Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera said Thursday that he will consider retirement following the season due to right knee pain.
The 39-year-old Cabrera told reporters that the pain has been persistent in recent weeks.
Cabrera has one season remaining on an eight year, $248 million contract. The two-time American League MVP is set to earn $32 million in 2023.
“I’ve got to talk to my agent, I’ve got to talk to the GM, I’m got to talk to everybody (and) see what’s going to be the plan for next year,” Cabrera said before Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. “Right now we don’t know. We’re focused on today. We’re going to go day by day and see what happens. I don’t think about next year. I’m thinking about trying to finish healthy this year.”
Cabrera stated earlier this season that he planned to play next season. But the recent knee soreness has led to a decline in production.
Cabrera was batting .308 in 69 games through July 6. Since then, he was hitting just .130 (9-for-69) with one homer in 21 games entering Thursday.
“The last three weeks, it’s hurt more,” Cabrera said. “I’ve had that problem for the last three or four years. Right now, I’m trying to get more training. I got to deal with it.”
Now Cabrera, a four-time batting champion, never knows if he will be able to play on a certain day. On Thursday, he was able to serve as the designated hitter and bat third for Detroit.
“You’ve got to understand your body,” Cabrera said. “I understand my body and I understand my position now on this team. I’m OK. I’m going to keep working. Every time they give me a chance to play I’m going to go out there and do my best. That’s the bottom line. That’s what matters. And it’s an opportunity for young guys here to get more at-bats and see what we’ve got for next year.”
Overall, Cabrera is batting .271 with four homers, nine doubles and 36 RBI.
He experienced a career highlight this season when he recorded his 3,000th hit on April 23 against the Colorado Rockies. The hit made Cabrera the seventh player in major league history with 3,000 hits and 500 homers.
Cabrera also was named to the All-Star Game by commissioner Rob Manfred as a Legends Selection. It marked the 12th All-Star selection for Cabrera.
Cabrera’s many accomplishments in his 15 seasons with the Tigers include winning the 2012 Triple Crown when he batted .330 with 44 homers and 139 RBIs.
Overall, Cabrera has 3,074 hits, 506 homers, 1,840 RBIs and a .309 average in 2,677 games in 20 seasons with the then-Florida Marlins (2003-07) and Tigers. He was part of the Marlins’ 2003 World Series title club.