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Tigers ink slugger Cabrera to record extension

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers touches third base following a third inning home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during a game at Roger Dean Stadium on March 10, 2014 in Jupiter, Florida
Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers touches third base following a third inning home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during a game at Roger Dean Stadium on March 10, 2014 in Jupiter, Florida

The Tigers inked Miguel Cabrera to an eight-year contract extension that will keep the superstar slugger in Detroit through 2023 for a reported record-setting $292 million (212 million euros).

"When you have a star player, you're much better trying to sign them with two years on the contract rather than one," said Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said Friday.

"When you get to that one year away, that lure of free agency becomes very large for a player.

"Secondly, they get additional pressures to test that market," Dombrowski said, adding that he thought it was the "optimum time" for the team to lock up their star.

The Tigers did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but multiple reports put the value of the extension at $248 million (180 million euros) guaranteed.

Add in the remaining two years on Cabrera's current contract, worth $44 million (32 million euros) and he would make about $292 million over the next 10 seasons.

The entire package marks the richest contract in Major League Baseball history, surpassing the 10-year, $275 million (200 million euros) deal signed by Alex Rodrigeuz after the 2007 season.

"Since coming to Detroit, my family and I have been treated so great by the organization," Cabrera said Friday.

"I'm thrilled that I'll continue to represent the great city of Detroit and the amazing fans for many years to come," added the Venezuelan who broke into the majors at age 20 in 2003 with the Marlins and helped the club to a World Series title that season.

Cabrera spent the next four seasons with the Marlins before joining the Tigers in a December 2007 trade.

An eight-time All-Star, Cabrera put together back-to-back Most Valuable Player seasons to earn the big payday.

In 2012, Cabrera became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to win a batting Triple Crown by leading the American League with 44 home runs, 139 runs-batted-in and a .330 batting average.

He captured a third straight batting title last season after hitting a career-high .348, while finishing second in the AL with 44 homers and 137 RBI.

"Miguel is the most prolific hitter in baseball and one of the best players in the game," Dombrowski said.

"We are thrilled Miguel had a desire to continue his stellar career in Detroit and remain in a Tigers uniform for many years to come."

Since signing his current eight-year contract in 2008, Cabrera has hit .327 and averaged 38 homers and 123 RBI.

His 227 homers, 737 RBI and .588 slugging percentage in that span are all the best in baseball over that period.

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