Tigers and Marlins finalize blockbuster trade that sends Cabrera and Willis to Detroit
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s a done deal.The Tigers and Marlins completed their blockbuster trade Wednesday, an eight-player swap that sent All-Stars Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from Florida to Detroit.The Marlins received a package of six players, including two highly rated prospects: left-hander Andrew Miller and outfielder Cameron Maybin. The teams reached a preliminary agreement Tuesday, with the deal subject to players passing physicals.The Tigers also sent catcher Mike Rabelo and right-handers Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De La Cruz and Dallas Trahern to Florida.Florida didn’t even approach the Tigers until Tuesday morning. The Marlins told the Tigers they could have both stars for those six players, then Detroit called back later in the day and agreed.Detroit had not been considered a contender for Cabrera or Willis, who both can become free agents after the 2009 season.Cabrera, an All-Star in each of the last four seasons, joins an imposing lineup that also includes Magglio Ordonez, Gary Sheffield, Carlos Guillen, Ivan Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco. The Tigers also acquired shortstop Edgar Renteria, a five-time All-Star, in a trade with Atlanta this offseason.Willis, the 2003 NL Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-Star, is coming off a down year in which he went 10-15 with a 5.17 ERA. He will be part of a solid rotation with Justin Verlander, Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman as Detroit tries to reach the World Series for the second time in three seasons.Cabrera and Willis were the last players left from Florida’s 2003 championship team. Unable to secure a new ballpark, the Marlins keep shedding players when they are due to earn huge salaries. Cabrera made $7.4 million this year and Willis $6.45 million. Both were eligible for arbitration and likely to receive raises.
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