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The Upside of the Cabrera Contract

Now that the Detroit Tigers have locked up future hall-of-famer Miguel Cabrera through age forty we are hearing a lot of backlash against the contract.  The criticism is fair and relevant but I want to peek at the upside.

In the past six decades I found a dozen productive power hitters at age 40 or older.  One occurred just last year in Seattle.  Raul Ibanez hit 29 home runs at age 41.  This just happened!

Will Miguel Cabrera be a better hitter at age 40 than Raul Ibanez?  If so, then this deal doesn’t look that bad.

Other really good power hitters after age 39 include: Darrell Evans (34 HR’s, 135 OPS+), Harold Baines, Dave Winfield and Edgar Martinez.

The worst of this lot was Ibanez and he went for 20 doubles, 29 HR’s and 123 OPS+ at age 41.  I think the Tigers would be pleased if Miggy had an Ibanez-like year in 2023.

Ted Williams, Barry Bonds and…Raul Ibanez?

Seattle Mariners leftfielder Raul Ibanez has become one of 11 payers ever to hit 20 home-runs in a season after age 40.  Being just over halfway though 2013, Ibanez is on pace to match his age in dingers this year (41).

What is really shocking is that he is slugging greater than Barry Bonds did in any of his two awesome 40+ seasons.  Of all the 20+ HR seasons at age 40+ Ibanez ranks 2nd all-time in SLG% to Ted Williams crazy good final season.

Here is the full list sorted of old guy power seasons:

Rk

Player

SLG

HR

Year

Age

Tm

G

1

Ted Williams

.645

29

1960

41

BOS

113

2

Raul Ibanez

.576

24

2013

41

SEA

71

3

Barry Bonds

.565

28

2007

42

SFG

126

4

Barry Bonds

.545

26

2006

41

SFG

130

5

Harold Baines

.533

25

1999

40

TOT

135

6

Hank Sauer

.508

26

1957

40

NYG

127

7

Darrell Evans

.501

34

1987

40

DET

150

8

Dave Winfield

.491

26

1992

40

TOR

156

9

Hank Aaron

.491

20

1974

40

ATL

112

10

Edgar Martinez

.489

24

2003

40

SEA

145

11

Dave Winfield

.442

21

1993

41

MIN

143

12

Craig Biggio

.422

21

2006

40

HOU

145

13

Eddie Murray

.417

22

1996

40

TOT

152

14

Darrell Evans

.380

22

1988

41

DET

144

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/13/2013.