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Tigers' Miguel Cabrera Undecided on Retirement: 'I Don't Feel Well Right Now'

Erin WalshAugust 4, 2022

Nic Antaya/Getty Images

At 39 years old, Miguel Cabrera's career in Major League Baseball is undoubtedly winding down, and the Detroit Tigers veteran is unsure if he'll return for the 2023 season or retire.

Cabrera intends to meet with his agent, Tigers general manager Al Avila and others before making a decision about his status for 2023.

"I don't feel well right now," Cabrera told reporters Thursday. "I'm trying to do whatever I can to go out there and play, but I don't feel really good right now."

Cabrera is set to earn $32 million with the Tigers in 2023, which is the final year of his contract.

The Venezuelan was diagnosed with a chronic right knee injury in 2019. At the time, he consulted four surgeons, but surgery was not recommended and he has been trying to manage the ailment since.

That management resulted in Cabrera shifting from first base to designated hitter, but he's still been experiencing issues with his knee, especially of late. Since July 8, the veteran is hitting just .132/.231/.206 with one home run and five RBI in 20 games.

For comparison, from April 8 through July 6, Cabrera was hitting .308/.347/.372 with three home runs and 31 RBI in 70 games.

With his production having plummeted, Tigers manager A.J. Hinch recently told reporters that he was going to try to give Cabrera some extra days off here and there.

"I've talked to him about playing time moving forward and trying to get him a few more regularly scheduled days off," Hinch said. "We want to take some at-bats and give them to some guys. I may sprinkle in a few more off days and be careful with him."

Hinch also mentioned that Cabrera has been "fighting" through the pain and that it's something the team has been monitoring.

Detroit is fourth in the AL Central with a 42-64 record. With no chance to make the playoffs, per FanGraphs, it would be wise to give Cabrera some much-needed rest.

If the star slugger's career comes to an end after the 2022 campaign, he'll undoubtedly be a candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Cabrera has spent the last 15 seasons of his career in Detroit after beginning his career with the then-Florida Marlins from 2003-07.

In five seasons with the Marlins, he was a four-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger and helped the club capture the 2003 World Series title.

Since joining the Tigers, he has been selected to eight All-Star games, including seven straight from 2010-16, was named MVP in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and 2013 and has earned five Silver Slugger awards.

In addition, Cabrera won the Triple Crown in 2012, which, at the time, was baseball's first in 45 years. He has also won the Batting Title four times, including three straight from 2011-13, with the fourth coming in 2015.

In 20 seasons, he is hitting .309/.385/.526 with 3,074 hits, 506 home runs and 1,840 RBI. He is one of 33 players in MLB history to have reached 3,000 hits and one of 28 players to have hit 500 home runs.

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