Leyland Optimistic About Offseason

The Tigers can't be happy with how this season has gone. Plagued by injuries and inconsistency, the club has fallen to 11 games out of first place as we get set to enter the season's final month. John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press tells us though, that manager Jim Leyland feels his club can "get real good, real quick:"

“I think this will probably be the most interesting winter for our ball club since I’ve been here, I would think, because our club has a chance to get real good real quick,” Leyland said. “It appears that we have some money to spend. I’m not talking about foolish money.”

Lowe mentions the contracts of Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis, and Nate Robertson coming off the books; those contracts total $34MM, but that's only the beginning. Magglio Ordonez's $15MM option is sure to be declined, Johnny Damon and his $8MM are off the books (though he'd like to return to Detroit), as are the contracts of Brandon Inge, Bobby Seay, Gerald Laird, and Jhonny Peralta (what little amount they're paying him anyway). In total, the Tigers will have an astounding figure of around $70MM in contracts coming off their books.

Detroit figures to be set in some areas, with Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson, and Brennan Boesch having earned spots in the 2011 lineup. The rotation will likely feature Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, and Armando Galarraga. Jose Valverde will still be closing games out in the ninth. You can put Carlos Guillen just about anywhere on the field. Scott Sizemore struggled in the Majors but has found his stride in Triple-A Toledo, with an overall line of .299/.379/.463. He'll likely get another look at the very least.

Still, they'll have a number of holes to fill through free agency and trades, but as you can tell, they've got the funds to do it and do it well. Notable free agents include Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn, Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre, Orlando Hudson, and Manny Ramirez to name a few. With their rotation nearly filled out, and some promising bats penciled into the order, Leyland's prediction is certainly one that can come true with some wise spending from general manager Dave Dombrowski.


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27 Comments on "Leyland Optimistic About Offseason"


airohpue13
4 years 11 months ago

If only the tigers had Jim Leyland coming off the books.

4 years 11 months ago

The actual total of expiring contracts is $ 75 million. In addition, there is only one significant salary increase- Verlander’s $ 6 million, and there are no significant arbitration cases. Galarraga, Zumaya, Miner and Raburn are the four arbys.
But there are vacancies at 3B, SS, RF, DH, Catcher, at least one SP, and a set up reliever. The Tigers have not signed a single free agent position player to a multi year contract since Ordonez before the 2005 season. That will have to change. They should go after Crawford, Werth, and Martinez. They should work trades for Figgins, Napoli, and Bartlett, if possible. And most of all, they need to add one top of the rotation starter. If Lee is too much, then Pavano, Kuroda, Arroyo, or a trade for a No. 2 starter to slot behind Verlander is critical to the success of the team in 2011. Start by declining the options for Ordonez and Peralta.

baseballdude
4 years 11 months ago

prediction: the tigers sign crawford and werth . they trade for napoli and figgins.

4 years 11 months ago

Pretty bold prediction…

4 years 11 months ago

they could be ridiculous next year and sign most of the superstar free agents. Their roster could look something like (and yes i realize this is a reckless use of money but it is just for visual effect):

C:martinez (10 mm)
1b:carbera
2b:sizemore
3b:beltre (15 mm)
ss:guillen
lf:crawford (15 mm)
cf:jackson
rf: werth (15 mm)
dh:dunn (15 mm)

j6takish
4 years 11 months ago

Guillen can’t play SS anymore….he will be released or DHing next year. The shortstop/3b market is atrocious next year….and Will Rhymes has earned a roster spot over Sizemore as far as im concerned.

baseballdude
4 years 11 months ago

as much as id love that 2 happen. i think martinez would want a little more and so would dunn. but sadly dunn said he dont want to dh. so i would not sign dunn and get hudson for like 6 7 8 or 9 million dollars

johnsilver
4 years 11 months ago

May I ask where the Tigers are getting the revenue from just to maintain the payroll from? just because pizza man is subtracting 70M or so, with reduced $$$ flow coming (vastly) from ticket sales and local media.. What is the basis for him to even approach spending that amount back into his team?

baseballdude
4 years 11 months ago

mke illtich will do anything or pay anything to win a championship. he said he is willing to spend the money

stltiger69
4 years 11 months ago

Keep Guillen at 2B, Keep Ordonez to DH, Keep Peralta at SS. Add Crawford (LF), Beltre (3B) and Victor Martinez (DH/C). See about signing Cliff Lee (or making the Yankees or Rangers pay a king’s ransom for him instead). Get another left handed arm for the bullpen (Joe Beimel, please!) and sign Bobby Seay to a minor league deal and see if he’s might also be able to help. Get Takashi Saito from the right side to help out of the bullpen and things would very good indeed!

tigers22
4 years 11 months ago

We’ll definitely make a couple of big splashes. I’d really like Crawford obviously but will settle for Werth. The next move DD has to pursue is getting Adam Dunn to DH. Having Dunn and Miggy hitting 3-4 in that lineup would look awesome. Then if they could manage to land one of Beltre or Vmart I’d be pleasantly surprised, but I’m alright with re-signing Inge and exploring a trade for Napoli. Sign one more starter to slot into the 3rd spot like Pavano or Lilly and we’re good to go.

baseballdude
4 years 11 months ago

with magglio hitting 3 and dunn hitting 4 were would cabrera hit??

tigers22
4 years 11 months ago

Magglio would not be hitting 3 in this scenario. Mags would have his option declined and sign elsewhere, therefore leaving us with Dunn at 3 and Cabrera at 4.

baseballdude
4 years 11 months ago

id rather have dunn behind cabrera so every time cabrera comes up with 2 outs and a runner in scoring position he wouldnt get walked

stltiger69
4 years 11 months ago

No offense to the Adam Dunn fans out there, but let me add my 2 cents on Adam Dunn. He is a great player and he has a good chance to hit 40 home runs this year. The bad news is if he was a Tiger he’s have to hit them out of Comerica Park so he’d hit less than 40 in Detroit period. Secondly, here is some food for thought, he’s hitting .200 with runners in scoring position this year and .229 for his career with RISP. Miguel Cabrera has 33 home runs and 106 RBIs with 157 hits. Adam Dunn has 32 home runs, 84 RBI’s and 120 hits. Think about this for a second, of Adam Dunn’s 120 hits, 32 were for home runs. And at least 32 of those 84 RBI’s were from his home runs. If Adam Dunn does not hit home runs, he will not put up big numbers. Cabrera and Ordonez are situational hitters, nobody on and extra innings, sure, aim for the fences. Winning run on third, two outs and you have a two strike count, I want them to try and put the ball in play to win it. Dunn is not this good at situational hitting and his numbers show it.

Then there is Adam Dunn’s defense and base running. He’s a station to station runner on the bases and his defense has been described as “To Dunn’s credit, he’s improved markedly at FIRST BASE this season, becoming a slightly below-average fielder instead of an anemic one.” If Adam Dunn can say the words DH without choking like someone just gave him poison, he might be a good fit for the Tigers. I just don’t like saying “As long as a guy hits homeruns, he’ll be great!” Dugh! Can he move a runner from second to third with nobody out? Can he drive a runner home from third with less than 2 out?

Also, last thing, let’s compare the offense of Ryan Raburn to Adam Dunn (I know they are different types of players but play along for a second) This year Raburn is hitting .254 and Dunn .260. Dunn has 252 total bases in 461 at bats and a .200 batting average with RISP while Raburn has 116 total bases in 260 at bats with a .273 with RISP. In Dunn’s 461 at bats, he’s driven in 84 RBI’s and in Raburn’s 260 at bats, he’s driven in 44 RBIs. Adam Dunn is making $12 million dollars this year. Raburn is making $438,000 this year and his earliest arbitration year will be 2011 and Raburn will not be eligible for free agency until 2014. Anybody else thinking something similar?

4 years 11 months ago

As far as Dunn not hitting home runs at Comerica Park there is certainly some truth to that. However, the right and right-center are just about the same distances at Comerica as Nationals Park. If he bats left maybe it will not be so much a difference.

About Beltre, I just don’t trust him. He is an above average defender for sure so that is good. The thing is I think he might just be a contract year player. In 2004 he had an amazing year for the Dodgers. Then in 2005 it was ridiculous how much his offensive stats dropped. Now this past year he signs a one-year deal with the Red Sox and bam! He is having a great year again. That being said he is still a good player but I would not think he is worth more than 12 million a year.

Werth could be a nice fit if the price is right. The guy already has 43 doubles this year. Sure his home runs are down but his batting average is 30 points higher than last year. Is he a good defender? That I don’t know.

The player I hope the Tigers get the most is Carl Crawford. Will 15 million a year be enough?

Aside from that I would not be opposed to the Tigers signing Cliff Lee to a big deal. The guy has proven over the last couple of years that he is the real deal.

Oh, and I would like for the Tigers to pick up Peralta’s 7 million dollar option. And steal either Rauch or Guerrier (or both) from the Twins.

4 years 11 months ago

@ stltiger69 . . I see what you’re saying. dunn isn’t really a good fit with the Tigers once you check the numbers. I’d rather have Werth at a 3 or 4 year deal.

baseballdude
4 years 11 months ago

when dunn came to detroit he was belting home runs to deep center field (420) he was hitting it 10 or 20 farther than the 420 he will make comerica park look small. he will hit 40 home runs still.

stltiger69
4 years 11 months ago

Thanks for your reply Michael! Yea, I guess my question is who should the Tigers concentrate on the most? If I had to pick one, I agree with you, it’s Carl Crawford. I’d love to see him bat second, play LF and mentor Austin Jackson (can you imagine two Tigers with 50 or more stolen bases at the top of the Tigers lineup?).

I defiantly share your concerns about Beltre it’s just some of Belte’s worst years look a lot like Brandon Inge’s best years. (yes, 2009 was a stinker for Beltre, but so was 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009 and perhaps 2010 for Inge) Also I don’t think Beltre will get a 15 million per year, 6 year deal. If I was Dave Dombrowski I’d be tempted to over-pay him for a two or three year deal than a 4-6 year. I’m a fan of Inge and how he plays the game. I just think Beltre lurking lower in a strong Tiger lineup would help regardless (I’ve been waiting for that “Breakout” season for Inge with the .280-300 BA, 25-30HR’s, 100-ish RBI’s-, next year will be his 11th year in the majors)

Ditto my thoughts on Cliff Lee, yes, I like him but I’m sort of concerned that he may break down after a season or two (He’s 32 years old) AND he’ll want like 12-18 million for 3-5 years. Let me toss out another idea, how about a serious trade with KC for say Zack Greinke (27 years old in October) and if the Tigers don’t get Magglio Ordonez, why not try and pick up Billy Butler as well to DH (the guys hitting over .300 this year and in his career with RISP and I’d park him batting 3rd behind Jackson and Crawford..) Grenke is signed through 2012 for a reasonable 9.5 million-ish per year. Who would you rather have, Lee or Greinke?

Also! My two bullpen picks! RHP Takashi Saito from Boston (RH hitters hitting .179 off of him) and LHP Joe Beimel of Colorado (LH hitters hitting .177 off of him!) and BOTH are free agents this year….

4 years 11 months ago

I agree that Beimel may be a good signing but I am not sure about Saito simply because of his age. Finances will strongly dictate whether or not I can agree with a Saito signing.

Cliff Lee will make a lot of money this year and I think most of us believe that the Yankees will be hard to beat. Especially if they win the WS again.

Trading for Greinke sounds great but improbable. If I were the Royals I would demand some ultra talent because Greinke has 3 things going for him: 1) He is young 2) He is an ace 3) His contract is super cheap. So what would it take for them to acquire him? Turner+Oliver+Boesch perhaps? I freely admit to not being a good trade conjurer:)

And I really like Swingin’ Billy Butler! He will have his first round of arbitration this coming year. I am sure that he will make more than 470k.

About the bullpen I really think that Guerrier and Rauch should be targets. They kill the Tigers. Guerrier also is a very dependable reliever pitching having pitched 70+ innings the past years (I am gonna go ahead and include this year.) Too bad Seay will not be able to pitch huh?

stltiger69
4 years 11 months ago

Ok, I’m thinking the same on Greinke, if it takes a Turner and Oliver and say a Ryan Strieby, to get Greinke, I’d do it in a heartbeat. It get’s more interesting if KC wanted Porcello and say Oliver or Turner, but I’d certainly think hard on it! What do KC fans think they would want for Grienke?

Bobby Seay missing all of 2011, that sucks! If he was health it would be fun to watch Coke and Seay chew up lefties for a few years. And as far as Guerrier or Rauch, I’m ok with too. I just want to add some dependable 7th-8th inning eaters so regardless if it’s Saito, Guerrier or who ever, get em!

To me, why not try and get Grienke? He solves a lot of problems (age, payroll, contract length), And if you were really crazy, you could trade for Greinke AND go after Cliff Lee…. Hmmmmmm…… (Insert devious laugh here…)

baseballdude
4 years 11 months ago

i agree with everything you said . but id like them to get grenkie not lee. lee is already breaking down the 2nd half of the year

Pawsdeep
4 years 11 months ago

I agree with jack–you cant name one manager that can do what leyland has done with this team. He’s been given AAA talent, bad contracts, and has had injury riddled lineups every year. There is a reason why every tiger up for free agency wants to return and it’s Jim leyland.Also, Dunn would be a horrible fit because of his glove and if all you want him for is a DH I can name a dozen better that will cost less. We will need people to get on base and paying huge money for anyone to fill a simple gap would be stupid. Maglio has proven to be the BEST in that 3 hole and he is loved In Detroit. If you are goig to buy a DH for stupid money it should be maglio and no one else

Guest
4 years 11 months ago

I don’t believe you and I are watching the same games. JL has made so many blunders on so many levels. He has a long history of failure in the 2nd half. He makes boneheaded decisions with his lineups and BP.

baseballdude
4 years 11 months ago

martinez is a real good cather. i wonder what DD will do this winter. if he signs martinez i wonder were he is going to bat 3,5,6?? it depends who else DD signs

RestoreTheRoar
4 years 11 months ago

Im with you, Jack…Jim’s been great in my eyes. He was praised for taking a team that was a disaster and inspiring them to become one of the league threats. Everyone makes mistakes, and he has made some for sure…but I think people tend to complain more when the team is losing instead of winning.

And the losing in the last couple years seems to be more from all the unexpected injuries rather than who Jim puts in the 3rd spot of the lineup IMO.

Anyways…you cant please everyone. I live in Seattle and was amazed to see the town go from calling Wakamastu manager of the year to worst manager of the franchise history. Some folks just like to b****.

Guest
4 years 11 months ago

JL got lucky in ’06. Since then, he has done nothing but lose. Not 1 division title. Second half swoons every season he’s been here.