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Like Pujols, Cabrera headed for brilliant career

markotsay7

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MIAMI Miguel Cabrera is not Albert Pujols.

The first six years of Pujols' career have been unique in the history of baseball. But when trying to foresee the future of the Florida Marlins' third baseman future, the best point of reference is the St. Louis Cardinals' star first baseman.

Miguel Cabrera carries a big stick and is one of the toughest outs in the National League.

They are both right-handed hitters who have had great success at an age when most of their peers are still learning the nuances of hitting in the minors.

Cabrera, who turned 24 on April 18, has been one of the most consistent hitters in baseball the last five years, and his fast start this season has only sparked more comparisons with Pujols.

Cabrera is hitting .372 and is tied for fifth in the National League in RBIs with 13.

"It's only been two and a half weeks -- that's nothing," say Cabrera, who has has a .311 average with 108 homers and 417 RBIs in his career. "The season is very long, and you can never start celebrating in April."

Last year, when he hit .339, Cabrera competed for the batting title until the last day of the season against Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez, who finished with a .344 average. The young Marlins star also had 26 homers, 50 doubles and 114 RBIs.

In February, the three-time All Star won his first salary arbitration case with the Marlins. After making $472,000 last season, Cabrera will earn $7.4 million this year.

In February, 2004, Pujols avoided salary arbitration and signed a seven-year, $100 million deal with St. Louis. That year, he was seeking to increase his $950,000 salary to $10.5 million.

Pujols, 27, hit .330 with 251 home runs and 760 RBIs in his first six seasons. He could become a free agent after the 2010 season, but St. Louis has a $16 million option for 2011.

Even though Cabrera can't file for free agency until after the 2009 season, the huge increase in his salary for the next two years could force the Marlins to trade him to a bigger market team.

Cabrera doesn't hide his admiration for Pujols and would love to play on the same team as Albert some day.

"Pujols is the best. He is my hero," says Cabrera. "If I were traded, I'd like to play with him in St. Louis, though I'd rather have Pujols playing for the Marlins.

"But I'd really like to play with him. He is a player who has consistently achieved exceptional production every year, and even won a Gold Glove."

Cabrera ruled out following Pujols' steps and moving from third base to first.

"I think I can keep improving at third base, although you never know what the future will bring," says Cabrera, who has played both corner outfield positions and the hot corner since he made his debut in Florida in 2003. "But I wouldn't like to change positions."

Would he be intrigued by the idea of playing for the New York Yankees?

"I wouldn't like to be on the Yankees," said Cabrera. "They have too many rules. That's what I think. It's not in my hands. But I don't think it will happen."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?id=2844416
 

MarlinFan10

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That last part of the article is certainly the best, and the too many rules thing says a bit about how he felt about Joe.
 

Marlins2003

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That last part of the article is certainly the best, and the too many rules thing says a bit about how he felt about Joe.

What a terrific insight :thumbup
 

The_Punisher

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2009, Cabrera inks 10.5 million dollar deal with the cardinals for 10 years after being pursued by Pujols!!!!
 
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That would be fantastic.. no need to think about Cabrera with Pujols in STL or even Florida for that matter but ya never know! Afterall hes my fav player in MLB not on the Cards, plus we were both born on April 18th (haha)!
 

Mephisto

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2009, Cabrera inks 10.5 million dollar deal with the cardinals for 10 years after being pursued by Pujols!!!!
Cabrera is looking at a least 18 million
 

Cabrerafan

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2009, Cabrera inks 10.5 million dollar deal with the cardinals for 10 years after being pursued by Pujols!!!!
Cabrera is looking at a least 18 million

The Marlins should have signed Cabs long-term after the 2005 season. Now they're looking at a $180-200M player.
 

SHUfishfan

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2009, Cabrera inks 10.5 million dollar deal with the cardinals for 10 years after being pursued by Pujols!!!!
As much as it seems he wants to play with Pujols there is no way he takes that little.
 

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