MIAMI — Will one of the greatest hitters of all time follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time?
Not according to Miguel Cabrerawho says he firmly decided to call it a career in 2023 after his 21st major league season.
“No! Not at all!” said Cabrera, sporting his signature smile, when asked if he would “catch a Tom Brady,” who is back for another NFL season in 2022 after announcing his retirement.
“My body is definitely telling me that this might be the right time to call it a career,” Cabrera told ESPN after Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic workout on Friday. “I’m truly grateful for everything I’ve been able to survive and accomplish on the baseball field. But it’s time to go.”
The future Hall of Famer fueled speculation that 2023 might not be his last season when the Detroit Tigers announced that they will move the walls in the center and right side of Comerica Park and take down the fences. Since Detroit has one of the least hitter-friendly parks in Major League Baseball, Cabrera responded from his Instagram account to the team’s post by saying “Finally! [Finally!] Now I want to play more years!”
Cabrera’s final season coincided with the final year of the contract extension he signed before the 2014 season. He identified his No. 1 goal as he stays healthy through the 2023 season after being hampered by injuries that limited him to 112 games last year.
“I hope things go well this year with the Detroit Tigers and I can really play hard, stay healthy and have a great season,” he said. “My only goal this year is to stay on the field for as many games as possible and, above all, help Detroit win. That’s how I want to finish my career.”
Cabrera spent the first five seasons of his major league career in the Miami and continues to be one of the most popular players in all of baseball. As a result, Cabrera received some of the loudest ovations in the Marlins’ home ballpark, which has hosted Venezuela’s unbeaten run in the WBC quarterfinals, where they will face the United States on Saturday.
Venezuela went 4-0 to finish Pool D in Miami, where LoanDepot Park set the record for the most attended WBC round ever in the United States, drawing 295,850 fans — an 81% increase from the last tournament held in 2017, according to Major League Baseball.
While Cabrera is unlikely to win a World Series ring in Detroit to match the one he won in his rookie season with the Marlins in 2003, he told ESPN that a WBC championship would be just as meaningful.
“There are no words to describe what it means, not only for me, but for any of us, to represent our country and wear the uniform of Team Venezuela,” said Cabrera. “Hopefully we can continue to stay healthy and play great baseball. But really, all we hope to do is win for our country. It’s a dream come true and an incredible thing to do as I graduate. my career.”