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Tigers Sign Cabrera to Richest Contract in Baseball History

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers hits the ball against the St Louis Cardinals during a spring training game in Jupiter, Florida, on March 10, 2014. Photographer: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers hits the ball against the St Louis Cardinals during a spring training game in Jupiter, Florida, on March 10, 2014. Photographer: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Miguel Cabrera agreed to a contract extension with the Detroit Tigers that CBS Sports said is the largest in Major League Baseball history.

Two-time American League Most Valuable Player Cabrera, 30, will be paid $292 million over the 10-year agreement, CBS Sports reported, without saying where it got the information. The contract includes the remaining two years of the third baseman’s current deal and performance-related options for 2024 and 2025 that could bring the total to $352 million.

“We’re talking about the best player in baseball and he has the statistics to back it up,” Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski said in a statement from the team that didn’t reveal financial terms.

The deal makes Cabrera the highest-paid professional athlete in North American team sports and eclipses the 10-year, $275 million contract that Alex Rodriguez signed with the New York Yankees in December 2007.

“It’s a big responsibility,” said Cabrera during a televised news conference. “You have to do whatever you can do to do everything right.”

Cabrera two seasons ago became MLB’s first Triple Crown winner since 1967 by leading the AL in batting average (.330), home runs (44) and runs batted in (139). Last season, he again led the league in hitting (.348) and had 44 homers and 137 RBIs.

He has spent the past six seasons in Detroit after starting his career with five years on the Florida Marlins.

The agreement will keep Cabrera under contract until he is at least 40. It is similar to 10-year contracts signed in 2011 by three-time National League MVP Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels, and by five-time All-Star Robinson Cano when he joined the Seattle Mariners from the New York Yankees in December. Both deals were for $240 million.

“Now do I expect him to win the Triple Crown when he’s 40? No,” Dombrowski said. “May he? Maybe. He’s pretty good.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Rob Gloster in San Francisco at rgloster@bloomberg.net; Eben Novy-Williams in New York at enovywilliam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net Dex McLuskey, Jay Beberman

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