Cabrera will meet with doctors rather than Tigers

Jeff Passan
Yahoo! Sports

LAKELAND, Fla. – Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera(notes) will meet with doctors early next week to determine the next step in dealing with a problem Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski deemed "alcoholism" after Cabrera was arrested on a DUI charge Thursday.

"He has a problem," Dombrowski said Saturday. "He knows that, we know that, and we're willing to work with him."

Cabrera did not report to training camp Saturday along with other Tigers position players. He likely will know his next step – and whether he will go to rehab – by midweek, Dombrowski said.

"He would love to be here," Dombrowski said. "He wanted to come yesterday but it didn't take long [to convince him]. He understands he needs to do what's best for himself."

Dombrowski declined to say whether the Tigers would suspend Cabrera but said the team does not plan to pursue measures to void his contract, which has five years and $106 million left on it. The general manager has been in contact with Cabrera, his agents, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to coordinate the evaluation.

Dombrowski said he believes this was the first time Cabrera had consumed alcohol since he was arrested on a domestic-violence charge during the last week of the 2009 season and had a .26 blood-alcohol content.

Cabrera's arrest Thursday was another spectacular fall for the perennial MVP candidate. The 27-year-old was arrested in Fort Pierce, Fla., where he took a swig from a bottle of Scotch in front of a police officer and was kneed in the legs after resisting arrest.

Dombrowski said Cabrera was en route to Tigers camp when the radiator in Cabrera's 2005 Range Rover blew. Cabrera's mobile phone was not working at the time, Dombrowski said.

Cabrera, now at his home in Boca Raton, Fla., hadn't raised suspicion with Dombrowski that anything was amiss. He was working out almost daily with teammates Magglio Ordonez(notes) and Alex Avila(notes). Dombrowski said representatives from Cabrera's agency, SFX, shadowed him most of last season to help him stay sober.

"Any time you deal with alcoholism and an addiction, you realize it's an ongoing battle," said Dombrowski, who estimated he has dealt with 20 to 25 cases of addiction in his 33-year front-office career. "It's not easy. If it's a player or it's personal, it's hard. What sets somebody off at a certain time to take a drink, I'm not wise enough to know that. But it happens. You need to make sure the player or person continues to follow their program.

"He's extremely down. He wants to be here. He feels terrible but he understands the importance of making sure this is properly evaluated."

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