It's too banal and boorish of me to root for Miguel Cabrera to further break down physically this year just so I can say SEE! ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO SIGN HIM TO THAT DEAL WITH HIS FREE AGENCY MONTHS AND MONTHS AWAY! AT LEAST PUJOLS AND A-ROD WERE ON THE MARKET!
Cabrera is right there with Barry Bonds and Greg Maddux as MLB players whose performances always magnetically attracted my gaze and attention.
How can I discipline the Tigers for what will likely come to be a very regrettable economic partnership - potentially sooner rather than much, much later?
I'm going to make some adjustments to the teams I feel most connected to and interested in. That's my diplomatic way of saying 'root for.'
Just as I booted the Phillies down the list after the moronic extension they gave to Ryan Howard, THEN bumping them even further after giving Jonathan Papelbon the largest contract in MLB history for closers, a position that had already begun its transformation to what we can call fungible. I'd even accept non-essential.
Now isn't the time to explain how my devotion for the Rays began; just appreciate it's been there for what'll be its seventh year.
No need to explain why the Cardinals are there. They should have everyone's respect no matter who your favorite team is.
After researching and crunching numbers after the Braves signed HALF their team all in their prime ages for about what the Tigers are giving Cabrera, they bought my allegiance.
I've got to have some hope for the Phillies, for the sake of friends and family.
The Tigers. They used to be just a seam below the Rays. But after this deal? They plummet accordingly. If the Pirates lock up Gerrit Cole's best years for a modest price, as they've just done with Starling Marte and previously Andrew McCutchen, then THEY may bump the Tigers out of my top five.
That doesn't mean I'll talk or post about them any less. With their recent moves they've morphed my appreciation to bafflement to now criticism.
No, Miguel Cabrera has never been seriously injured for an extended period of time. He doesn't have a history of health issues. Neither did Albert Pujols. Then the plantar fasciitis arrived as he crept into his mid-thirties. Pujols is allegedly beyond that ailment and has slugged .500 in 19 games and 58 plate appearances this spring.
For the millionth time though, this isn't your dad's PED era.
The days of scientifically created superhuman ballplayers outrunning thousands of years of human evolution (I realize how histrionic that sounds) is just about over.
If you doubt that, read this from Fangraphs.
The only Fountain of Youth athletes can aspire for anymore is what they were blessed with at birth. David Ortiz, who was connected to PEDs in the past, is the only player I can think of since the eraser has aggressively been taken to steroids in MLB, that has found a way to shed what could be career threatening injuries at an 'advanced' age and continued to excel at as nearly as high a level as ever.
That's what Tigers fans have to aim for. That Cabrera ages similarly to the way Ortiz has. If not, well, no one knows the future outside of the fact that the older you get the more likely you are to breakdown. I need not be an evolutionary biologist to comprehend that.
- I guess Mike Trout is going to be a half-billionaire now.
- What? The Tigers don't scout as well as the Cardinals? Then how about they take five Cabrera at bats, or as many as they'd like, and buy/develop a better group to develop talent?
Miguel Cabrera will earn $49,423 PER AT BAT over the next decade. Median annual income of a household in Michigan: $48,471.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) March 27, 2014
If you want the most talented = richest player in baseball, fine. I'll take the most talented = richest player development savant in the game. It'll cost a fraction of a fraction of what it does to pay top personnel.
- New TV deal, continuing escalation of finances or not, I want no complaints if the Tigers are unable to keep Jackson, Porcello, Smyly, Castellanos, Iglesias etc...if they were to develop into quality players who require their own exalted finances. Signing them could eventually be akin to how the Braves acted financially this offseason, except potentially too late.
- Andrew McCutchen will never make more than $14.75 million on his current deal with the Pirates that would take him through his age 31 season. Oy. Just about the same with Paul Goldschmidt in Arizona.
- I'm not sure how, but baseball's money bubble inflated by it's DVR evasion is going to burst and its fallout could make Mt. Vesuvius' eruption look like a foggy day in Seattle.
- While the average annual value of Cabrera's contract is now forever buoyed, as those of others would be expected to inflate, that doesn't offer any solace if Cabrera no longer performs at peak levels. Pujols' remaining AAV is $26.5 million, while making 23 this year. If he continues to regress and/or remains prone to injury, what matter is it if contracts explode past his present value? The Angels may have a $40 million per year player in Trout, but they may also have a .270 hitting, 2 WAR player for $26.5. Sorry, regardless of MLB's continuing influx of funds, that wouldn't work for me as a someone overseeing a team.
- Lastly, while money in the game has grown more rapidly than ever before, I'm sure there are those that put those same caveats in place when mind boggling deals have been signed in the past. And now, just about all of those deals are regrettable, even with the unexpected riches in the game.