As the Tigers prepare to open the ALDS on Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles, Cabrera wasn't even interested in filling out the paperwork that will get him a playoff bonus.
And it's not that he doesn't want to fill out some papers. He told teammates that he doesn't even want the money. He just wants to win.
Cabrera won a World Series as a rookie with the Marlins in 2003, but hasn't since. The Tigers made the World Series in 2012, but were swept by the Giants.
Do you think Cabrera — who has otherwise excelled the past five years — stews on not grabbing the postseason's top prize recently?
Here's what went down with Cabrera and his bonus money, according to Paul White from USA Today, who was in the Tigers clubhouse Wednesday in Baltimore:
Cabrera was sitting at his locker before the Tigers' workout Wednesday in Baltimore when Max Scherzer came by with a clipboard containing the sheets players must sign to receive their shares of the post-season playoff pool. That's money, real cash money.
"I'm not signing anything," Cabrera told Scherzer.
Teammate Victor Martinez, who had just signed, looked quizzically. Scherzer tried to explain. Cabrera was adamant with his refusal, at least for now. He could go back later and sign across the dotted line ... Martinez and Cabrera continued the discussion in Spanish, with Cabrera finally saying,
"I just want the ring." Meanwhile, Scherzer shrugged and walked away. "OK, more for us," he said.
How much money are we talking? A nice piece of change, more than most people make in a year, for certain. Players on postseason teams are awarded a "playoff share" based on how they finish. Last year's World Series champion Red Sox each got an extra $307,000. The Tigers, who were knocked out in the ALCS, each received $129,000. The money comes from gate receipts at postseason games. Players get a cut of it, but not all. Cabrera, of course, isn't hurting for coin. He signed a $248 million contract extension with the Tigers in March.
If the Tigers win the World Series this year, Cabrera doesn't take his playoff share and just walks away with a ring, at least we'll be able to put a proper price on winning the World Series.