Tigers' Miguel Cabrera Becomes 28th Member of MLB's 500-Home Run Club

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2021

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 30: Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) jokes with the fans in the left field stands during the second inning of the Major League Baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians on June 30, 2021, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera reached a major career milestone, hitting his 500th home run Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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The 28th player in MLB history to hit 500 home runs. Congrats, @MiguelCabrera! https://t.co/ajmOAbVeZg

That total puts him 28th on the all-time home run list behind Eddie Murray (504).

As he approached the 2021 season, this was one of two big benchmarks within Cabrera's reach. Now, the question is how long until he registers his 3,000th hit, with 45 standing between him and one of the more legendary offensive stats in baseball history.

The 38-year-old has fallen victim to Father Time in recent seasons. He slugged a then-career low .399 in 2017 before appearing in just 38 games the following season. The two-time MVP proceeded to finish with 12 home runs, 59 RBI and a .282/.346/.398 slash line in 2019.

Opening Day raised hopes of at least one more strong season from the future Hall of Famer as he homered in his first at-bat.

Detroit Tigers @tigers

Petition to put this in the Louvre. https://t.co/bKrBSgwrd5

That was a bit of a mirage as he has a .246/.312/.375 slash line through his first 98 appearances.

Cabrera makes $32 million in each of 2022 and 2023 before the Tigers have an out thanks to his $30 million mutual option in 2024. Unless he retires or the team absorbs a lot of dead money, he isn't going anywhere before 2024.

As the last vestige of the franchise's four-year run of success that included an American League pennant in 2012, Cabrera remains a fan favorite in Motor City. Even in a diminished form, his presence makes the Tigers' general rebuild a little more tolerable in the short term.