Cabrera set to ink Tigers' biggest pact: $153.3 million

Updated: March 25, 2008, 2:58 PM ET
By Enrique Rojas | ESPNdeportes.com

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers reached a preliminary agreement Saturday on an eight-year, $153.3 million contract extension, a source close to Cabrera told ESPNdeportes.com on condition of anonymity.

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The All-Star third baseman will undergo a physical on Monday to complete the deal, the source said.

"Miguel just signed a big contract," said the source. "The contract will be completed when Miguel takes a physical on Monday."

Overall, it would become the fourth-richest contract in baseball history. Cabrera would trail Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez ($275 million), Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter ($189 million) and Boston outfielder Manny Ramirez ($160 million) in the total salary package listing.

Cabrera's contract is also the richest in Tigers' history. Magglio Ordonez had the previous record when he signed with Detroit for $75 million and five years in 2004.

"I'm comfortable," he said Sunday, according to the Detroit Free Press. "I feel good here. I want to be part of this team for a lot of years.

"I like it here. I've got a lot of friends here. I like the team."

Cabrera, 24, was eligible for arbitration in 2009 and could become a free agent after the season ended. He will earn $11.3 million in 2008, and then an average of $19 million per year through 2016.

Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera

Third Base
Detroit Tigers

Profile

2007 Season Stats
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
157 34 119 91 .401 .320

Cabrera and pitcher Dontrelle Willis joined Detroit as part of a trade with Florida in December. The Marlins received a package of six players, including two highly rated prospects: left-hander Andrew Miller and outfielder Cameron Maybin.

Cabrera, one of the game's top sluggers, joins an imposing lineup that includes Ordonez, Gary Sheffield, Carlos Guillen, Ivan Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco. The Tigers also acquired shortstop Edgar Renteria, a five-time All-Star, in a trade with Atlanta this offseason.

Ace Justin Verlander said just having Cabrera around has been a positive for the team.

"What stands out to me is his personality around the clubhouse," Verlander said. "Everybody knows how good of a ballplayer he is, but he's also great around the clubhouse and is a good teammate."

Slugger Gary Sheffield said signing Cabrera to a long-term deal shows the team is comitted to winning now and in the years to come.

"He's a future-type player," Sheffield said. "Anytime you can get a player with that amount of years on this team, you're looking at multiple championships."

Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.

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