Detroit Tigers: A decision needs to be made regarding Miguel Cabrera

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

I can’t help but wonder if the Detroit Tigers have the guts to pull the trigger on Miguel Cabrera the way the Angels did with Albert Pujols.

The Los Angeles Angels recently designated the future first-ballot Hall Of Fame first baseman for assignment after an awful start to the 2021 MLB season.  The 41-year old Pujols is hitting a mere .198 on the season with five home runs and 12 runs batted in.

Pujols lost his job in the field to Jared Walsh, and the organization hopes to use phenom Shohei Ohtani as their everyday designated hitter.  Manager Joe Maddon mentioned that Pujols isn’t ready to be a bench player and still has aspirations to finish out the season elsewhere.

In a flurry of recent roster moves, the Tigers sent reliever Buck Farmer packing.  Is Miguel Cabrera the next player to be designated for assignment?

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When you scroll through the Detroit Tigers lineup, there is no real reason for the organization to continue inserting Cabrera into their everyday lineup.

That notion is certainly a tough pill to swallow, and I’m not one to completely bash a player of his stature and everything he’s done for the organization throughout his career.

Sure, Cabrera was unable to win a World Series in a Tigers uniform, but he got there once in addition to all of the personal accolades he was able to achieve while playing as a member of the organization.

Fans are quick to forget or overlook the triple crown, MVP seasons, but it’s clear the organization is just holding onto Cabrera and paying him for past accomplishments.  People are also quick to forget and now admit that if the Detroit Tigers didn’t extend Cabrera when they did, there would have been a riot within the fanbase.

The St. Louis Cardinals had to make a similar decision with Albert Pujols and opted to part ways with their slugging first baseman after the 2011 season.  That decision came following Pujols’ second World Series title; no need to remind you of his first that came in 2006.

There had been plenty of pushback in St. Louis after the decision, as you can imagine. Still, the Cardinals felt they didn’t want to suffocate the remainder of their payroll with a blockbuster long-term extension for a player already on the wrong side of 30.  The Cardinals have yet to win again since the departure of Albert but did win the National League pennant again in 2013, which did soften the blow.

The future of Miguel Cabrera with the Detroit Tigers should be in question.

Team owner Mike Ilitch at the time hadn’t won a World Series, and the team became a perennial championship contender.  Ilitch had a desire to win, and he wasn’t prepared to move on from Cabrera, and I can respect that.  His son could take a few lessons about spending money to make money; let’s leave it at that.

Prior to Friday night’s contest, the slumping Cabrera had been in the midst of an 0-26 spell at the plate with a whopping 13 strikeouts and just one walk.

Overall, Cabrera is stashing a .098/.179/.213 line in 2021.  With the Detroit Tigers firmly in the gutter with no future in sight, Chris Ilitch and Al Avila need to do themselves and Cabrera solid and part ways.

Cabrera, at 38-years old, is better than a .100 hitter but is nowhere close to being the player he once was.  Cabrera needs to go somewhere he can primarily serve as a designated hitter and occasionally start the field. Still, he also needs to be surrounded by an above-average lineup where he’s just a piece and not the counted-on hitter.

Imagine Cabrera in Toronto mentoring that youthful Blue Jay lineup hitting sixth or seventh; that seems like a good fit.  Other potential destinations I could see as a match would be Oakland, Texas, Seattle, or Tampa Bay.

Next. Chris Ilitch should be ashamed of himself. dark

Cabrera is owed $30-million this season, $32 million in each of the next two years before a mutual agreement for the remaining two years that’s worth $30-million taking his deal through the 2023 season and possible (but very unlikely) through the 2025 season.