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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tigers set to acquire Cabrera, Willis

Maybin, Miller and four other prospects would go to Florida
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Marlins and Tigers are on the verge of completing a blockbuster deal that will send Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit for a package of six players.
A source familiar with the negotiations has told MLB.com that the Tigers are parting with outfielder Cameron Maybin and lefty starter Andrew Miller and four prospects for the final two players from the Marlins' 2003 World Series championship squad.

The deal was all but finalized as of late afternoon at the Winter Meetings.

The Tigers swooped into the sweepstakes for Cabrera and Willis on Tuesday and put together a package of players that the Marlins felt too tempting to pass up.

Cabrera and Willis were both rookies on the Marlins '03 title team. Both are eligible for arbitration through the 2009 seasons. Cost has become a concern for Florida, making the two All-Stars expendable.

Cabrera is a four-time All-Star who comes off a season where he batted .320 with 34 home runs and 119 RBIs. The 24-year-old made $7.4 million this past season and he is in line to earn more than $10 million in 2008.

Willis is coming off a 10-15 season with a 5.17 ERA. While the D-Train, who made $6.45 million in 2007, is coming off his worst season, he compiled 205 1/3 innings, marking his third straight 200-plus season.

Maybin and Miller were both first-round Draft picks of the Tigers, Maybin in 2005 and Miller in 2006. Both have tasted the Major Leagues.

Maybin, 20, made his debut in August and appeared in 24 games, hitting .143 with one home run in 49 at-bats. However, he made a rapid rise through the Tigers system, batting .304 with 10 homers in 83 games for Class A Lakeland before making a brief stop at Double-A Erie.

Miller, 22, made 13 starts for Detroit last season, going 5-6 with a 5.69 ERA. In 78 Minor League innings in 2007, he allowed 71 hits and struck out 61 batters. He was drafted out of the University of North Carolina.


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