The Tigers and Miguel Cabrera have reportedly agreed on an eight-year, $153.3 million contract.
Cabrera's obviously a great player, but it can be tough to put these huge contracts into context. Only three contracts in MLB history have been bigger than this one. Alex Rodriguez's went from being a boondoggle to, ultimately, being such a good deal for the Yankees that Rodriguez opted out of it; Derek Jeter's hasn't been a problem, but it might seem to be if he played for a poorer team; and Manny Ramirez's was so bad that the Red Sox once put him on waivers and no one claimed him. Other contracts within the general vicinity of this one, money-wise, include Todd Helton (good player, bad contract), Alfonso Soriano (the contract isn't a problem so far, but it could well become one), Vernon Wells (bad contract so far), Barry Zito (very bad contract so far) and Jason Giambi (bad contract).
There are a number of extenuating circumstances here for the Tigers, both good and bad. On one hand, Cabrera is younger (he'll be 25 in April) than any of the other players who signed those huge deals, and is clearly a better player than some of them; on the other, he had two more years before he became eligible for free agency. On the first hand, market for free agents may be even crazier now than in the early '00s heyday when many of those big contracts were signed. On the other, though, Cabrera has weight and conditioning issues and is a bad defender. It seems very likely that he'll continue to be great for the first few years of the contract, but the last few years of it would concern me a lot if I were a Detroit fan.