Miguel Cabrera: 2023 will probably be the last season

The 2023 campaign is the final guaranteed season of the 10-year extension Miguel Cabrera inked with the Tigers during Spring Training 2014. It’s also looking more and more like this will be the last year of Cabrera’s illustrious career.

Speaking to MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola, the 12-time All-Star said he will retire at the end of next year. “I think it will be my last yearCabrera said. “It feels a little weird saying that. … I think it’s time to say goodbye to baseball.”

Cabrera shied away from the unwavering retirement statement Albert Pujols and Jadier Molina made last year, but it is the second consecutive year in which he suggested that the conclusion of his contract could coincide with the end of his career. Last August, Cabrera told ESPN that he was likely to leave after the 2023 campaign. He noted at the time that he would have crossed 20 years of MLB service by the end of the 2023 season and suggested that that milestone — coupled with ongoing pain in his right knee — would likely push him to retire at that point . He will earn $32 million in salary next year and receive an $8 million buyout at the end of the season on a 2024 vesting option, still leaving the Tigers on the hook for $40 million.

Cabrera, a two-time MVP winner, will turn 40 in April. He is playing his 16th season in Detroit and told De Nicola he hopes to stay involved with the organization by working with younger players after his playing career ends. As for the 2023 campaign, he indicated that his primary personal goal was to stay healthy. He missed last season a few weeks late with a bicep strain, but played in 112 games and scored 433 at bats.

Cabrera is coming off the worst year of his career, showing a .254/.305/.317 with only five home runs. He logged no time on defense, and that kind of production from a designated hitter is certainly not ideal. How many at bats the Tigers can afford Cabrera if he continues to struggle offensively is a question for president of baseball operations Scott Harris and skipper AJ Hinch, but the four-time batting champ indicated he was on board with whatever decision Hinch made. greeting.

Hinch suggested late in the season that he expects Cabrera to be on the roster in 2023 (link via Detroit News’ Chris McCosky). He has been an average or below-average hitter four years in a row, but there is no mention of his legacy in Tigers history. Cabrera had seven top ten MVP finishes at Detroit, including a five-year span of consecutive top five placements from 2009-13. Despite his recent struggles, he has owned a .306/.383/.517 line since landing with the Tigers in the 2007-08 off-season.

Even with a likely reduced workload next season, the Venezuela native will have a chance to continue climbing the all-time leaderboards. He is in 25th place with 3088 hits and he will definitely succeed Ichiro (3089), Dave Winfield (3110) and Alex Rodriguez (3115) if healthy. Matching this year’s 101 hits would push him past Tony Gwyn, Robin Young, Paul Wanner, George Brett, Adrian Beltre and Cal Ripken Jr. to 16th place. Cabrera ranks 27th with 507 career home runs, and even part-time work could see him past Gary Sheffield (509), Mel Ott (511), Eddie Matthews and Ernie Banks (512 each) to 23rd.

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