Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera and his former mistress squared off in a Florida courtroom all last week, and there remains no resolution over how much he will be ordered to pay her in child support.
The case now heads to extra innings, with the parties scheduled to return to court in December. No specific date has been set. A final decision is expected by year's end.
Cabrera and the woman, Belkis Mariella Rodriguez, appeared before Judge Alan S. Apte in a bench trial in the Ninth Circuit Court of Florida in Orlando, Fla. The case was scheduled to play out Monday through Wednesday, but dragged into Thursday and Friday, and now will continue next month.
Rodriguez is seeking a steep increase in child support for two children — one boy and one girl — she had with Cabrera.
Cabrera for months paid her upward of or more than $15,000 a month, helped her buy a million-dollar home, and spent lavishly on trips as well as birthday parties for her and the two children. Rodriguez's attorneys, however, have argued she's entitled to more — more in line with what he spends on the three children Cabrera has with wife, Rosangel.
Florida statute suggests child support be 7.5 percent of net income for two children, which would mean more than $100,000 a month from Cabrera. Cabrera's attorneys have argued the spirit of the statute wasn't designed for someone of Cabrera's means; in baseball salary alone, not including endorsements, Cabrera earns $30 million a year, before taxes, as part of a $240-million contract that runs through at least 2023. That salary eventually will rise to $32 million a year.
Rodriguez, owner of a floral shop, has claimed to make less than $2,000 a month and has said she has had to borrow from friends and family to make ends meet.
Cabrera and Rodriguez were examined and cross-examined by attorneys last week, as the lawsuit has reached its 16th month. Two mediation sessions, one in October 2017 and another this past January, failed to reach a resolution.
In April, Apte ordered Cabrera to pay Rodriguez $12,247.33 a month, not including attorney fees, in temporary relief. In May, the case was put on hold, at Cabrera's request, during the 2018 Major League Baseball season.
Cabrera, 35, and Rodriguez, 36, appeared to have had a relationship in 2014 and 2015, according to social-media posts that since have been deleted by Rodriguez.
Benjamin Hodus, attorney for Cabrera, and Terry Young, attorney for Rodriguez, have repeatedly declined requests for comment.
Cabrera has not publicly discussed the lawsuit. During an interview with The News early this year, in which he agreed to answer two questions on the subject, he shut it down before the questions were able to be asked.
Cabrera, the two-time Most Valuable Player and 11-time All-Star, is in the midst of the toughest stretch of his baseball career, because of a variety of injuries. He batted .249 with 16 home runs in 130 games in 2017, then played only 38 games in 2018 before being shut down to have season-ending surgery on a ruptured left biceps tendon.