The scope of the American League Most Valuable Player Award had barely set in for Miguel Cabrera when he already started looking ahead. He was talking about the honor last month on a conference call with reporters when the question of the future came up.

"I always like to have something in my mind to make me work hard, make me work better," Cabrera said. "I'm still dreaming. I think every time I look [ahead] as a player, it's like, 'I want to do this.'"

A couple of weeks later, as he was signing autographs at a suburban mall, Cabrera all but put the burial rites on his magical season.

"That's in the past," Cabrera told the Detroit Free Press. "We have to move forward and try to be ready for next season."

It's a great philosophy to have. But when you've won the Triple Crown and the AL MVP Award after a season for the ages, what's the next dream?

OK, it's obvious in the big picture. Cabrera has made no secret of his desire to win another World Series title to go with the one he won as a 20-year-old rookie with the Marlins a decade ago. But it's a long way to get there, with a bunch of individual performances along the way.

So now, in the quiet of the offseason, before the buzz builds for Spring Training -- figure on it building next month when Cabrera joins his teammates in town for TigerFest and the Winter Caravan -- the conundrum of what Cabrera can do for an encore deserves to be asked.