With all the Miguel Cabrera trade talk swirling around, it's hard to figure out how serious these discussions are. The Tigers money situation is bad, but is it really bad enough where the Tigers have to trade their best position player? I find that hard to believe. I'm a strong believer that the Tigers need to build around Cabrera, not trade him, and here are my two main reasons why:
1. Franchise Player
-Miguel Cabrera is one of the few true franchise players in baseball right now. Cabrera is not in the same category as Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer, or Alex Rodriguez; but sure is one of the ten best hitters in baseball and is a consistent force in the middle of the Tigers' lineup. If the Tigers trade Cabrera, they would have a ton of payroll and some nice prospects to show for it, but how would they replace Cabrera's production? Young players with Cabrera's hitting ability are almost impossible to come by, so it would make sense for the Tigers to hold onto their best short term and long term asset.
Yes, the incident at the end of the season looked very ugly for Cabrera and really embarrassed the Tigers, but we have to remember how young Cabrera is. Mistakes happen. The Tigers have to hope that Cabrera will grow from the incident and that a situation like that will never happen again because he is far too talented for the Tigers to move because of one mistake.
-Sure the Tigers payroll situation looks crappy right now, but after the season ends, the Tigers will have an enormous amount of salary coming off the books (Bonderman, Willis, Robertson, Magglio). With that in mind, there is no reason for the Tigers to make a major move now that would send Cabrera elsewhere. The salary relief that the Tigers crave will be present next winter and the Tigers will be able to build around Cabrera and hopefully extend Justin Verlander.
It'd be wise for the Tigers to hold onto Cabrera and instead move around some smaller contracts this winter that will help ease their financial burden in the short term.
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