LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers poses for a portrait on February 28, 2012 at Joker Marchant Staduim in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
In Fish Stripes' continued attempt to remind people of the past of the Florida Marlins along with the present and future of the Miami Marlins, we bring you a new feature published three or so times a week entitled This Day In Marlins History! The concept itself is very simple: whenever we publish this, we find an interesting fact or tidbit related to the Florida / Miami Marlins and write a little bit about that event.
Today, on April 18, we celebrate the birthday of one of the best Marlins of all time, Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera was born on this date in 1983 in Maracay, Venezuela. The Marlins finally got a chance to grab a hold of him when as an amateur free agent on July 2, 1999. The Marlins debuted Cabrera after four strong seasons in the minors on June 20, 2003, and the rest was history. By the end of his career in south Florida, Cabrera had amassed 138 home runs in five seasons, hit .313/.388/.542, and collected between 18 and 22 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). By the time he was traded to the Detroit Tigers, he had turned from a slender athlete with surprising pop on his bat to a hulking, bonafide superstar power hitter.
It is such a shame that the Marlins had to make that trade in 2007 because, at the time, they could not afford Cabrera and his impending arbitration costs. Imagine what the Marlins would have on their hands if they could have held onto Cabrera and given him the type of extension (eight years and $185 million) he received from the Tigers. With Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez, the Marlins could have had a dynasty (and a terrible infield defense) on their hands.