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.

Report: Tigers and J.D. Martinez agree to a two-year, $18.5 million deal

J.D. Martinez
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UPDATE: Jason Beck of MLB.com confirms that it’s a two-year, $18.5 million deal.

8:00 p.m. ET: Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Tigers have avoided arbitration with outfielder J.D. Martinez by agreeing to a two-year contract. No word yet on the terms involved, but Robert Murray of Baseball Essential reported earlier today that he was hearing rumblings about a two-year, $18.5 million deal.

Martinez filed for $8 million and was offered $6 million by the Tigers when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. There has been some talk about a long-term extension, but we heard last week that the two sides were discussing both one- and two-year deals. This new deal will buy out Martinez’s final two years of arbitration, so as of now, he’s still on track to go into free agency after 2017.

After a breakout 2014, Martinez batted .282 with 38 home runs and an .879 OPS over 158 games last season.

Free agent reliever Eric O’Flaherty weighing interest from four teams

New York Mets pitcher Eric O'Flaherty throws against the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Miami, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. The Mets defeated the Miami Marlins 8-6. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)
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Veteran reliever Eric O'Flaherty is coming off the worst season of his career, but there’s still plenty of interest in a bounceback, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that he’s deciding between four teams and “should sign a deal by the weekend.”

You really can’t sugarcoat O’Flaherty’s 2015. The 31-year-old was flat-out bad, posting an 8.41 ERA and 21/18 K/BB ratio over 30 innings of work between the Athletics and Mets. Opposing batters hit .343/.427/.482 against him. I keep going back to check if that’s a misprint, but nope, it’s real. He also missed some time with shoulder inflammation. On the bright side, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reported last month that O’Flaherty feels healthy and believes that he has fixed his mechanics.

O’Flaherty’s career has veered off track since Tommy John surgery in 2013, but he has enjoyed plenty of success in the past and throws from the left side. He’s the kind of guy who will continue to get chances.

Mets sign outfielder Roger Bernadina

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Veteran outfielder Roger Bernadina has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mets that includes an invitation to spring training.

Bernadina was a semi-regular for the Nationals from 2010-2012, but never developed as much as hoped offensively and didn’t play in the majors at all last season.

At age 32 he’s a career .236 hitter with a .661 OPS in 548 games as a big leaguer and given the Mets’ outfield depth–they already have Alejandro De Aza and Juan Lagares in bench/part-time roles–Bernadina seems likely to begin the season in the minors.

J.R. Graham is in The Best Shape of his Life

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher J.R. Graham celebrates after the final out as the Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 12-2 in  a baseball game, Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 12-2. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that Twins reliever J.R. Graham has lost “roughly 30-40 pounds this offseason.” It’s not a result of workouts, though. Just a change in diet. Bollinger says that Graham cut out sugar, alcohol and foods heavy in carbs and focused on a high-protein diet with lots of salads, meats and vegetables.

That’s an awful lot of weight to lose in four months, but the dude is only 26 and guys in their 20s lose weight just by thinking about it. Which is so very annoying to those of us who aren’t guys in their 20s.

The real test, of course, will come when he is working out far more strenuously once spring training starts and gets into the season. Normal schmos like me can keep up that kind of diet without much of a hitch as long as we have the willpower. An athlete’s energy requirements are far greater and far more specialized, so he’ll need more fuel than he’s probably been getting this offseason. Word is, however, that professional sports teams have people on staff that, you know, have made monitoring that kind of thing their life’s work.

In the meantime:

“I can just feel the change,” Graham said. “The energy. Everything. I feel great. I’m excited to see how it’ll translate into spring. I know I shouldn’t have any problems because I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m faster. All that. So it’s really exciting.”

It’s very exciting indeed. Because, with that, Graham becomes the latest baseball player to be . . . In The Best Shape of His Life.