Miguel Cabrera has fast-tracked his way to 2,500 hits

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It’s been a rough day for right-hander Trevor Bauer, who plunked three batters, walked two, surrendered a run on a wild pitch, and served Miguel Cabrera his 2,500th career hit during Sunday’s Tigers-Indians game. In the third inning, Cabrera lined the first pitch of his at-bat into right field, where it dropped for the slugger’s milestone hit:

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At 33 years old, Cabrera joins the ranks of 100 major leaguers to reach 2,500 career hits and seven who have reached 2,500 or more hits by their 33rd year, including Ty Cobb (2,856), Rogers Hornsby (2,705), Hank Aaron (2,618), Robin Yount (2,602), Alex Rodriguez (2,531), Mel Ott (2,528), and Jimmie Foxx (2,516).

Of the eight sluggers (and seven Hall of Famers, barring Rodriguez), 1929 Cubs infielder Rogers Hornsby saw the fewest plate appearances by age 33, racking up over 2,700 hits in just 8,636 PA. Cobb, by far the most prolific hitter over his 16 seasons, reached 2,856 hits while contributing just 69 home runs — though his 218 triples stand unchallenged by any of the other names on the list.

Cabrera distinguishes himself from the group with the fourth-most extra bases, thanks in large part to his 441 home runs and in very small part to just 17 triples. Like Hank Aaron, it only took him 14 seasons in the majors to break into the 2,500-hit club, and he sits behind Hornsby and Cobb with just 8,946.

No matter how you slice it, it’s an impressive feat for the Tigers’ star slugger, whose name has been central to MVP discussions since his rookie season in 2003. Among active players in the majors, only 33-year-old Robinson Cano appears anywhere close to Cabrera’s record, with 2,191 hits spanning his 12-year career so far.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.