Tigers' Miguel Cabrera Confirms He Will Retire After 2023 MLB Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 28, 2022

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 04: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers looks on during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on October 04, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Miguel Cabrera's curtain call will come in the 2023 campaign.

The longtime slugger announced on Monday that he plans to retire after the upcoming season:

Jason Beck @beckjason

Miguel Cabrera also said he'd like to stay involved in Tigers organization and help young players once his own playing career is over.<br><br>"I have time to decide, but my goal is to stay in baseball, try to help, because I love baseball," he said.

His looming retirement doesn't come as a surprise—Cabrera was a full-time designated hitter last season, and injuries and the realities of aging have seen the once fearsome hitter manage just 45 homers in total over the past five seasons. To put that level of decline in perspective, he once hit 88 homers in a two-year stretch between 2012 and 2013.

But he will undoubtedly be a first-ballot Hall of Famer after he retires.

The 39-year-old is a 12-time All-Star, two-time MVP, seven-time Silver Slugger, four-time batting champion, one-time World Series champion and in 2012 became the first triple crown winner—leading the American League in batting average (.330), homers (44) and RBI (139)—since Carl Yastrzemski pulled off the feat in 1967.

For his career he's a .308 hitter with a .908 OPS who has 507 homers, 1,847 RBI, 3,088 hits and 1,530 runs. He's one of just seven players in MLB history to accumulate at least 500 homers and 3,000 hits, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez.

It's one of the most exclusive clubs in baseball history, notwithstanding the questionable legitimacy of Palmeiro's and Rodriguez's accomplishments due to their steroid use.

Such questions have not been asked about Cabrera, who like Pujols came through the tail end of the steroid era in baseball without blemish. Both players make a strong argument for being the best hitters of their era.

Pujols, who retired after the 2022 season, will likewise be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee after a career that spanned 22 years. He'll just be inducted one year before Cabrera.