching from April through August, but once he suffered his groin injury late that month his production plummeted.  Cabrera hit only one home run in September while posting a .729 OPS, his lowest single month OPS since September 2004 season. He was pretty ineffective in the playoffs too, but he told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that he does not regret trying to power through:

“I tried to [play hurt] to take advantage of the chance we had in the playoffs, because with so many good teams you never know when a chance like this will come along. It took me eight or nine years to get back in the playoffs and I wanted to be back there and help the team win.”

Cabrera is still considered the favorite for the MVP award which will be handed out next month.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.