Detroit Tigers Designated Hitter Victor Martinez Registers 2,000th Career Hit

And the hits just keep coming for Victor Martinez

The 38-year-old Venezuelan baseball player, a designated hitter and first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, reached 2,000 career hits on Friday night.

Victor Martinez

Martinez, heard the crowd roar and felt his heart swell, as he picked up the milestone hit on the same field where he began his MLB career, against the franchise that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela.

Detroit’s switch-hitter singled in the second inning off Cleveland IndiansCarlos Carrasco to reach the plateau. After reaching first base, Martinez received a lengthy standing ovation from the large Cleveland crowd, fans that adored him during his eight seasons with the Indians from 2002-09.

Martinez hugged Detroit first-base coach Omar Vizquel, his teammate in Cleveland and a fellow Venezuelan, before tipping his cap to the crowd. Players on both benches applauded and the game was briefly halted to acknowledge the feat.

“It’s special to have it done here,” Martinez said following the Tigers’ 11-2 loss. “For me, it was even better. Nothing against the Indians, I feel like it’s where everything started for me. I will always remember this day, until I die. What the fans did to me with that ovation. It made me feel so proud and so good that they stand up for me. I just want to let them know too that I will always have the Indians in my heart, always.”

Martinez is the ninth active player to reach 2,000 hits, joining Ichiro Suzuki, Adrian Beltre, Albert Pujols, Carlos Beltran, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Matt Holliday and Jose Reyes.

To attain the milestone in Cleveland and with Vizquel, the career hits leader among Venezuelan-born players, at his side made it even more meaningful for Martinez.

“He congratulated me and told me it was awesome, and at the same time, I wasn’t hearing and stuff,” Martinez said. “It was a pretty cool moment.”

Martinez was a three-time All-Star with the Indians, who signed him in 1996. He broke down in tears when Cleveland traded him to the Boston Red Sox at the deadline in 2009 for three pitchers.

And although he’s had a long run with the Tigers, Cleveland will remain dear to Martinez.

“This is my seventh year in Detroit, but this was a place that I called home, and I’m always going to have Cleveland in my heart,” he said. “It was the team that gave me a chance to be a professional baseball player, gave me a chance to become a major leaguer. It’s a pretty special place.”

Martinez, too, is a pretty special hitter.

He entered the season with a .301 career average and the five-time All-Star has been one of the game’s toughest outs from the day he broke into the big leagues.

“There aren’t a lot of people who can say they got 2,000 major league hits,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “He probably grinded out every single one of those at-bats to get those hits. It’s something he should be proud of.”

Cabrera to Play Ball for the Toronto Blue Jays Next Season

Melky Cabrera could be playing ball in The Great White North next season…

The 28-year-old Dominican-born free-agent outfielder has reportedly agreed to a two-year contract worth $16 million with the Toronto Blue Jays, according to ESPN sources. Finalization of the deal hinges on Cabrera passing a physical, according to the source.

Melky Cabrera

“Melky will be a Blue Jay if all goes well,” the source told ESPN.

Cabrera, who leaves the San Francisco Giants, was suspended for 50 games without pay in August after testing positive for testosterone. At the time of his ban, Cabrera led the National League in hits and was second in batting average.

The All-Star Game MVP, Cabrera didn’t return to the eventual champion World Series champion Giants team following his suspension.

Toronto hasn’t reached the playoffs since winning its second straight World Series in 1993. After going 73-89 this year, the Blue Jays have made quite a splash in the offseason.

Cabrera’s signing would be another big move for the Blue Jays, who earlier this week agreed to an epic trade with the Miami Marlins that will bring them shortstop Jose Reyes and pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. The deal is pending MLB‘s approval.

Cabrera hit 11 home runs with 60 RBIs in his lone year with San Francisco. He hit .305 with 18 homers and 87 RBIs the previous season with the Kansas City Royals, then was traded to the Giants.

Cabrera made his major league debut in 2005 with the New York Yankees and stayed with them until being traded to Atlanta after the 2009 season.

Pujols: The Marlins’ $200 Million Dollar Man?

He’s led the St. Louis Cardinals to two World Series titles in the last six seasons, but will baseball superstar Albert Pujols be switching teams?

The 31-year-old Dominican first baseman has been reportedly offered a 10-year contract by the Miami Marlins for an undisclosed amount, according to ESPN. Sources believe the deal could be worth $200 million or more.

St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols

The offer comes on the heels of the Marlins offering shortstop Jose Reyes a six-year contract valued at more than $100 million.

The Marlins—who will be moving into a new ballpark next season—and Cardinals seem to be the clear frontrunners in the quest to sign the three-time National League MVP.

In January, the Cardinals offered Pujols a nine-year contract for roughly $200 million.

Pujols—who hit .299 last season with 37 homers and 99 RBIs despite battling pain in his left elbow—helped the Cardinals this year to their second World Series title since 2006.

Reyes Headed to the Marlins?

Jose Reyes is leaving New York and heading south this winter… South Beach, that is.

The 28-year-old Dominican baseball star, who most recently played with the New York Mets, has reportedly agreed to a $106 million, six-year contract with the revamped Miami Marlins, according to The Associated Press.

Jose-Reyes-New-York-Mets

Reyes’ deal reportedly includes a club option for 2018 that would make the contract worth $120 million, although the official agreement hasn’t been announced yet.

Reyes—who signed with New York at the age 16—is a four-time All-Star and three-time stolen base champion. He’s also last season’s National League batting champion.

Preparing to move into a $515 million retractable-roof ballpark, the Marlins previously hired Ozzie Guillen as their manager and have stepped
up their efforts to recruit top-notch talent for the team, including another Dominicano: former St. Louis Cardinals star Albert Pujols, who is currently a free agent.

The Marlins had initially made Pujols a nine-year offer for considerably less than the reported nine-year, $198-million offer from the Cardinals that Pujols turned down last winter, according to reports. And now sources say the Marlins plan to step up their efforts to land
the 31-year-old nine-time All-Star.