Veteran slugger Miguel Cabrera has been diagnosed with a chronic knee condition, one that will be with him for the remainder of his career, Evan Woodbery of the MLive Media Group reports. As a result, Cabrera will be moved off of first base to contribute exclusively as a designated hitter. Doctors said season-ending surgery was a possibility, but Cabrera went against it, saying, “Forget about that. I’m done with that.”
Cabrera, 36, has been able to hit for contact but almost no power this season. He owns a .284/.356/.356 triple-slash line with only two home runs and 22 RBI in 219 plate appearances. Cabrera also only racked up three homers in 157 PA in an injury-shortened 2018 campaign as well.
It’s a shame injuries are slowing Cabrera down as he’s sitting on 467 career home runs, good for 35th place on the all-time leaderboard. He was once considered a lock to join the 500-homer club, a group that boasts only 27 members. The future Hall of Famer will have four years and at least $132 million remaining on his contract after this season.
Cabrera is back in the lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Rays. He hadn’t played since May 31. Brandon Dixon is handling first base. He could get the majority of starts there, sharing time with John Hicks.
MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.
Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.
After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.
Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.
Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.