Miguel Cabrera almost landed on the Southside of Chicago
As Opening Day was looming ahead this season, the Detroit Tigers acquired outfield Austin Meadows. It was reported, however, that the Chicago White Sox also showed interest in the outfielder. This should come as no surprise for some older Tigers’ fans, as these two teams have a history with each other in trades and players they have a common interest in.
Here’s some trade history between the two clubs.
- July 30, 2013-Avisail Garcia in a three-team deal was sent to Chicago. Detroit traded Brayan Villarreal to Boston for Jose Iglesias, and Boston received three players from Chicago in return.
- Nov. 27, 1981-Detroit trades fan favorite Steve Kemp for Chet Lemon
- March 23, 1989-Detroit trades right-hander pitcher Eric King for Kenny Williams. Williams would spend just two seasons in Detroit. But his role with Detroit was not done yet.
The original Miguel Cabrera destination
Williams, who served as the team’s general manager from 2000 to 2012 before he was promoted to Executive Vice President of the club, had an offer to mull over. Chicago, who was coming off a 72-90 season just two seasons after their World Series title in 2005, was looking to make some changes to the lineup.
Williams traded for Orlando Cabrera, fresh off his Gold Glove season, to the Angels for Jon Garland and he signed reliever Scott Linebrink. But they fell short of getting outfield Torii Hunter, who signed a big contract with Angels. Chicago fans wanted to see Aaron Rowand, Japanese player Kosuke Fukudome and Miguel Cabrera in a White Sox uniform.
The Florida Marlins were looking to trade Cabrera, and it appeared they had a deal set in place. But one hangup in the deal was that Chicago did not want left-handed Dontrelle Willis in the package.Chicago and Miguel Cabrera 06 Apr 2008, Sun Southtown Star (Tinley Park, Illinois) Newspapers.com Cabrera Guillen 05 Dec 2007, Wed Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) Newspapers.com
The Miguel Cabrera aftermath
Those moves, plus the signing of Alexei Ramirez, helped the White Sox win the AL Central in 2008. It would be the last time Chicago would win the division and reach the postseason until last season. While it is easy to play “Captain Hindsight” here, there is one fact that stands out. The White Sox have given no player a $100 million dollar contract. We will never know unless there is a parallel universe out there, what could’ve been, but the fallout of rejecting the deal continues to benefit the Tigers. You have the right to critique the contract extension that Cabrera received, but without Miguel in the lineup, the post-season runs of the 2010s may of have not happened.
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