'Anything is possible': Astros to pursue Miguel Cabrera?

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Miguel Cabrera

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Tigers general manager Al Avila knew this was going to happen.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi Wednesday said the Houston Astros are a plausible trade partner with the Tigers for Miguel Cabrera. Houston is the fourth largest city in the country, the Astros have plenty of money to spend this offseason and have a nucleus of young players on the verge of being World Series contenders.

Wednesday morning, Harold Reynolds on MLB Network’s Hot Stove program asked Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow if he would be interested in trading for Cabrera.

“Anything is possible,” Luhnow said. “The reality is, the Houston Astros have a really exciting core of young players and we’re going to be in contention for many years to come. Our job this offseason is to put pieces around our young core and help us get to the playoffs and win in the playoffs.

“We’re exploring trade possibilities with a lot of teams. We’re exploring the free agent market. I think we are going to be more aggressive this offseason than we have in the past for a good reason – we think we have a window to win right now.”

Avila maintained Wednesday that while he is listening to offers on all of his players in an attempt to reduce payroll, he has not yet had any substantive trade talks with any team about any player.

“Nothing hot and heavy right now,” he said. “These are just the preliminary steps most teams make this time of year.”

That said, he still made a point of reaching out to Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton and others to alert them that they will be hearing their names in trade chatter.

“Yeah, that’s why I called them – their names are going to be out there and people are going to speculate,” Avila said. “All it takes is for one person to mention one player, then it just takes root. Whether it’s something substantial or not, it doesn’t matter.

“It’s going to be out there.”

Avila said he has explained his offseason goals and plans to the players.

“I think they understand the process and what we’re looking at,” he said. “They understand what’s going on at this point and they are ready to see what happens.”

He said he hasn’t talked to J.D. Martinez yet, but that was just a matter of logistics.

“I haven’t reached him yet, but he’s like a son to me,” Avila said.