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.


Full Story | 124 Comments | Categories: Detroit Tigers

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124 Comments on "The Tigers’ Offseason"


Guest
4 years 10 months ago

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

Guest
IHateJoeBuck
4 years 10 months ago

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

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

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.

Guest
tigers22
4 years 10 months 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.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

Sorry, Comercia Park

Guest
airohpue13
4 years 10 months ago

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

Guest
martyman24
4 years 10 months 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.

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

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.

Guest
alphabet_soup5
4 years 10 months 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.

Guest
Yankees420
4 years 10 months 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?

Guest
alphabet_soup5
4 years 10 months 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.

Guest
Yankees420
4 years 10 months 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.

Guest
baseballdude
4 years 10 months ago

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

Guest
mr0zip0
4 years 10 months 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.

Guest
mr0zip0
4 years 10 months 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.

Guest
TwinsVet
4 years 10 months 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?

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myname_989
4 years 10 months 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.

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airohpue13
4 years 10 months ago

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

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Tigers94
4 years 10 months 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

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TwinsVet
4 years 10 months 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?

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gamaize
4 years 10 months ago

Ilitch will spend, regardless of attendance.

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IHateJoeBuck
4 years 10 months ago

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

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gamaize
4 years 10 months ago

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

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IHateJoeBuck
4 years 10 months 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.

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bjsguess
4 years 10 months ago

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