Cabrera in three years will be backing up to the bank and shoveling the money in.
No pressing need for the Marlins to look that far ahead.
In light of the three $100 million contracts awarded this offseason, the idea of Miguel Cabrera as a free agent is more sobering than ever.
Assuming the 23-year-old Venezuelan superstar maintained his trajectory, an Albert Pujols-like seven-year, $100 million deal seemed appropriate. But with Alfonso Soriano (eight years, $136 million with the Cubs), Vernon Wells (seven years, $126 million with the Blue Jays) and Carlos Lee (seven years, $100 million with the Astros) achieving three of the top 12 packages in baseball history, Cabrera's earning potential just went from unbelievable to incomprehensible.
"Is $200 million out of the realm of possibility? Not whatsoever," said Arkansas-based agent Darek Braunecker, who negotiated A.J. Burnett's five-year, $55 million deal with the Blue Jays in 2005. "If there was one guy I could have to represent over the next five years going into free agency, it would certainly be [Cabrera] because of the combination of age and talent, and being a middle-of-the-lineup run producer."
Salaries were somewhat inflated this year due to all teams coming into a one time influx of cash. Some of it from the sale of the Nationals and I think the rest was from the new television deal. But still, come December 2009 the price for talent will increase above what it is in the present day. And that doesn't bode well for the Marlins being able to re-sign Cabrera.
Cabrera, after the next three years, will not, most likely, be with the Marlins. Cabrera and his agent are looking for that huge payday in the future, and if he stays healthy and continues to produce, he will get it.
The Marlins can't compete in an all out auction against the larger market clubs. Even if a stadium deal gets done and is built in that length of time, he will be moving on. If you are thinking, why don't they sign him to long term contract now, he has indicated he won't do it.
The best the Marlins can do is pay the salary the arbitrator decides on for the next couple of years and if possible, trade him before he walks.