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Cameron Maybin nor any of the prospects Miami received made a major impact.
Trade date: December 4, 2007
Detroit Tigers get: Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis
First thing's first: The Tigers inked Miggy to a hefty contract extension. The eight-year, $153 million agreement doubled a franchise record for guaranteed money, buying out a handful of his free-agent seasons.
Up to that point, Cabrera had a .313/.388/.542 batting line, 143 OPS+ and average of 28 home runs per season. Not yet 25 years old and the Venezuelan third baseman was on a Hall of Fame-caliber pace.
Courtesy of FanGraphs, here is where Cabrera ranks in various statistical categories since his tenure in Motown began in 2008:
|Runs Batted In
He's cruising toward his third consecutive batting title while making a strong case for back-to-back American League MVP honors. A fifth straight winning season seems imminent, as does another playoff berth for the 2012 AL champs.
Money well spent.
The Tigers front office likes to sweep Willis' struggles and contract under the rug, but it was really humiliating at the time. They paid him nearly $29 million from 2008-2010 to pitch below replacement level. The erratic left-hander battled through a hyper-extended knee, forearm tightness, an anxiety disorder and sinus infection in his forgettable stint with the team. All in all, he issued 92 walks in 101 innings, contributing to a 6.86 ERA.
And yet, the Tigers don't regret the acquisition one bit.
Florida Marlins get: Burke Badenhop, Frankie De La Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Mike Rabelo and Dallas Trahern
De La Cruz was Willis-like in the six horrific innings he pitched for the '08 Marlins before leaving the organization. Trahern never figured out the Pacific Coast League (Triple-A) and hasn't pitched professionally since 2011. The switch-hitting Rabelo spent one mediocre summer as Florida's backup catcher, slashing .202/.256/.294.
That half of the package literally made the team worse.
Maybin and Miller occasionally showed flashes of greatness to justify why they were former first-round draft picks. However, the Fish weren't patient enough, and those players went on to establish themselves with the San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox, respectively.
At least Badenhop contributed a couple wins while in South Florida. His 151 appearances from 2008-2011 was third-most on the team.