Detroit Tigers have to be cautious with Miguel Cabrera in 2022

(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /

Detroit Tigers have some fragile cargo going into the 2022 season. Future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera is into the last two seasons of his contract. The massive eight-year, $248 million deal does not look so massive nowadays.

When players are looking at these $30-40 million annual salary deals in today’s world, Cabrera’s groundbreaking contract with the Detroit Tigers does not look as crazy. However, there’s $32 million due to Cabrera in each of the next two seasons.

That being said, the Tigers need to look to get the most out of the veteran Cabrera, who is now 38 years old and not nearly the player he was in the team’s glory days. No one expects Cabrera to be a Triple Crown threat or be the player he used to be, but getting the most out of him is crucial.

If the Tigers are going to pay Cabrera $32 million each of the next two years, they need to get the most they can from the veteran.

It’s like Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) says to David Justice (Stephen Bishop) in Moneyball, “I want to milk the last ounce of baseball you got in you, and you want to stay in the show.” about Justice not being the teaching veteran that the Oakland Athletics wanted him to be.

The Detroit Tigers need to be cautious with Miguel Cabrera.

Last year was a highlight season for Cabrera; everyone will remember seeing him hit that elusive 500th home run. Detroit Jock City Co-Expert Bob Heyrman was there to witness number 500 in Toronto, and I highly recommend checking out his piece about that day, linked HERE.

He did have a much better season than the Tigers have seen in recent years. Cabrera finished the season with a .256/.316/.386 slash line while also accumulating 15 home runs and 75 RBI for the Tigers in the summer of 2021.

Cabrera has brought more to the table than his on-field performance. He’s become someone that these younger players look up to. It seems like the organization has been able to get into his head and reel him in as one of the Tigers’ leaders.

With a heavy crop of young talent on its way to Detroit through the pipeline, some players poking through, and the signing of Javier Báez, it’s hard to think that Cabrera will not be able to have a positive impact on this team’s clubhouse.

But, when it comes to 2022, the leadership aspect is not going to wind up with Cabrera getting hurt. It’s no secret that Cabrera has a bit of an injury history, and the Tigers have to ensure he stays healthy.

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Cabrera’s health will be important for the Tigers so that they can protect their investment. Getting the most out of Cabrera on the field will be just as crucial as getting plenty out of him as a mentor.