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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Miggy tops in MLB hits for Venezuelan player

The milestones keep piling up for Miguel Cabrera, but his latest feat hits close to home. His fifth-inning RBI single in the Tigers’ 4-2 win on Wednesday night was the 2,878th hit of his MLB career, moving him past Omar Vizquel for 43rd on the all-time Major League list and giving him the most by a Venezuelan-born Major Leaguer.

In a season when every hit seems to be approaching or reaching a milestone, Cabrera admitted this one had been weighing on him for a while.

“I feel like I’m relieved right now,” he said after the game, “because too many people had been talking to me in the offseason, in the past year, and today [that] I’m going to pass this record. That kept in my head. So right now I’m a little relieved I don’t have to worry about that.”

Cabrera already leads all Venezuelan-born Major Leaguers with 489 career home runs, 1,735 RBIs, 1,461 runs scored and 582 doubles. The hits record required him to surpass some incredible contact hitters, including Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio, as well as legendary Venezuelan slugger Andrés Galarraga, a player Cabrera idolized growing up.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 13, 2021 at 10:48 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: miguel cabrera, venezuela

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   1. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: May 13, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6018689)
"Incredible contact hitter" does sound better than ".262 batter."
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 13, 2021 at 12:51 PM (#6018694)
Cabrera needs another 122 hits to get to 3000, and 11 HRs to get to 500.

His OPS+ since 2017 is 97.

If you had the benefit of hindsight at the time each deal was signed, but you had to accept one of these deals (as the team, not the player), which would you take:

1) After his age 30 season (2013), which was the second of two consecutive MVP seasons, Cabrera signed an 8 year, $248 million extension that started in 2016. The extension covers his age 33-40 seasons, and it has a few vesting option seasons for his age 41 and 42 seasons that pretty clearly are not going to kick in. They had him for two more years without the extension at $22 million a year in 2014 and 2015, where he continued to be excellent at the plate, if not quite as good as the prior two seasons (he did finish 9th and 11th in the MVP those two remaining years of the old deal). In his first year of the new deal (2016), he continued to be excellent, finishing 9th in the MVP that season. Since then, he has been injured awful, or both (at this point, both).

2) After his age 31 season, Albert Pujols became a free agent, and the Angels signed him to a 10-year, $240 million contract. In his final year in St. Louis (2011), Pujols had been excellent (he finished 5th in the MVP), but it was the second-lowest MVP finish of his career to that point, and it was his lowest OPS+ of his career.It was also the third straight year where his OPS+ declined. His first year with the Angels (2012) was very good (he finished 17th in the MVP), though it was a clear decline from the previous year. And even though he had a few decent years after that with the Angels, the next nine years of his contract gave the Angels the following: 4383 PAs of a 103 OPS+. The last season he had an OPS+ above 91 was...2016.

IMO, the Pujols contract received an awful lot of attention for several years, and has served as the sport's "obviously worst contract" for a good five years now. But the Cabrera contract is clearly the worst contract in baseball now, right? And I think it may be worse overall than Pujols' was - if the Cabrera we are looking at right now basically represents his ability, well...they owe him another $72 million after this year. And he is chasing two high-profile numbers, so they are going to have to keep playing him. Maybe there's a dead cat bounce coming, but otherwise, I think Cabrera's contract is worse than Pujols'.
   3. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: May 13, 2021 at 01:17 PM (#6018701)
Did Chris Davis die? How could they tell?
   4. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 13, 2021 at 01:36 PM (#6018704)

Pujols was signed as a free agent going into his age 32 season (according to the official records). He's produced 13 WAR for $240 million.

Cabrera's extension was signed two years before he would have become a free agent, and started when he was 33. He's produced 4 WAR so far and the contract is also $240 million.

Even if Cabrera is able to add another 9 WAR, I think his contract was still worse, because if the Tigers had waited until he was a free agent they could likely have signed him for significantly less money than they did. Sure, he was good in 2015, but he missed 40 games and his power dropped significantly.

Davis right now is at -3 WAR and his contract is $161 million. So the Angels are getting an extra 16 WAR for $79 with Albert and the Tigers are getting an extra 7 WAR for $79 million with Cabrera (assuming Miggy is replacement level from here on out).

So yeah, Pujols is probably the best of those three deals.
   5. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 13, 2021 at 01:39 PM (#6018705)
The Pujols deal looked pretty good as such deals go at the time. I think had the 2012-2016 Angels been as good as the 2012-2016 Tigers it would be seen a lot differently. The problem was Pujols was really good during a stretch when the Angels were somewhat disappointing. Pujols' 123 OPS+ in those five years wasn't his mid-00s peak but it was still perfectly reasonable. I think if the Angels had a World Series appearance and another ALCS appearance to show for the signing the last couple of years wouldn't have been so harshly perceived.

The thing with the Cabrera deal was (like Ryan Howard) the timing of it. The Tigers left themselves no wiggle room at a time when they knew several pieces of that core that was so good were reaching a point where they had to be re-signed or replaced.
   6. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: May 13, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6018708)
Davis right now is at -3 WAR and his contract is $161 million. So the Angels are getting an extra 16 WAR for $79 with Albert and the Tigers are getting an extra 7 WAR for $79 million with Cabrera (assuming Miggy is replacement level from here on out).

Davis is having the best season he's had in the last 4 years (he hasn't played yet). If he never plays again and adds 0 WAR, is that good or bad, considering he would almost certainly be negative War if he played?
   7. Walt Davis Posted: May 13, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#6018758)
It's kinda amazing the way his power disappeared. 34 is not particularly old, a time of decline but not disappearance. In his last 1551 PAs, he has just 184 RBI too.

I really thought Pujols had a decent chance to be Aaron and the Cabrera would be Frank Robinson and that both would be at least Frank Thomas. Instead both guys are more Frank Howard.

Huh, Robinson, Thomas, Howard. Are you not allowed to be named Frank and play baseball without massive biceps? And that's what that doesn't have to do with Frank Tanana.
   8. The Honorable Ardo Posted: May 13, 2021 at 06:34 PM (#6018762)
Just came home from another Tigers victory. Miguel collected two more hits and tied Frankie Frisch on the all-time list.
   9. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 14, 2021 at 01:17 AM (#6018798)
Iirc, BBTF was pretty much unanimous in saying the Cabrera extension was going to work out badly at the time it was signed. And a big part of that was that it was a near certainty that had they waited two years, he would cost less than what they gave him. Had they done so, he still would have gotten a lot of money, but he was showing decline and it would have probably taken something more like $150m rather than $240m to bring him back. It’s still sad, imo, just how fast the decline was.
   10. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 14, 2021 at 03:41 AM (#6018800)
BBTF was pretty much unanimous in saying the Cabrera extension was going to work out badly at the time it was signed.

Yes, I think everyone always knew that this would end up being a horrible deal financially, in terms of on-field value per dollar.

But there is one aspect of it that doesn't apply to the Pujols deal, or even the Davis deal: The Tigers were implicitly paying him for "time served," with a retroactive raise.

He was the face of the Tigers (or co-face with Verlander) for perhaps the longest sustained stretch of success in franchise history (from 2009-2013 they ended the 162-game season with the most wins in the division 4 out of 5 times, and did it again in 2014), and added immensely to the team's market value, ticket sales, merchandising, broadcast revenue, etc. Yes, he was already one of the highest paid players in baseball, but you could argue that he was still seriously underpaid from 2008-2013, his first six years with the Tigers. So I really don't think the team ever thought the extension was going to provide good value going forward. Some substantial portion of it was just a "thank you" for what he had already provided. Surely it was a bad "business" decision, but it was justifiable on a personal level.

The Angels had no such ties to Pujols, of course. Davis provided a few nice underpriced years for the Orioles, but he wasn't really a franchise cornerstone and didn't add much value beyond his quantifiable on-field contributions.

Miguel collected two more hits and tied Frankie Frisch on the all-time list.

Cabrera has had four 2-hit games over the past five (all singles, alas), raising his season average all the way up to .179. Ouch.

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