Miguel Cabrera

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

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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.

Cubs, Jake Arrieta avoid arbitration at $10.7 million

Jake Arrieta
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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The Associated Press is reporting that the Cubs and starter Jake Arrieta have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $10.7 million salary for the 2016 season. That marks the highest salary on a one-year deal for a pitcher with four years of service, the AP notes. Arrieta and the Cubs were set to go before an independent arbitrator but now can simply focus on the season ahead.

Arrieta, 29, is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He had filed for $13 million while the Cubs countered at $7.5 million. The $5.5 million gap was the largest among players who did not come to terms with their respective teams by the January deadline. The $10.7 million salary is $450,000 above the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award for his performance this past season, narrowly edging out Zack Greinke, then with the Dodgers. Arrieta led the majors with 22 wins, four complete games, and three shutouts. With that, he compiled a 1.77 ERA and a 236/48 K/BB ratio across 229 innings.

Once a top prospect in the Orioles’ minor league system, Arrieta struggled in the majors but found immediate success with the Cubs in 2013 after the O’s traded him along with Pedro Strop in exchange for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman.

Giants sign Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal

Los Angeles Angels third baseman Conor Gillaspie is unable to hold on to the ball after catching a grounder hit by Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain in the fourth inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
AP Photo/Colin E. Braley
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Per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, the Giants have signed infielder Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal. Gillaspie was selected by the Giants in the supplemental round of the 2008 draft, then was traded to the White Sox in February 2013.

Gillaspie, 28, hit a meager .228/.269/.359 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 253 plate appearances between the White Sox and Angels during the 2015 season. Almost all of his playing time has come at third base but he can also play first base if needed.

The Giants, thin on depth, will allow Gillaspie to audition in spring training for a spot on the 25-man roster.

Joe Nathan plans to pitch in 2016

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joe Nathan throws against the Chicago White Sox in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Detroit Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that free agent reliever Joe Nathan, recovering from Tommy John surgery, plans to pitch in 2016 according to his agent Dave Pepe. According to Pepe, Nathan’s workouts are “going well” and the right-hander is “definitely planning on playing this year.”

Nathan, 41, got the final out on Opening Day (April 6) against the Twins before going on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his right elbow, causing him to miss the next 161 games. He will likely be able to contribute out of the bullpen in late May or early June if he has no setbacks. On a minor league deal or incentive-laden major league deal, Nathan could make for a low-risk gamble.

Over a 15-season career that dates back to 1999 (he did not pitch in the majors in 2001 or 2010), Nathan has 377 saves with a 2.89 ERA and a 967/340 K/BB ratio over 917 innings.

The Rays are considering reliever Tyler Clippard

New York Mets pitcher Tyler Clippard throws during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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On Thursday, we learned that the Diamondbacks were still considering free agent reliever Tyler Clippard. You can add the Rays to the list as well, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Rays traded lefty reliever Jake McGee to the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Corey Dickerson in late January, so Clippard would be able to slot right in behind closer Brad Boxberger. Clippard, 30, compiled a 2.92 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 31 walks over 71 innings in a season split between the Athletics and Mets. The strikeout rate was at its lowest since the right-hander become a full-time reliever in 2009, and his walk rate was at its highest since 2010, which may be a factor in his still being a free agent in February.