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Tigers make it official: Miguel Cabrera is moving back to first base

Dec 4, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera AP

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski was initially coy last week when asked if Miguel Cabrera would be moving from third base to first base following the Prince Fielder trade, but today he admitted that’s the plan.

No surprise, certainly, as Cabrera was banged up physically a lot this year and has long been stretched defensively at third base. He played first base almost exclusively from 2008-2011 before moving to make room for Fielder.

Nick Castellanos is now slated to be the Opening Day third baseman after the 21-year-old prospect spent most of this year playing left field at Triple-A. Castellanos previously played third base full time in 2010 and part time in 2011, and he’s considered one of the better all-around position player prospects in baseball. Despite being very young for the International League he hit .276 with 18 homers and a .793 OPS in 134 games this year before making his MLB debut in September.

  1. thebadguyswon - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Shocker

  2. rbj1 - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    In other news, the sun has announced that it will rise in the east tomorrow.

    • gigab0t - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      And it’s always a relief when it does.

    • Honeycutt - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      Not again!

    • spudchukar - Dec 4, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      The reason the announcement was made so quickly was to give the slugger time to make the journey. By all accounts he should have traversed the distance by the middle of Spring Training.

  3. spudchukar - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Somehow your analysis Drew doesn’t sound very appealing. Only 21, hasn’t been a primary third baseman in 3 years, put up run of the mill numbers for a corner infielder/corner outfielder, with the caveat that he was young for the International league. That pedigree wouldn’t infer a great deal of confidence if I were an unbiased observer.

    • baseballisboring - Dec 4, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      The caveat of him being young is pretty important, though. Not expecting him to set the world on fire instantly, but it’s not like there’s a million star players at 3B right now anyways. If he can be league average at 3rd for the MLB minimum there’s plenty of value there.

      • spudchukar - Dec 4, 2013 at 9:19 PM

        You are correct about the dearth of 3B talent, and I actually think Detroit is making the best move. I just don’t think fans should expect him to near his minor league numbers in the Bigs.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 5, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        Maybe not in 2014…but the roster around him is pretty damn good, regardless.

    • jeffbbf - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      His numbers were hardly “run of the mill” He was top 20 in avg and OPS, top 10 in HR, 4th in RBI, led the league in runs and doubles, 2nd in hits, 3rd in TB. Granted, he played more games there than most, but his numbers were much better than average, and very good for a corner infielder.

    • spudchukar - Dec 4, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      Thanks for the correction. I had no idea the International League had gotten so weak.

  4. joerymi - Dec 4, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Was there any doubt?

    • xjokerz - Dec 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      yes, tigers could have signed Beltran… keeping Miggy at 3B, Vmart 1B , Beltran DH.

      • joerymi - Dec 11, 2013 at 7:21 PM

        So, they go out to fill their need at left field then put him at DH?

        This organization saw the writing on the wall. You don’t keep the best hitter in the game at a position that will leave him too worn down by playoff time. I believe that had more to do with the decision to deal Fielder than his contract or even his terrible playoff history.

        On top of that, their best prospect (by a mile) has more value at his natural position. Whether it means value for trade bait or value for the big club on the field.

  5. Minoring In Baseball - Dec 4, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    Yeah, not much of a surprise. Keeping Miggy healthy is one reason, but defensively they needed to make the change, too. Castellanos is said to be a natural infielder, and has already been working out at the hot corner since the Prince deal was made. Once he matures a little more, look for his power numbers to increase to go along with his average.

    http://minoringinbaseball.com/

  6. seleberry - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Pulled the trigger too fast. We will live to regret this I’m guessing

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