Miguel Cabrera

UPDATE: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers agree to extension; will make $292M over next 10 years


UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the deal includes two vesting options valued at $30 million each. If Cabrera maxes out the deal, he could make as much as $352 million over 12 years.

6:56 p.m. ET: The new money in the deal works out to eight years and $248 million, per FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi. That’s an AAV (average annual value) of $31 million, which would surpass Clayton Kershaw for the highest in baseball history.

The total commitment over the next 10 years will be around $292 million. That figure was first floated by Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

6:37 p.m. ET: According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the extension will be for 10 years and just under $300 million. The deal includes the two years remaining on Cabrera’s current contract and eight additional years. It will take him through 2023 and his age-40 season.

Cabrera was set to make $44 million from 2014-2015, so depending on the structure, the deal could include around $250 million in new money. That would put him in the stratosphere of the two Alex Rodriguez contracts ($275 million and $252 million), which are the richest in baseball history. Albert Pujols and Robinson Cano ($240 million) are tied for third.

6:15 p.m. ET: FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports that the new deal will add at least six years on to Cabrera’s current contract, which is set to expire after 2015. He will receive an AAV (average annual value) of around $30 million in those six years, which means that the Tigers’ commitment to Cabrera over the entire eight-year span will be at least $224 million. We should know more soon.

6:06 p.m. ET: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers and Cabrera have reached agreement on an extension. It’s believed to be for at least seven years.

FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi hears that the AAV (average annual value) is expected to be around $30 million, which would be a new record for a position player. If these reports are accurate, we’re likely looking at a guarantee of at least $210 million.

5:30 p.m. ET: Detroit may have missed its chance to extend Max Scherzer’s contract before he hits the open market, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Tigers are close to a long-term contract extension with two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera has two more seasons remaining on an eight-year, $152 million deal, with $22 million salaries owed in 2014 and 2015, but so far at least there’s no word on the specifics of the extension.

This is Cabrera’s age-31 season and he followed up winning the traditional Triple Crown in 2012 by winning the sabermetric Triple Crown last season, leading the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Combined over the past four seasons he hit .337 with a 1.037 OPS while averaging 39 homers, 40 doubles, 88 walks, and 127 RBIs.

Albert Pujols’ ten-year, $240 million deal with the Angels and Joey Votto’s ten-year, $225 million deal with the Reds would seemingly be pretty good starting points for a Cabrera extension and it’s tough to imagine him getting less than $200 million considering Prince Fielder got $214 million from the Tigers as a free agent two offseasons ago.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.