It may be tough to hear, but it’s time for Miguel Cabrera to call it a career
The time has come for Miguel Cabrera to retire from the Detroit Tigers. Not at the end of the season, not after a month-long retirement tour to start 2023. Right now.
It sounds harsh, and perhaps it is. But watching Cabrera flail around at the plate, seeming him reduced to a mere fraction of himself, well, it’s just painful. Though I was very young at the time, it reminds me of the end of Willie Mays career, when the “Say Hey Kid” went out with a whimper as a member of the 1973 New York Mets.
Mays hit just .211 that year with very little power in 66 games. What we’re seeing from Cabrera is very similar.
In 99 games this year, Miggy has just four home runs and nine doubles. His other stats are just as abysmal with his strikeout rate the second highest of his career, his walk rate the lowest and a slash sitting at an anemic .257/.307/.317.
Beyond the stats, it’s obvious Cabrera’s long-troubled legs are shot. Balls he was hitting with at least a modicum of authority prior to the All-Star break, have turned into weak grounders or strikeouts.
Perhaps an offseason of rest and strength training would help a little. But how long would it last and is it really worth a roster spot?
Detroit Tigers Desperately Need Production
For a team that is in desperate need of production anywhere it can find it, the answer has to be no. The Tigers rank last in the American League in runs, runs batted in and home runs. Only the Oakland A’s have a worse team batting average and on base percentage.
Miguel Cabrera doesn’t help those numbers improve in 2023. Any player capable of hitting near league average would be an immense upgrade.
What should happen and what will happen are likely going to be two very different outcomes. Cabrera last spoke about his plans for 2023 about a month ago and indicated he planned to be back. From a financial standpoint, it’s hard to fault him as he is set to collect $32 million.
Cabrera Can Afford to Retire
But at this point, it really shouldn’t be about money. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Cabrera has earned more than $300 million in salary during his career. That’s not even to count endorsements and other business dealings.
It could wind up as a no-win situation for the Detroit Tigers’ new general manager. The best thing for the team is to move on from Cabrera. But cutting a first-ballot, no-doubt Hall of Famer who is loved by Detroit fans at the end of Spring Training would be a public relations nightmare.
Don’t take what I’ve written here wrong. It has been an absolute thrill to watch Miguel Cabrera. He helped the Tigers get to two World Series, won the Triple Crown and MVP — nothing short of a spectacular career.
Though we don’t get to know the players much in terms of what kind of people they are, it seems obvious that Miguel is a pretty good guy. I would love to see him stay with the organization in some capacity — just not as a player moving forward.