The Tigers’ Offseason

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch appears willing to spend some money this offseason to return his team to prominence.  Let's take a look at the team's commitments and needs.

The Tigers would have a payroll in the $65MM range if they filled all their needs internally.  This club could easily add $50MM worth of 2011 salaries to the payroll during the offseason.

At catcher, Gerald Laird and Alex Avila have split time this year.  Avila could take on a larger role in Laird's absence.  In that case GM Dave Dombrowski could just bring in a veteran backup.  If Dombrowski changes his mind, Victor Martinez is the big name on the free agent market.

Aside from Miguel Cabrera at first base, the Tigers' infield picture is uncertain.  Carlos Guillen and Ramon Santiago are signed, while Scott Sizemore, Will Rhymes, and Don Kelly may play roles.  The free agent market offers plenty of middling veterans, but the one big name will be third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Outfield holdovers will include Austin Jackson, Brennan Boesch, Ryan Raburn, and Kelly.  If Magglio Ordonez and Johnny Damon depart, the Tigers could be in the outfield market.  Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth are the premium choices.

The rotation needs work, with question marks after Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.  Maybe the Tigers will join the Cliff Lee bidding, but otherwise secondary hurlers like Jorge de la Rosa, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, Carl Pavano, and Javier Vazquez might help.  The problem is that not all of those guys translate well to the American League.  The Tigers' bullpen might only require tinkering.

The Tigers have a ton of money to spend this winter, but their needs are abundant too.  Dombrowski will need to break his recent pattern of avoiding multiyear free agent deals if he's to bring in any top free agents.  Of course, he does have a penchant for big trades.


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124 Responses to The Tigers’ Offseason Leave a Reply

  1. Prediction: They pull the trigger fast on signing Werth to a crippling deal that looks horrible in two years.

    • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

      Anything longer than 3 years is too long for Werth, regardless of the money.

  2. Crawford and Lee are going to the Yankees. I can see someone like Pavano being a good fit, at Tiger Stadium as a pitcher’s park, and the Yankees aren’t going to get near him, which will lessen his price… He also may want to stay with the Twins..

    There is no point in bidding for Lee or Crawford. The only reason I can see Lee wanting to pitch for the Tigers is that he will have better stats, than at Yankee stadium, and he won’t be eviscerated or put under the microscope after each outing as he would be with the New York Press. However, Lee will be the top starting pitching free agent for 2011, and the Yankees will sign him for the most money.

    The Yankees have pretty much put up Carl Crawford’s locker up in Yankee Stadium. Crawford is a main reason that the Yankees didn’t re-sign Damon.

    Much like when Matt Garza hits free agency, he will probably be in pinstripes as well.

    • tigers22 5 years ago

      Unfortunately, Tiger Stadium doesn’t exist anymore… and it’s a damn shame. I guess technically it would be a pitcher’s park though since no runs can be scored there at all.

    • airohpue13 5 years ago

      I see Crawford or Lee going to the Yanks, but not both.

      • martyman24 5 years ago

        Yea i completely agree, and they still have to deal with Jeter and Mo as well. So even if they are the YANKEES, they can’t afford both players.

    • Lee will go to New York, but I expect the Yanks to focus on their rotation. They’ll let Vazquez go, see if Petite comes back when he finishes with his Favre-esque charade, and go after another starter if he doesn’t. They have to bring back Jeter and Mariano also. They’ll look for Downs or another solid late inning arm for the bullpen, and probably stick with the same outfield.

      Crawford, Werth, Dunn if he accepts being a DH, a DH, or a DH. Willingham would be great. Try to swing a trade for Stephen Drew or Jason Bartlett. Not world beaters, but bona fide shortstops for a change. Beltre shunned Detroit once already and I think he’ll wind up back in Boston.

      • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

        Pettitte isn’t as bad as Favre, although he’s acting the same way towards the Yankees as Favre is towards the Vikings. ‘I may or may not retire, I’ll just tell you when I feel like it.’ However in Favre’s case, he is actually worth what he is paid. It’s ridiculous the amount Pettitte gets paid.

        If he does want to keep playing, the Yankees should offer a market level contract and he can accept the hometown discount, or go about his career.

        • Yankees420 5 years ago

          2.88 ERA, 3.96 FIP (which is honestly right around what I expected), 2.37 K/BB, 1.20 WHIP over 115 IP isn’t all that bad for ~12MM, yeah he’s a little overpaid, but he’s a mainstay of the Yankee rotation and they always pay their homegrown players more.

          “If he does want to keep playing, the Yankees should offer a market level contract and he can accept the hometown discount, or go about his career.”

          I’m curios as to how a contract can be both market level and a hometown discount?

          • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

            Lol I messed up there. At the end of the 2009 season, it was the general consensus $12 mil was too much for Pettitte’s 2010 salary, but he’s actually been very good. And I meant the Yankees should just offer him a market level contract, I doubt there will be any hometown discount; for the Yankees that means adding salary.

          • Yankees420 5 years ago

            Correct, his 4.16 ERA in ’09 didn’t warrant 12MM, but the Yankees needed his solid innings, and the fact that he’s living up to his salary this year just makes it all the better. And, lol at “for the Yankees that means adding salary”, it’s funny because it’s true. I actually have this theory (granted, I have no evidence to back this up, it just occurred to me one day) that the Yankees might purposely overbid at certain times because that forces other clubs to overpay for high priced FA’s that the Yankees aren’t targeting ie Lackey, Holliday. This could be completely untrue, but it would be a pretty bold business strategy imo.

            Also, rereading my first post, I make it seem like I expected a sub-3 ERA from Andy, that’s not what I meant. I meant that I expect an ERA/FIP in the 4.0 range. Just wanted to clarify.

      • baseballdude 5 years ago

        crawford werth and dunn?? that would be awesome for the tigers

    • mr0zip0 5 years ago

      I don’t see Crawford ending up in New York… Cliff Lee will, without a doubt… There isn’t a spot for Crawford! LF Gardner CF Granderson RF Swisher DH Johnson.

    • mr0zip0 5 years ago

      I also think that the Yankees will sign Cliff Lee. It might as well be done now.

      Crawford, though, doesn’t have a spot on the depth chart. LF – Gardner CF – Granderson RF – Swisher DH – Johnson… Gardner was supposed to be just a fill in until they could get Crawford, but he’s been so good they can’t get Crawford.

  3. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    Does anyone know how Detriot’s attendance figures are doing? I know the town has been hit hard economically. Is it really a sure thing they go with a $100M+ payroll next year?

    • myname_989 5 years ago

      The Tigers are 14th in average attendance this year (Avg. 30,703), compared to last year, where they were 12th in average attendance, (Avg. 31,693).

      It’s a small drop, and I don’t think they’ll be hindered by it, especially since they have ownership that likes to take risks and spend money.

      • airohpue13 5 years ago

        I attribute that drop not to the economy but to performance.

    • Tigers94 5 years ago

      Yeah. The tigers get as many people to the games as almost any other team. They have suburbs in detroit, not everyone lives in the city and makes less than 20,000. Someone doesn’t want to see Crawford getting 50 SBs and Dunn getting 40 Hrs against their twinkies. Not to mention Cliff Lee winning the Cy Young

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        First, you’ll only get one of those three at best.

        Second, I wish you guys would get some talent around miggy. Pennant races are no fun when the rest of the division rolls over.

        Third, I thought it was a fair, non-biased question. Its legitimate to ask how a teams payroll is going to be based on attendance isn’t it?

  4. gamaize 5 years ago

    Ilitch will spend, regardless of attendance.

    • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

      Hopefully he decides to spend on the Tigers and not on the Pistons.

      • gamaize 5 years ago

        One has nothing to do with the other. Two separate businesses just like Red Wings and Tigers don’t influence each others payroll.

        • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

          Detroit media is reporting that he may not have the financial backing to purchase the Pistons and PalaceNet. If true (big if because we don’t know Illitch’s personal finances), it may mean a lower Tigers payroll in order for him to secure the deal. However, Illitch has been a great owner for both the Red Wings and the Tigers and has shown that he will do what it takes to makes championship runs. I don’t think he’ll buy the Pistons if it means sacrificing for the Tigers and Red Wings.

  5. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Tigers will get at least 2 of the really big names. I bet most teams continue to spend modestly or even cut payroll.

  6. The players are going to go where they get the most money, and where they can play the most. Crawford will start everyday here…who says he’d start everyday in the crowded Yankee outfield. You have to look at it like that sometimes. And as far as the attendance, if you don’t spend money on the team, people won’t come, so your argument holds no value.

    • airohpue13 5 years ago

      Crawford would start everyday for any team in the major leagues. Crawford would also instantly be the Yankees best outfielder. I hope he doesn’t go to New York, but unfortunately it looks like he will.

      • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

        The Yankees outfield (Gardner, Granderson, Swisher) is all under team control for 2011. If the Yankees signed Crawford it’d just be the rich getting richer. They already have to resign Jeter and Rivera, so I don’t see another 2008 offseason happening. They will surely get a big name, but Crawford just doesn’t fit.

        • It’ll happen. The way today’s baseball economics are setup, the rich get richer.

          They will sign Crawford and flip either Gardner or Granderson … whoever nets them the best return.

  7. rbeezy 5 years ago

    They will go hard after 1 of Lee or Crawford and eventually loose to the yankees. Beltre may be a good bet if Bosox don’t drop thier shorts for him. I could see Ordonez coming back on a two year $20 Mill deal. They have a good young nucleas , pick up a couple of the above mentioned starters and they’ll compete. I think they are better wating for 2012 to make a splash with the young arms they have in Oliver and Turner.

    • airohpue13 5 years ago

      What do Oliver and Turner have to do with making a big splash now or waiting? You’re telling me they should wait for two unproven young arms that may never amount to anything in the big leagues to get there before they start spending? If they make a big splash the deals aren’t going to be for a single season. If Oliver and Turner amount to anything in 2012, it is likely that whatever “big splash” guys the tigers were to acquire would also be around in 2012. I don’t understand what you’re saying.

      • rbeezy 5 years ago

        I am talking about a huge signing. If they can get crawford or Lee fine. If not sign 2 vets for the rotation and plug some holes with decent FA. Let 2011 show you the progress of turner and oliver and if they don’t perform enough to be solid in the MLB in 2012 spend the money on long term deal for a big arm. If they do perform you have money to spend in better places.

    • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

      If they sign 1 SP this off-season like Lilly, de la Rosa, or Lee, they still won’t be “loaded” with pitching. And if Turner and Oliver tear it up, it never hurts to have extra pitching depth. Any team in the league would love to have the “problem” that the Rays have right now with all of their pitching.

      • martyman24 5 years ago

        Dude!!! I heard the Reds have that same “problem” Too!!! lol

  8. The first and biggest problem for Tiger fans is that Dave Dombrowski has avoided signing free agents to multi year contracts since the 2006 season. Even before 2006, he only signed Pudge and Ordonez by far out bidding all other clubs, and by working in escape clauses in case of injuries. From 2006 through 2009, DD did not sign a single free agent to a multi year contract, and the biggest free agent contract that he signed was Brandon Lyon’s 4.25 million one year deal. Still expect a shopping spree?

    Some $ 75 million will be coming off the books after this season. Of the $ 80 million in bad contracts (contracts that no other GM would take, even for nothing), only Guillen’s $ 13 million will remain for 2011. That will leave vacancies at SS, 3B, RF, DH, Catcher, at least one SP, and one RP. Two of those players have to bat second and third.

    The problem is compounded by the fact that there are NO internal solutions for any of the vacancies that will be created The Tigers need to go out and spend big on some of the free agents that are on the market this winter, but free agency can’t solve all of their problems. There is little in the way of shortstops, and the Tigers have not had a major league average shortstop since Guillen in 2006. After Beltre, there’s nothing at third base on the open market, either. They could sign Crawford and Werth, and still have major holes to fill.

    The problem is not insurmountable, but if Dombrowski doesn’t change his policy of completely avoiding the high priced, highly sought after free agents, the Tigers will not be a contender.

    • tigers22 5 years ago

      With Guillen’s remaining contract and the holes you have listed, it sounds like you left him at 2B. I’m still not a fan of him there, and after another year of wear and tear on his body I don’t think that’ll be a good spot for him.

      If they don’t end up resigning Mags I could see Carlos sliding (not literally because he’d get hurt) into the DH slot.

      • Guillen will be back, and I think he’ll be at 2B whether we like it or not. Even if they DH him, there’s still a vacancy. I also didn’t list LF as a vacancy because I’ve penciled in Boesch. The list of vacancies could get longer, but that’s a minimum. Maybe two starting pitchers are needed.

        They could bring back Inge on a short term deal, and postpone that problem for a while.
        They could bring back Magglio, hope he stays healthy, and hope that he resumes a .305/ 2o HR/ 100 RBI pace, but there are solid options for outfielders that can be bought.

        I think it’s time to blow it up and move on.

        • tigers22 5 years ago

          Nah man, I think they’re too close to blow it up. Pieces like JV and Cabrera, young guys in Ajax and Boesch, and even the arms of Scherzer and Porcello is a nice thing to build around.

          I think they might do just what you said… bring back Inge for about 2 or 3 years and hope Castellanos is ready around then

        • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

          What do they blow up? With the exception of Guillen, they won’t have any dead weight going into 2011. Dombrowski should bite the bullet and eat Guillen’s contract so they can get something marginally valuable in return. That would free up the DH spot (let’s face it, he’s not a good 2B). I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing Magglio back on a 2yr/$16M deal if Guillen weren’t around.

          • The lineup will blow itself up if DD can overcome his addiction to doling out lavish multi year contract extensions and picking up over priced options. I like the core that remains on the major league roster. Cabrera, Jackson, Boesch, Verlander, Scherzer, Porcello, and a solid young group in the bullpen. That doesn’t need to be blown up. My fear is that DD extends Inge, extends Magglio, signs Peralta under the delusion that he’s a shortstop, extends Damon, extends Bonderman- you get the picture. Not a pretty picture.

          • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

            Those moves would be brutal and we’d be battling CLE and KC in 2011 instead of CWS and MIN. Somebody said it below and I agree, they’ll only keep Inge OR Peralta, not both. Santiago is already under contract for 2011. I think they’ll try to use him as either the starting SS or 2B since there isn’t too much help on the open market.

          • So, already you have Peralta or Inge at 3B and Santiago at SS or 2B, and I think they will, whether we like it or not, have Guillen and probably have him at 2B. Who bats second and third? Either DD changes his extreme methods, or we get some version of Ordonez and/ or Damon back again.

          • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

            I wish they would let both Inge and Peralta go and make a run at Adrian Beltre. I wouldn’t consider him a typical 3 hitter, but he’s better than Inge defensively and Peralta offensively. Obviously, he’d cost more, but money shouldn’t be too much of a deterrent this offseason. I’d pass on Werth and Crawford and go after David DeJesus (if he ends up a FA and is healthy). It would leave more money to go after another SP.

            I agree with you, man. Dombrowski created this mess, now he has to change his ways to make this team a perennial contender.

          • Word is that the M’s were willing to give up on Figgins. $ 27 mil for 3 years left on his contract, I’d take him. If you can fill the 1 or 2 spot with a 3B, add that speed and a good glove at 3B, then you can sign some power for the OF/ DH, and pick up an average SS.

          • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

            I actually like that idea better, assuming they don’t have to give up too much since they’d be taking on the rest of his contract and he can regain most of his Angel form. And it would add some much needed speed to the line-up. It would be fun watching him run anytime hit a line drive into right center. I imagine it would take more than 3 yr/$27M to get Beltre, so getting Figgins would be cheaper.

        • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

          Blow it up and move on? Are you even a Tigers fan? Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander were signed to extensions to keep them around for a while, to build around. This is a team that will hover around .500 for the rest of the season, with the right moves in the offseason they should be favorites for the division with the reigning MVP.

    • airohpue13 5 years ago

      Unless he can pull another big trade like he did when he got Cabrera and sign a guy to a lengthy extension. Of course that would gut the small amount of prospects the tigers have left.

    • j6takish 5 years ago

      Guillen to DH, no way he touches the infield ever again. If he could stay healthy for an entire season, batting around 300 with 15hr isn’t out of the question for him

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      You’re making it sound like Dombrowski is some cheapskate who won’t sign free agents. He has made some good trades, and given out some very rich extensions. So yes, I still expect a shopping spree. Whether you get a player through free agency or trade, they are still on your roster.

      • No, not cheap by any means, but no GM has signed fewer free agents since 2006, and he has avoided multi year contracts for free agents like they brought the plague. I get using free agency as a last resort, and I get giving an extension when you have a player worth keeping, but DD has been absolutely extreme on both counts. The result is the highest payroll in the division with zero titles in nine seasons. The point is that I would not hold my breath waiting for Dombrowski to go on a shopping spree for free agents, and he has very little to trade in terms of major league ready prospects.

    • There will likely be some trades as well as FA signings. When you are willing to take on some larger salaries, trade possibilities increase.

      I’m not very optimistic looking at the FA market. To get Crawford, the Tigers would have to outbid the Yankees. That contract wouldn’t be pretty – maybe upwards of 5-6yr deal at or near $20M/yr. Ugh, for a guy that relies solely on his speed and would be in his mid-30s near the end of the contract.

      Werth is scary to me. Do the NL-to-AL translation and small park-to-big park translation and his numbers may not be very much above average.

      Probably being pessimistic here, but can you really give Beltre a large multi-year deal? Fool me one, shame on you … let’s ask Seattle what they thought of his last large multi-year deal.

      I can easily see Inge resigning, and wouldn’t be surprised to see Maggs in a Tiger uni next year either (many ways that can happen).

      Probably going to need a starter and, the only good news is, that there will be plenty out there – including low-contract/high-reward type players coming off injuries (Webb, Harden, Bedard, etc).

  9. tigers22 5 years ago

    This team has holes but honestly aren’t that far off with the addition of a couple of pieces. That’s what makes the recent struggles all the more frustrating.

    They really need to get rid of Laird, like, yesterday. Bringing in a vet would be nice, but they’ll probably hope Avila really blossoms for next year. They’ll either bring Mags back at a discount or probably try for Werth. I don’t mind Werth at all but as previously mentioned, it’d probably be at way too many years. Lilly or Pavano will be appealing to shore up that 3rd starter spot, and especially Pavano as he tends to dominate us year in and year out.

    I really do think DD might go ahead and pull out a big trade in the offseason. If they could swing a deal for Prince and DH him in front of Cabrera that’d be quite the duo.
    Also if they buyout Peralta (which I hope to god they do) they’d be in the market to trade for a SS… I know Hanley is the pipe dream around here, but they might re-visit the Stephen Drew talks.

    • jphenix2002 5 years ago

      what do they have to trade for fielder? I’d love to see Cecil’s kid in motown but I think thats near impossible considering there are other teams with more attractive trade pieces.

      • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

        Don Kelly, Ryan Raburn, Clete Thomas, Casper Wells, Jeff Frazier, Danny Worth… basically players in their mid to late 20s that have no ceiling or upside and have had little or no success in the majors.

        • tigers22 5 years ago

          Right… way to not mention ANY young pitchers, by far and away the strength of the Tigers system. The Brewers always seem to be looking for young pitchers. I’d have to think guys like Oliver/Turner/Crosby/Weinhardt and a bat like Streiby would be appealing to the them

          • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

            Young pitching is the strength of the farm system, but do you really see them giving up Turner or Crosby for Fielder? It’s not that I don’t think Fielder is a good player; I just don’t see DD raiding an already barren farm system. They really don’t have many good players that they can give up. They do have a ton of AAAA corner outfielders and light-hitting middle infielders.

  10. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    what are the chances the whitesox decline matt thornton’s option? he could be a nice pickup for a lot of teams if they aren’t high on scott downs.

    • rayking 5 years ago

      Extremely minimal chance of that. The likely ChiSox scenario is Thornton at closer with Jenks non-tendered or traded.

    • the_show 5 years ago

      basically zero

  11. pmc765 5 years ago

    Inge? Bonderman?

    • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

      Depends on how much money they’re looking for. I imagine they’d have to give hometown discounts in order for them to be resigned. Bonderman also indicated recently that he’ll consider retirement (only 28 yrs old) at the end of the season if he doesn’t like his situation going into next year.

      • jphenix2002 5 years ago

        his chances are better for coming back to detroit than for retirement.

    • airohpue13 5 years ago

      I don’t think I can stomach anymore Inge. Good defensive 3b but pretty much useless with the stick.

  12. bbxxj 5 years ago

    Not a prediction but just what I would do as GM:

    Lets just say in this scenario Illich is going to let me spend 50MM and some of that can be in long term deals.

    1. Jackson CF
    2. Brignac SS (Trade with Tampa)
    3. Dunn DH/LF/1B
    4. Cabrera 1B/DH
    5. Martinez C/DH
    6. Boesch RF
    7. Inge 3B
    8. Sizemore 2B
    9. Avila/Raburn C/LF

    PH Guillen
    INF Santiago
    C/OF Avila/Raburn
    UTL Kelly
    OF Wells

    Verlander
    Scherzer
    Vazquez
    Oliver/Porcello/Turner/Galarraga

    Minor tweaks to the pen

  13. pmc765 5 years ago

    Maybe they signed Peralta to have an alternative in the off season if Inge demands too much. Clearly they won’t keep both. I don’t relish watching Peralta play defense in 2011, but Inge’s fading offense won’t magically become better.

    As for Bonderman, he’s not irreplaceable but he would be acceptable at the right price. He’s at best a fourth starter at this point.

    Porcello figures to be better in 2011, so the top three of the rotation is reasonable. It looks like none of the young infielders (Sizemore, Rhymes, Kelly) are major leaguers. Danny Worth might be. The decision to let Polanco leave didn’t work out.

    A radical suggestion: Prince Fielder. Put him behind Cabrera in the lineup, DH him. After Guillen’s contract expires, Cabrera might be agile enough to play second base and let Prince, still only 28, man first.

    Ilitch always had a way of bailing Scott Boras out. First Ordonez, then Damon, next Prince?

    • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

      I would call Cabrera at second very radical, unless you’re referring to Orlando or Asdrubal.

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      No way Cabrera plays second dude. Fielder should only see at-bats as a DH in AL parks. Cabrera has played the corner outfield and infield spots regularly, but he has been established as a first basemen.

  14. Potrzeba 5 years ago

    Just thinking here, what if u trade Miguel cabrera and take those prosects and get Stephen drew, and u then have the prospects to trade for some players. And with cabrera’s contract gone u can sign Crawford/werth and lee/vazquez and beltre/Martinez. Just thinking.

    • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

      They can sign 3 of those without trading Cabrera’s contract.

      • Potrzeba 5 years ago

        Oh. My bad. But with his contracted moved they could offer more money. Plus with the prospects u could get for cabrera u could then trade for just bout anyone. This is what I’d do.

        • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

          I’m not so sure Cabrera would command as much as Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder. I think Cabrera a better player, but the length and over dollars of his contract would limit the bidders to the Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, and White Sox, to name a few.

          • Potrzeba 5 years ago

            This is what I would offer for Miguel cabrera.
            Kelly or Iglesias, reddick, Anderson, bowden, dourbont.

          • tigers22 5 years ago

            Figures. Red Sox fans still dreaming up crazy Miguel Cabrera trade scenarios.

          • Bzzzzzzzzz

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      Cabrera is having an MVP season, and his contract would make it extremely difficult to get fair value for the production he provides, no way they trade him.

    • tigers22 5 years ago

      WHAT.

      not ever going to happen.

    • There’s enough money to sign them anyway.

  15. PAYROLL SUMMARY:
    – $ 75 million in expiring contracts for Ordonez (18), Bonderman (12.5), Willis (12), Robertson (10), Damon (8), Inge (6.6), Laird (3.9), Seay (2.45) and Everett (1.55).
    – Just one scheduled contract increase of $ 6 million to Verlander
    – Just four arbitration eligibles, Zumaya, Miner, Galarraga, and Raburn
    – Vacancies at SS, 3B, RF, DH, Catcher, one or two SP, and one or two RP
    – The above assumes that Guillen plays 2B and Boesch is in LF
    – Two of the vacancies filled need to bat second and third

    The ideal situation is that DD can find an infielder to bat second or third, but those players are scarce and none are about to become available on the free agent market. Having the money available doesn’t mean that the players are available, at any price, or that we have a GM willing to go and get them.

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      Yeah because Santiago and Avila aren’t both under control next year… those aren’t vacancies dude just upgrade spots, which every team has. They could also easily fill out the outfield with Boesch, Jackson, Raburn.

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      Sign Crawford, there’s your #2 hitter, resign Magglio if he’ll take a 1 year deal, there’s your #3 hitter (personally I think Miggy should be batting 3rd, but that’s for another time). In this situation Crawford is in LF and Boesch/Magglio are at RF/DH. Grab a veteran backup C and make a run at Beltre. If you miss out, Inge isn’t bad on a 1 year deal, or some other 2nd tier starter (Cantu/Wigginton?). I do think that SS will have to come via trade, as the FA market is bleak at best. As for SP, I think Arroyo would be a good target for the Tigers, he’s a proven durable vet that will give Detroit 200 IP with an ERA in the 4.0 range, DD should see if he’ll take a 1 year + vesting/mutual option. And if the Reds pick up his option, Javier Vazquez has been pretty good since his rough start in the Bronx. So, let’s say you grab Crawford and miss out on Beltre, I think you could be looking at something like: Jackson CFCrawford LF (17MM)Magglio RF/DH (~9MM)Cabrera 1BGuillen 2B/DHBoesch DH/RFCantu/Wigginton 3B (~7MM?)FA/Trade SS (anywhere from 3MM-9MM, roughly)Avila C (backup signing ~3MM)Verlander Max Vazquez/Arroyo (~10MM)Porcello Bonderman(?)/FA 5th starter (~7-9MM)On the high end that’s 64MM added to next season, and while acquiring all of those guys is probably unrealistic, it is definitely doable.

      • DutchTiger 5 years ago

        I agree on the realistic bit. And hopefully the could trade for a better bat somewhere, Figgins has been suggested.

        Would like to see a LHP in the rotation, though.

      • Tigers94 5 years ago

        I don’t want Vazquez with that dead arm. Our fifth starter should come out of our organization, not spending an extra 7-9 million. Peralta could serve as our SS, and sign for 5 million. With the problems surrounding Boesch, I would like to go out and get Adam Dunn if he would DH. If not, I think Damon would sign for cheap and it would keep our RF/DH spots flexible. And it isnt 64 million added, its 5 million less because we are shedding 69 million

  16. stltiger69 5 years ago

    A tip of the cap to all of the responses, you guys know what your blogging about and it’s very interesting to read so thanks for all of your comments. I do think the Tigers will go all out for a “type A” player or two and a pitcher in the off season. I know a lot of people think the Yankees will buy every good player out there but my gut tells me that the Yankees have some significant problems heading into the off season to straighten out and it will effect there ability to bid on free agents and their priorities in obtaining free agents.

    Here’s my thinking, first, the Yankees will not negotiate a new contract with a player until the end of the current season. Which means they will not likely know what holes they have to fill until they get there current players locked up for 2011. And they players that the Yankees are worried about are not small potatos; Jeter,Vazquez, Pettitte, Rivera and what do you do with Lance Birkmann’s $15 million dollar option for 2011 and both Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes are arbitration-eligible (and they are both going to get big pay raises!). Also remember that typically the top free agents get signed first and early in the off season so it’s likely the Yankees will be trying to put there pieces together from last year as the top free agents start signing else where. Lets face it, if Jeter delays and signs somewhere else (lol, the Tigers might make him and offer!) or if Mariano Rivera decides to retire, the Yankees priorities may then change dramatically in the off season.

    So yes, the Yankees may have the money and the makeup to go sign Lee and Crawford, (heck, all of the other type A free agents as well) but I just think the Yankees will be a bit occupied trying to keep the players they have and trying to figure out how much money it will cost them during the critical early free agency period. Dave Dombrowski will be sitting at his fax at 12:01am on the night of the opening of the free agency period faxing out free agency offers and the Yankees will still be trying to talk Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte out of retirement.

    Just my thoughts, we’ll see!

    • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

      I honestly would love if Jeter came to Detroit. He was raised in Michigan after all. If the Yankees are lowballing him, Dombrowski can slide in with a better contract offer.

      • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

        I would rather see Jhonny Peralta at short than to pay Jeter $20M. Heck, I’d rather bring back Adam Everett.

      • airohpue13 5 years ago

        Ya, Jeter will get a salary based on his name. It won’t consider the fact that he is on the verge of being all washed up.

      • Lowballing? Hal would fire himself and the hole Yankee staff before he does that. He would give Jeter a blank check with a pen at most.

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      There’s a period before FA begins that Cashman will have for exclusive negotiating rights with Jeter/Mo/Pettitte/Vazquez. Jeter doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy to drag out contract negotiations and the Yankees are not going to low-ball him, we all know this. Mo has said in an interview (earlier this season) that he can see himself taking a 1 year deal like Pettitte has been doing, but that he wants to play for at least 2 (I think it was 2, it might’ve been 3) more seasons. And most likely Cashman will let Vazquez walk at the end of the year and, if he offered arb, collect draft picks. Pettitte will do his yearly waffling, but his negotiations can be put on the back burner while he’s deciding whether or not he’s going to retire.

      In the end I think the Yankees will resign Mo and Jeter, get Lee, and decide that Crawford isn’t worth the ~100MM with Gardner being a very similar player. Andy is a complete toss-up, but if he decides to come back, I’m sure it’ll be the same as last year in that he’ll only want to play in NY.

      • Tigers94 5 years ago

        The yankees had all those contracts cleared up when they signed Sabathia/Burnett/Teixeira. This year, instead, they have other priorities, like resigning Jeter/Mo/Pettite. I think they will get Lee only if Pettite retires, if not, I see them being outbid. And the yankees have so many outfielders, so yeah, crawford has no use for them. Don’t expect too much from the yankees this year

    • I’m not sure if you got the memo, but Rivera is pitching until he’s 80

  17. pmc765 5 years ago

    Miguel Cabrera played corner outfield as a rookie for the 2003 Marlins, but he’s thicker now and wouldn’t cover enough ground.

    He has proved a better defensive first baseman than expected. He made himself better with hard work, mastered the footwork of the position. He has soft hands, a strong and accurate arm.

    I could see him as a big, not rangy, Jeff Kent type second baseman who hits for power. The only issues are range and the DP pivot, but he’s a baseball player and a good one. If he could make that move the Tigers would suddenly have a monster offensive producer playing a position where far less offense is usually required. Cabrera and Fielder (or a different top producer first baseman) would transform this offense.

    The Tiger teams of the 80’s were good because of Trammell and Whitaker, a keystone combo with offense acceptable for corner outfielders. This version needs more bats, and right now the AL isn’t even pitching to Cabrera.

    Cabrera is a young 27 and so far he has played every position except SS, 2B, CF and catcher. SS, C and CF are clearly out of the question, but 2B may not be. What an impact that would have if he could switch.

    • tigers22 5 years ago

      yeah, for real. there isn’t ANY way at all that they’d move Cabrera to 2B ever, so let it go.

      • mistermonkey 5 years ago

        No kidding. Cabrera to 2B is never going to happen. It would be like putting Jorge Posada at 2B.

        • The way Cabrera constantly abandons his post and ranges over to cut off balls that the 2B would easily get, he’s already half-playing 2B. : )

          The play to kill Armando’s perfect game is a perfect example.

  18. gamaize 5 years ago

    I would expect Inge back two years at the most. FA has little to offer..
    Guillen/Sizemore split 2nd base. Too soon to write off Sizemore
    Guillen DH’s as well
    Avila and someone else at C
    SP, OF from FA or trades.
    5th starter from within. Bonderman AG etc

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see Magglio back, smaller contract. More to do with Ilitch and his loyalty to players that have done well for him. I also blame Ilitch for the extensions if not more than DD.

    Has DD ever signed a FA before 2006? Was he a GM before 2006, why the cutoff at 2006 in studying his history, or is it just a Tiger thing?

    • DD started in 2002, had the worst record in AL history in 2003 after he did the tear down before the rebuild, made a run to the World Series in 2006, and then stopped signing ANY free agents to multi year contracts, while signing extensions for everyone in sight.

      He did sign Pudge Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez to very big deals, but both had serious health concerns and there were escape clauses and options on both contracts, and neither was heavily pursued, which is why Boras still had them on the market until February.

      Illitch has to sign off on the extensions, but I doubt he prevented DD from going after free agents. For a while, no free agents would play for Detroit. Pudge and Magglio broke that barrier. Let’s hope it’s still broken.

    • DD is more likely to make a big trade than a big free agent deal. Think about what he did last off-season and how he got Cabrera.

      So his pool of available 3B includes many more than on the free agent list.

      Plus, you can move 2B (See Polanco playing 3B in Philly, much better than Inge is in Detroit) and shortstops (most big league 3B prev played shortstop at some level, many in the majors or minors) to cover 3B.

      Inge is done after this season. DD has wanted him gone for years.

      • It will definitely take trades and free agent deals to fill all the vacancies that the Tigers will have this off season. Probably a couple of extensions as well.

  19. I believe some of the major pitching prospects will be gone in the offseason. I don’t know, I smell a big trade coming because the Tigers need help in the infield and I am not comfortable with overpaying for Beltre because there isn’t anybody better to get. Lyn Henning mentioned this and usually he’s far out with his observations, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Tigers packaged a huge deal for Hanley Ramirez. He’s been faltering with the Marlins lately but his upswing of talent potential is huge. Besides, the Tigers need someone they can guarantee for the future. I want them to hang onto their upcoming talent pitching pool, but Cabrera will not be here forever and who knows how long it will take them to develop. In the meantime, the Tigers could get Pavano and others to help clear up the rotation issues while signing a veteran for catcher and either keeping Peralto or Inge for third base. Of course, this is me speculating in the loosest sense.

    • tigers22 5 years ago

      Kind of what I mentioned earlier. Pure speculation and it would take a TON, but DD has a good working relationship with the Marlins and have got their best player before. Quite the long shot, but I would not be at all surprised to see him take a very serious shot at trying to acquire Hanley. Would in all likelihood have to start with Porcello and Turner though, and that’s a pretty steep price to pay

      • I’ve speculated about Hanley on other sites as well. Love to see it.
        Just give the Marlins the names of all our minor leaguers and play a game of pick six again. Of course, we’d need Josh Johnson as well!

        • Do you see them giving up Josh Johnson like that? I don’t. It seems to me like they want to keep some prime players, especially with a new stadium on the way. The one reason I thought they would be willing to get rid of Hanley is because his personality is now a concern plus he isn’t finishing this season very well. I know they talked about building a franchise around him before, but things change. And considering the Marlins got bad return the Willis/Cabrera deal, I doubt they would do another version of it that is prospect filled. Would taste sour in their mouth, even if Willis was a bust for Detroit.

          • The marlins got a bad return? The Tigers paid Willis $30 million for doing nothing.

          • Tigers paid 30 million in an extension after the trade. That was their dumb extension. The Marlins paid him 6.45 million the prior season with no guarantee for the next season so it wasn’t like they getting out of a huge huge contract and so they got rid of two of their best players for prospects who never really panned out at all.

      • alphabet_soup5 5 years ago

        If it takes trading Porcello and Turner, in my opinion the price is worth paying. Just imagine Hanley being protected by Cabrera.

        • I agree because both Porcello and Turner have come into some doubt this season, plus as much as national beat writers want to say the Tigers have no farm system for pitching prospects, a lot of other candidates seem to pop up and have better than expected seasons. Prospect wise, Turner didn’t even have the best season in the Tigers minor leagues and they will get Casey Crosby back next season so he makes me hopeful.

    • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

      MLBTR reported right after the deadline that Dombrowski was devastated when a big deal fell through at the last minute. You never know, the Cabrera/Willis deal came out of nowhere.

  20. Inge’s 2nd half stats through August 10th:

    .158 (AVG)
    .220 (OBP)
    .237 (SLG)

    .457 OPS

    And he does that every season in the 2nd half.

  21. Solutions:
    Rotation: Free agents Lilly, Lee, DeLaRosa, extend Bonderman. Anything is possible with trades.
    Bullpen: One set up man, Benoit, Downs, Frasor.
    Shortstop: No free agents fit the bill. Definitely not Peralta. It’s down to trades: Bartlett, Maicer Izturis, Hanley Ramirez of course if they can pull it off, Steven Drew was mentioned.
    Third Base: Beltre is the only attractive free agent. Inge or Peralta could be back on a short term deal. Figgins if the M’s are selling. Sign Castellanos and put him on the fast track.
    Outfield: Sign one big gun, and don’t go cheap. Crawford, Werth, or trade for a Josh Willingham. A complete player to bat third.
    DH: Dunn if he will DH, but don’t let him near a glove. Hawpe, Magglio on a one year deal.
    The Tigers really need a No. 2 hitter with some speed and ability to get on base at a .375 plus rate. They need a no. 3 hitter that can hit .300 with 20 HR and 100 RBI. The RBI is the most important of these, with a solid OBP.
    There is a lot of work to be done, but Dombrowski created this mess, now he can fix it.

    • tigers22 5 years ago

      You got some good ideas going there. Definitely agree with Castellanos and would love to bring Dunn in to DH. Not a huge fan of DeLaRosa but they might bring Lilly in for a year or two

  22. ithink the tigers gm will try to pick up third basemen aramis ramirez or jorge cantu . if he goes for a new catcher maybe johon buck as for type a players maybe jayson werth idonot he will pay alot starting pitchers maybee some one like braden web or todd wellemyer for your 5starter as for realeaf pitcher maybee a player like jesse crain

  23. IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

    250 might be a little generous. He slimmed down some before this season, but last year he looked like he was an M&M shy of 300.

  24. Actually, I am not a Yankee Fan. I just know that the Yankees are hot and heavy for the top free agents in the 2011 free agent pool. They will offer the top contracts to Lee and Crawford. I don’t think Lee would be a good fit at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees haven’t been shy to express their intent in getting both Crawford and Lee. They will get either or one of them.

  25. Yankees420 5 years ago

    It’s not though, not even with all the money the Tigers will have. You’re looking at: Hanley – 11MM in ’11 (with raises for the next 3 years)Crawford – 15-18MM Dunn – 10-14MMLee – 18-20MMBeltre – 13-15MMOn the low end that’s 67MM, the high end is 78MM, add the 6MM raise to Verlander and you’re looking at committing somewhere between 73-84MM before going to arbitration. Although, the scary thing is that if they downgrade from Lee to a 2nd tier starter (Lilly, Vazquez, Arroyo, etc.) and Dunn decides he wants to play the field, the rest of it is possible, with the biggest obstacle obviously being how to acquire Hanley.

    Edit: By the way, I didn’t even realize it, but this is my 1000th comment. It’s amazing that I still have a job, haha.

  26. tigers22 5 years ago

    Yankees420 is right. I’m going to choose not, because that isn’t even remotely possible.

  27. Yankees420 5 years ago

    .333/.371/.566 with a .400 wOBA, 5.2 WAR (so far) and playing on the road than at home. I’m well aware of what happened last time Beltre got a big contract, but he’s still going to be the best 3B available and I can see him getting 3/45 relatively easily. And this sentence: “usually i would laugh but for some reason i think that this is somehow possible, believe it or not” doesn’t really make me realize that you “know it wont all happen”, sorry if I came off as if you were being an idiot (although I don’t really think I did). However, I did recognize that 3/5 of that group is possible, and pretty damn scary.

    As for getting Hanley and JJ, I think the chances are less than 1 in 10MM, but probably greater than that for Hanley and Anibal. =P

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