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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

REPORT: Tigers have 'very, very real' interest in free agent OF Melky Cabrera

No matter what happens with their biggest two free agents — Victor Martinez (the No. 1 priority to re-sign) and Max Scherzer — the Tigers have some fixing to do with their outfield.

Given general manager Dave Dombrowski's remarks about looking into a center field upgrade, a lot of eyes naturally turned to the only real center fielder on the free-agent market, the Blue Jays' Colby Rasmus.

Turns out, the Tigers might actually be more interested in Rasmus' former teammate, Melky Cabrera.

A report from Greg Brady of Sportsnet 590 in Toronto Monday evening indicated as much.

"Hearing tonight Tigers' interest in Melky Cabrera is very, very real," Brady tweeted, noting that J.D Martinez would move from left to right, replacing Torii Hunter, Rajai Davis would stay in center, and Cabrera would play left field.

"Tigers likely don't go past 4 years for Cabrera — and may not need to. He's got a WS ring, so not exactly chasing. May be more $ elsewhere," Brady subsequently tweeted.

All three of Brady's original tweets are below.

Considering Cabrera is a switch-hitter, he'd give the Tigers another left-handed bat to run out against right-handed starters — another thing Dombrowski wanted to add — and one that has a little bit of pop in it.

He's not, however, a fix in center field — while he's nine years younger, like Hunter, he's past his center field days — and he won't come cheaply.

In addition to the draft pick the Tigers would lose for signing a player who'd received a qualifying offer, they'll probably have to pony up more money for Cabrera than they did for Hunter the last two seasons. ESPN's Jim Bowden predicts a four-year deal with an average annual value of $16 million for Cabrera; the AAV for Hunter's two-year deal in Detroit was $13 million.

More likely, maybe, would be the Tigers pursuing Cabrera as a potential Victor Martinez replacement, should the designated hitter sign elsewhere.


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