Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera responded to the bad news that he will be moving into a full-time role as a designated hitter by tallying his fifth career grand slam Tuesday night in a 9-6 home win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The longtime corner infielder was diagnosed with "chronic changes" to his knee that Tigers trainer Doug Teter said are the "natural result of attrition."
Cabrera, 36, consulted with four surgeons, including Dr. James Andrews, but surgery was not recommended, Teter said. Cabrera said Tuesday he doesn't consider surgery an option.
"Forget about that," he told reporters. "I'm done with that."
Cabrera also expressed sadness at the move to DH, saying he likes being in the field, and perhaps channeled his frustration into Tuesday's game against the Rays -- as he smacked a grand slam off Blake Snell, to go along with a double and a single. Cabrera finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBIs.
Cabrera is batting .293 for the season, but his power numbers are down significantly, with that grand slam pushing his total home runs this year up to just three.
Cabrera earned baseball's Triple Crown in 2012 and won back-to-back American League MVP awards in 2012 and 2013. He signed an eight-year, $248 million contract with the Tigers in 2014. Cabrera has five years and $154 million remaining on the deal, and he will be making $32 million per year at ages 39 and 40.
Cabrera missed most of the 2018 season after having surgery in June for a biceps tear.
"The only advice I can say to young kids is take care of their body when they have to," he said. "When they have something, stop playing for a week and come back. Don't play through pain, because you're going to pay the price later."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.