Turns out, Miguel Cabrera not only cost Detroit half of its farm system (almost) in this winter's monster deal with Florida, but also a good percentage of owner Mike Ilitch's Little Caesars pizza money to keep him wearing the Olde English D for the next eight years.
So, is Cabrera worth it?
Heck, yes. By all means. Mark this down as a great day for the Tigers: They didn't even have to annex Michigan's Upper Peninsula, or sell the Ambassador Bridge, to pay Cabrera's freight.
It took a lot of (pizza) dough -- $152.3 million over eight years -- but this is the gift that will keep on giving. Cabrera is only 24 (he turns 25 in on April 18), the numbers from his first five seasons in the majors compare favorably to those of Hank Aaron and if he continues at this pace, he's a definite Hall of Famer.
And from what we've seen this spring, there is every reason to believe that Cabrera will continue produce at this level -- or even higher.
What I saw this spring when I was with the Tigers in Lakeland was a new man, which should be scary news for American League pitchers. Remember how tumultuous last season was at times in Florida with Cabrera, when he was overweight and developed a reputation for periodic loafing?
Yes, it's only spring and yes, things could change, but those days seem long gone.
For one thing, you should see Cabrera now: He changed his workout regimen and his diet beginning immedately after last season, and his body is so much leaner now. Plus, there's no question he's in a better situation, and I think that will help him in every area -- starting upstairs, mentally.
Surrounded by Detroit's productive veterans -- especially countryman Carlos Guillen -- Cabrera has veterans to show him the way professionals do things, and to get after him if he takes a mental day off.
Playing for manager Jim Leyland, he will learn and grow under one of the finest minds in the game -- and from a gruff, no-nonsense manager who commands respect and will not tolerate players going through the motions.
In short, as Cabrera reaches the next level financially, he's surrounded by people who will continue to push him to the next level of greatness, and not let him settle. We already know he has the talent.
With Ramirez in the heart of their order, Boston has racked up two World Series wins in the past four seasons.
With A-Rod, the Yankees haven't won, but they've played in October each year he's been there.
Ramirez, now 36, is about to enter his twilight. A-Rod, 32, is in his prime.
Cabrera, based on his age, may not yet even be in his prime.
Considering that he hit .320 with 34 RBI and 119 RBI for the Marlins last season, he's got a realistic chance at becoming baseball's first Triple Crown winner since 1967, when Boston's Carl Yastrzemski did it.
He also helps put Detroit in position to win its first World Series since 1984 -- perhaps even as soon as this year.
That'll be a large with everything, please.