Miguel Cabrera will remain in Detroit following his retirement when the 2023 season comes to a close, as the Tigers announced today that Cabrera will take on a role in the front office as a special assistant to president of baseball operations Scott Harris. Cabrera had previously indicated that 2023 would be the final season of his career last year.
As noted by Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, Tigers chairman Chris Ilitch spoke glowingly of the future Hall of Famer in a statement. “My father (longtime Tigers owner Mike Ilitch) was incredibly fond of Miggy and made sure he was a Tiger for the remainder of his playing career. We’re thrilled to extend our relationship into the next chapter of his life,” Ilitch said, “While it may be the end of an era, it’s a new beginning as Miguel will continue to pass along his baseball wisdom, culture-shaping values, and mentorship to the next generation of Tigers players, who can aspire to the level of greatness that Miguel has achieved.”
In conversation with reporters (including Chris McCosky of The Detroit News), Cabrera made his new role in the organization sound like a perfect fit. “I want to stay with this team and help doing something. I don’t want to coach, but I want to be around,” Cabrera said, “[The club’s young players] are growing right now. They’re maturing and next year, these guys are going to be better. Bring in like two more hitters, someone to help Tork and Greene and Carp.”
The move into Detroit’s front office comes at the end of a long an illustrious career in the majors for the 40-year-old. Cabrera was a star practically from the minute he debuted with the then-Florida Marlins in 2003, earning All Star nods in four of his five seasons with the club. After being traded to the Tigers in 2008, Cabrera found another gear even by his own lofty standards. He paced the AL in batting average and on-base percentage four times each between 2010 and 2015, a run of six seasons that saw him slash an unbelievable .333/.418/.586 en route to two MVP awards, a Triple Crown, six All Star appearances, and four silver sluggers.
With three games remaining in his sensational career, Cabrera currently sports a career slash line of .306/.382/.519 with 3,170 hits, 624 doubles, and 511 home runs. He’ll end his career with twelve All Star appearances, two MVP awards, a World Series championship, four batting titles, and a World Series ring from the Marlins’ championship run during his rookie season. As things stand, he’s 17th on the all-time hits leaderboard, tied for 25th on the all-time home runs leaderboard with Mel Ott, and tied with Hank Aaron on the all-time doubles leaderboard for his career.