Miguel Cabrera has made it very clear that, although he would prefer to stay in Detroit, he would accept a trade sending him away from the Motor City. Let’s take a look at what the Red Birds could potentially do to bring the all-time great slugger into a Cardinal uniform.
There’s no denying it; Miguel Cabrera is one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all time. On pace for 3,000 hits and 500 homers in his career, and with a life-time batting average of over .320 entering his age 34 season, the Venezuelan slugger could be put up there with the likes of Aaron, Mays, and Pujols in terms of career numbers among right-handed bats. Year after year, even with age, he continues to stun, as he consistently puts up MVP caliber numbers, in his age 33 year in 2016, for example, posting a .316 batting average with 38 home runs and 108 RBI. The only reason you probably didn’t know his stats were this staggering, and he thus wasn’t in the running for the MVP, is because it’s become old news for Cabrera to put up these kinds of numbers. He is a living legend, and should be treated as such.
Having said this, he is, potentially, on the market. There has been talk, however subtle and under the radar, about Miggy potentially being on the move this offseason, as the Tigers attempt to rebuild their aged roster. A trade here is not by any means a certainty, but a possibility, speculation, if you will. Let’s take a look at what it would take to get the Hall of Fame slugger into St. Louis.
Some fresh faces, an old Vet, and the problems they cause
In order for a trade of Cabrera to the Cardinals to occur, the Red Birds would need to give up some young talent, and probably a lot of it. However, they would also need to free up third base, so that Carpenter could move back to the hot corner, and Miggy could move into first (unless, of course, the Cards were willing to part ways with carpenter himself, which I doubt would be the case.) This move would probably involve a displacement of Peralta. Of course, this could come by way of a direct trade, but that would get messy, as Peralta leaving would in fact, with Cabrera coming in to St. Louis, and the Tigers looking for young talent, be more of a positive for the Cardinals, and a negative for Detroit, forcing St. Louis to have to give up even more. There is, however, another solution.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) December 4, 2016
The Brew Crew:
The Milwaukee Brewers, as of the middle of the 2016 season, were considered to have the best farm system on the majors. With eight, top 100 prospects, matched only in baseball by the Astros, riddled with first round picks, there’s no wonder this group is the top in baseball. My idea, as I’m sure you have already gotten at, is a three way trade, involving these prospects.
The Brewers are in need of a shortstop, with young Orlando Arcia still in the making, and batting only .219 last year. Peralta, and the one year that remains on his contract, could be the perfect fit for Milwaukee if they wish to give the young infielder time to develop his game with out the pressure of peak performance, looking forward to the 2018 season to when he could be the starting man. This, of course, would free up third base for Carpenter, and first base for Miggy, and, as an added bonus, keep Aledmys Diaz at his home at short.
Secondly, the Brewers need pitching. And lots of it. Now, if Cabrera were to come to St. Louis, that would be a huge gain, which would mean, they would probably have to give up a lot to get him. The Brewers have absolutely no pitching. Like nothing, in the rotation or the bullpen. So, I would say that we could provide them, in addition to Peralta, a bullpen pitcher, and a starter.
My candidates for this move would be, on the starter end, Mike Leake, and on the reliever end, Jonathan Broxton. Both of these pitchers have been on the decline the past few years, but are still far better than anything Milwaukee has on their roster at the moment. The shipping of Leake would allow for a rotation of Wainwright, Martinez, Wacha, Reyes, and Lynn in 2017, pretty strong if you ask me. As well, the movement of Broxton, probably the weakest link of the Cardinal bullpen if you ask me, despite proven success in the past, would make room for one of the lefty prospects in the Red Bird farm system to come up and even out the bullpen. These moves make sense, and satisfy Milwaukee’s needs without destroying the Cardinal roster. But, there’s one more point to address. What do the Tigers get?
Provisions for Detroit
After giving up Cabrera, Detroit would, obviously, need a new first basemen, I suppose they could move Victor Martinez into that role, but they have always liked him in the DH position, and besides, as I said, Detroit is in a position where they are trying to bring youth to their ball club. Well, looking at the Brewer depth chart after the addition of Travis Shaw this offseason, they have three corner infielders. Travis Shaw is of course the first. The other two are Eric Thames, and Hernan Perez. Milwaukee, after just having acquired Shaw, are unlikely to give him right back up, although I believe he would probably be the best fit for Detroit. So that leaves Thames and Perez. Despite Thames’s power, and the fact that he is a natural first baseman, I see Perez as the better option in this potential transaction. at only 25, compared to Thames’s 30, Perez is coming off of his first full season in the majors, in which he hit over .270, with 13 home runs and 56 RBI. These production numbers may seem low, but with the anemic offense Milwaukee possessed in 2016, they’re really not all that bad. Perez as well provides speed, swiping 34 bags in 2016 an aspect of the game Detroit could use.
Completely independent of anything to do with Cabrera, Detroit needs a centerfielder, and overall depth in the outfield and bullpen. I could see, thus, the next part of this transaction working out a couple of ways, with Milwaukee dealing a some of their young players to Detroit, at least one of which coming from their number one ranked farm system.
The first scenario I have is that they deal young starting center fielder, Keon Broxton, which would leave Kirk Nieuwenhuis, a more than proven outfielder, in his wake. As well, they would ship a left-handed starter from their far system, such as Joe Hader or Kodi Medeiros, to fill the void in the Detroit long relief section of their bullpen.
The other way I could see this part of the transaction turning out, is that the Brewers dip only into their farm system, picking two outfielders, one of which would be top prospect Lewis Brinson, and again a left handed pitcher to help Detroit’s bullpen woes. Either way, the Tigers would end up with young talent to help their rebuilding process, as well as a replacement first baseman, while the Brewers would gain more than they lose, receiving a veteran middle infield presence to help build the young core of Arcia, as well as Jonathan Villar, as well as veteran pitching to help reconstruct their, honestly quite atrocious, pitching roster.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals would be receiving one of the best hitters the game has ever scene, a player whose legacy will not soon, if ever, be forgotten, all at the cost of a serviceable, yet solid, infield utility man, and two middle-of-the-road pitchers. It may seem to good to be true, but I truly believe that this is feasible, if the right people get these ideas in their heads. Now, the question is, who will?