Miguel Cabrera's child-support lawsuit has reached the bottom of the ninth, and barring a judge's change of heart next week, the Detroit Tigers slugger is going to come out on the losing end.
Cabrera's attorneys will be in court in Orlando on Tuesday, making one last pitch that a judge's ruling last month was out of touch with the needs of the two children Cabrera fathered with a Florida woman.
Last month, Judge Alan S. Apte upheld his final ruling, saying the two children Cabrera fathered with his then-mistress, Belkis Mariela Rodriguez, should have the same "good fortune" and opportunities of Cabrera's three other children, with his wife, Rosangel.
In a decision dated March 21, Apte ruled Cabrera must pay Rodriguez $20,000 per month in child support; pay off the remainder of her mortgage on a nearly million-dollar home in a gated community; cover the children's education expenses, including private-school tuition and after-school day care; provide for extracurricular activities, including summer camps, etc.; pay for all medical expenses; take out a $5-million life-insurance policy; and provide annual passes to the Orlando Science Center, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World.
Cabrera also was ordered to pay back child support of $89,581, as well as Rodriguez's attorney fees of $51,306.25.
It's a ruling that eventually will cost Cabrera nearly $4 million just in the child-support payments, not including the additional expenses. Child-support payments run, typically, until a child's 18th birthday; they can run longer, depending on a child's education status.
Rodriguez's attorney, Terry Young, has repeatedly declined comment and did again Friday, after appearing in court this week to question why Cabrera hasn't complied with the latest ruling. Cabrera's attorney, Ben Hodus, also has repeatedly declined comment.
Barring a successful appeal, this will bring to a close a lengthy, ugly and embarrassing chapter for the typically very-private Cabrera, 36, the future Baseball Hall-of-Famer who carried out a years-long affair with Rodriguez — one that nearly destroyed his marriage, until Rosangel changed her mind and withdrew her divorce petition.
Rodriguez sued in August 2017, alleging Cabrera cut the amount of child support by several thousand dollars a month.
Rodriguez's lawyers argued Cabrera left her "high and dry," and unable to make payments on the house Cabrera helped her purchase.
Cabrera's lawyers argued Rodriguez was a "gold digger" trying to extort money well beyond what was necessary to meet the needs of the children, now ages 3 and 6.
Florida child-support statutes say in cases involving two children, 7.5 percent of net income is fair compensation. But given Cabrera's salary — $30 million this year and the next two, and $32 million the two years after that — that would've meant monthly payments in excess of $100,000.
Apte ruled that amount was unrealistic, and eventually Rodriguez's lawyers sought between $25,000 and $30,000 per month.
Cabrera's lawyers have argued for closer to $13,000 a month, similar to what he was paying before Rodriguez decided to sue.
Apte did deny Rodriguez's request that Cabrera have to set up college funds.
According to the filing last month, Rodriguez and Cabrera have worked out a parenting agreement. Cabrera has expressed an interest in having an active role in the two children's lives.
This is just one of the legal headaches in Cabrera's orbit these days.
Cabrera also is involved in a messy lawsuit involving former business partners in his failed candy company. Cabrera sued his former partners, alleging gross financial neglect. The former partners countersued (for $750,000), alleging Cabrera abandoned the company amid his personal turmoil. Bitbits, which came in four flavors and was heavily championed by the Tigers when it was rolled out in 2017, no loner are for sale.
Cabrera has declined to address either case.
He is in his 17th season in the major leagues, and 12th with the Tigers. A two-time Most Valuable Player, Cabrera is coming off several seasons that were marred by injury. He's been healthy this season, batting .267./.350/.311 with no home runs and seven RBIs through the first 24 games.
He has five years and $154 million left on a $292-million contract signed in 2014. Cabrera's annual salary is seventh-most in Major League Baseball.