Expect Red Sox boss Dave Dombrowski to place a phone call or two to his former place of employment over the next few weeks regarding a potential trade for Miguel Cabrera.
The Tigers would absolutely have to send money the Red Sox’ way (much like the Sox sent cash to the Dodgers in the great purge of 2012) to make this work, as the Red Sox are already the team with the third highest payroll in baseball.
Cabrera’s contract is the third highest in baseball as he will earn $28 million this season and that figure will increase to $32 million by the time he’s 40-years-old. He is signed with Detroit through the 2023 season, making this an extremely risky proposition for any rich team – including Boston.
The Tigers have recently been considered one of those wealthy franchises, as they are right behind the Red Sox in MLB payroll, in fourth place. Unlike the Red Sox, who are in first place in the AL East at the MLB All-Star break, the Tigers aren’t getting the same bang for their buck.
Detroit is 39-40 this season in the putrid AL Central, eight games behind the Cleveland Indians.
Cabrera is having a down year, as he currently owns a .264 batting average. He has 11 home runs and 41 RBIs, with an OBP of .357. Since 2004, Cabrera has driven in at least 100 runs per season with the exception of 2015 when he only played in 119 games (he still had 76 RBIs that year). He bashed 38 home runs last season and drove in 108 runs while posting a .316 batting average.
Cabrera has also been extremely durable in his career, having played in at least 145 games in each season since 2004 (again minus 2015 when he missed a chunk of time with a calf strain).
Dombrowski’s history with Cabrera is extensive as he not only traded for Cabrera when he was in Detroit, but he also signed the Venezuelan as an international free agent when he was the GM of the Marlins in 1999.
The Red Sox are dead last in the American League in home runs with just 92 this season as a team. Compare that with the Astros, who have already clocked 148, and it’s a definite cause for concern.
Cabrera would immediately help resolve that issue for the Sox given his track record in the power categories. The righty would absolutely crush the left field wall at Fenway, and has had great success in the past on Lansdowne Street. When he’s had at least 10 at-bats at Fenway against the Sox the past few seasons here’s what happened: Cabrera hit .500 with two homers and three RBIs in 2016, hit .591 with a homer and five RBIs in 2014, and hit .333 with one homer and six RBIs in 2013.
The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo mentioned Boston as a potential landing spot for Cabrera last fall.