The Tigers first baseman was arrested late last night in Fort Pierce, Florida, and charged with DUI. According to ESPN.com, Cabrera was also charged with resisting an officer without violence after he cursed at deputies and struggled with them during the arrest.
Analysis: This is bad news for Cabrera owners and Tigers fans alike, as many thought the prodigious slugger had quit drinking alcohol after a 2009 fiasco in which he was detained by police in Michigan after fighting with his wife while visibly drunk. At the time, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski picked up Miguel from the police station and vowed to help him out. Perhaps the worst part of that episode, from a baseball perspective, is the fact that the Tigers were fighting for the AL Central and had a key game the next day. The perennial All-Star spent most of that offseason in counseling, and emphatically told reporters last spring that he was done with booze. Eventually all was forgiven, and Miggy went on to compile a monster 2010 campaign in which he hit .328 with 38 homers while knocking in 126. It seemed like all was well, and that Cabrera was back to being one of the most feared hitters in the game. This latest incident, however, could have lasting ramifications both on the field and off. It remains to be seen if and how the Tigers and Major League Baseball plan to punish Cabrera for this disappointing arrest.
Projection: While we’ll have to wait and see if any disciplinary action will be taken against Cabrera, it is not a stretch to assume that he may miss a handful of games as a result of this incident. Even if he doesn’t miss any time, this distraction is not what Cabrera or the Tigers needed. Although he is one of baseball’s elite, a slip in production is not out of the realm of possibility. The flip side to that coin is that he is Miguel Cabrera, and based on raw talent alone he comes into camp as a legitimate MVP contender once again. Although your patience may be waning, you should still keep a tight grip on Cabrera if you own him. If you don’t, now may be a good time to propose a trade for the young slugger, as his perceived value is sure to take a major hit in the coming days.