"One friend of Cabrera told Rumblings that there have been enough informal conversations that both sides expect a deal to get done, and possibly sooner than later."
While no one knows how close this friend is to Cabrera, Stark is a respected reporter and feels comfortable enough with this source to report it.
Cabrera, the reigning AL Triple Crown winner and AL MVP who is scheduled to be a free agent after 2015, is arguably the best hitter in baseball today.
This season, Cabrera is leading the AL in average (.373), RBI (66), hits (88), runs (47) and on-base percentage (.450). With 17 home runs as well, he could easily win his second straight Triple Crown title.
Now that we've established what a great offensive threat Cabrera is, the question shifts to what it will take to sign him long-term.
Stark asked that same question to some baseball executives, and this is what they had to say:
Some executives have speculated something along the lines of three years, $90 million, with a vesting option or two, tacked onto the $44 million he has coming in 2014-15. But a three-year extension would only take Cabrera through age 35, and the guaranteed portion of the Fielder and Verlander deals both carry them through their age-36 season. So it's hard to imagine Cabrera wouldn't dig in for at least a four-year extension, and possibly more.
"I see this as more like five years times $28 [million]," said another exec. "I think he takes the lower AAV to get an extra year or two. In the end, more money."
The length seems short for a player of Cabrera's caliber. The numbers being speculated on would help ease fans' concerns that it wouldn't require an Albert Pujols- or Alex Rodriguez-type deal. This would allow the Tigers flexibility that other teams don't usually have the luxury of entering into with superstar free agents.
Will Miguel Cabrera sign a contract extension with the Detroit Tigers?
Another positive is that the Tigers organization is very tight-lipped when it comes to deals with players. Until the Tigers announced Justin Verlander's contract extension in March, no one knew they were even close on a deal. This would allow Cabrera not to be distracted by constant questions from reporters about how talks with the Tigers are progressing.
The last remaining question is: Could the Tigers still afford to invest that much money in a slugger who would be 33 at the start of the 2016 season?
Cabrera is a special player who has remained durable throughout his playing career. Still, if Cabrera starts to age, then the Tigers could be stuck with a contract that would hinder future signings.
Either way, with this fascinating news about Cabrera and the Tigers, fans now have hope that Cabrera could retire in a Tigers uniform.
*All statistics are accurate as of June 7.