If Miguel Cabrera keeps it up, he's going to go down as one of the greatest hitters who ever lived.
Even if he doesn't keep it up, he's going to be one of highest-paid hitters who ever lived.
The Detroit Tigers on Thursday gave Cabrera an eight-year extension worth approximately $248 million, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. The eight-year deal is added onto the end of Cabrera's current contract, which has two years and $44 million remaining.
So, in total, Cabrera will make $292 million over the next 10 years. The deal also includes two vesting options for $30 million apiece, per Jon Heyman, which would make the full value $352 million over 12 years.
And you know what? Right now, he's absolutely worth it. Cabrera has won back-to-back MVPs and three straight American League batting titles. He's led the AL in on-base percentage in three of the last four seasons and in slugging percentage the last two years.
He won the Triple Crown in 2012 by hitting .330 with 44 homers and 139 RBIs, and then was even better last season, hitting .348 with 44 homers and 137 RBIs in 13 fewer games.
Cabrera is a big guy and this deal runs through his age-40 season, so there will inevitably be some concerns about the $31 million per year he'll make the last few years of his deal. But he's been remarkably durable his entire 11-year career.
From 2004-12, Cabrera missed a total of 33 games in nine years. He averaged 158 games per season.
The move from third base to first base should be easier on Cabrera's body and keep him healthier as he enters his early-30s.
An annual average value of $31 million is pretty fair for Cabrera. According to Fangraphs.com's scale that converts Wins Above Replacement to free-agent value, Cabrera was worth $38 million in 2013, $30.7 million in 2012 and $30.2 million in 2011.