Miguel Cabrera first Tiger with five straight 30-homer seasons

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Miguel Cabrera got to 100 RBI last night. On Wednesday, he reached 30 homers by taking Minnesota’s Cole De Vries deep in his first at-bat. In so doing, he became the first player in Tigers history to reach to hit 30 homers in five straight seasons.

Surprisingly enough, just 18 different Tigers have had 30-homer seasons. Hank Greenberg leads the way with six (he had four in a row from 1937-40). Cabrera joins Norm Cash and Cecil Fielder with five apiece.

Besides Cabrera, Curtis Granderson is the only other player to hit 30 homers for the Tigers in the last 10 years, doing so in 2009. Bobby Higginson had his lone 30-homer season in 2000, while Tony Clark and Dean Palmer both got there in 1999.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

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In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.