Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera faced live pitching Monday for the first time since an arm injury in June and reiterated after his team's first full-squad workout at spring training that swinging a bat is not all he wants to do. There has been talk that the Tigers could reduce his days in the field, or make him a designated hitter altogether. Cabrera, 35, said he still wants to play first base, but he is willing to be a team player.
"Right now, no," Cabrera told reporters after the workout when asked if he would welcome a full-time DH role. "But if they talk to me and say something to me, I'm always open to everything and I'm always open to being in the field. "If the team looks better with me at DH, put me at DH. If it looks better with me at first, put me at first. But it's not my decision."
Cabrera played in just 38 games in 2018 after first missing time with a strained hamstring and then coming away with a ruptured left biceps tendon on June 12. The second injury required season-ending surgery. Groin and back injuries in 2017 forced him to miss another 32 games.
Cabrera has hit more than 20 home runs just once in the past four seasons, crushing 38 in 2016 with 108 RBIs, the last time he was an American League All-Star. In 16 seasons with the Florida Marlins and Tigers, he has 465 home runs and 1,635 RBIs over 2,264 career games. He is an 11-time All-Star who won the AL MVP in both 2012 and 2013.
Cabrera is scheduled to make at least $30 million in each of the next five seasons, with vesting options of $30 million in 2024 and 2025 if he finishes in the top 10 of AL MVP voting. --Field Level Media