Dombrowski On Verlander, Raburn, Worth, Betemit

Justin Verlander won the the 2011 American League Cy Young Award unanimously and he gets an extra — though unofficial — vote from Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski. 

"He's a real special player who means a lot to our community," Dombrowski explained at the MLB General Manager Meetings in Milwaukee. "He's been a Tiger since the day he was drafted and he'll be with us for a long time."

Verlander would have been a free agent this offseason had he not signed his current five-year, $80MM contract before the 2010 season. There's no telling what Verlander would have been worth coming off a season like this, so it's no surprise Dombrowski's glad to have locked the right-hander up for three of his free agent seasons. 

Looking ahead to 2012, the Tigers want to get Ryan Raburn's bat in the lineup and may play him at second base at times next year. Danny Worth is another second base candidate for the Tigers, who are also weighing external options.

Wilson Betemit met Dombrowski's expectations after joining the Tigers in a midseason trade, but the GM anticipates adding an extra catcher this offseason, which will limit the Tigers' roster flexibility in 2012. The Tigers haven't pursued Betemit aggressively to this point and Dombrowski didn't suggest that will change. The Tigers want to keep Victor Martinez in the everyday lineup, so adding a backup for Alex Avila is on the agenda this winter.

33 Responses to Dombrowski On Verlander, Raburn, Worth, Betemit Leave a Reply

  1. Josh Gedert 4 years ago

    I’m not used to a boring offseason for the Tigers. I still don’t expect one this year. Go Tigers!

  2. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    Raburn is awful defensively at 2nd Base, I don’t want Betemit back, and THANK GOD Verlander is locked up.

    • threeeds 4 years ago

      Our right side of the infield will probably be relatively weak regardless of who is playing 2B. However, what I’m more concerned about is whether Raburn’s bat will actually do something in the first half of the season.

      As well, I understand Young is the likely candidate to start in LF next year, but Raburn actually does play well defensively in LF. It could be an interesting offseason for the Tigers. Nothing particularly flashy or big (most likely), but it will be interesting to see what we have in Spring Training.

      • jphenix2002 4 years ago

        Raburn plays less than “well” in the field regardless of where he is. Don’t let those diving catches fool you; it’s because he has average range at best that he has to lay out in the first place. Not the best route-runner neither.

        If they would just pick a position for the guy maybe he could get comfortable enough to be average on defense (optimistic for sure but possible) and find consistency with the bat.

  3. Just keep Inge as a super utility guy. You’re already paying him, fans love him, and he can play 3B/C/LF and maybe more. Sounds obvious to me? 

    • InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

      I’m not sure if Inge’s knees can hold up being a backup catcher. For absolute emergency situations sure, but I’d still go out and get a cheap backup.

        • Josh Gedert 4 years ago

          Pudge isn’t great defensively and he didn’t end well with Detroit (attitude wise).

          • Who else, Treanor just signed with the Dodgers. Molina, Santos again?
            Plus, it would be cool to see him in an Old English D again.

          • mmwatkin 4 years ago


          • Leib Kozlov 4 years ago

            or Trade for someone.

          • BrandonSain 4 years ago

            Laird is another one out there I wouldn’t mind having back. A back-up catcher doesn’t hit .280. Laird is strong defensively and can Avila still need some tutoring that Laird could help with. Plus he would be cheap on a 1 year deal. Pudge would probably want a few million where Laird may sign for the vet minimum.

          • mistermonkey 4 years ago

            I vote no to Laird. After the stinkbomb he detonated in game 163 in 2009, Laird and his bean-shaped face can eat it. But I know what you’re saying about a back-up catcher only really needing to be solid defensively. I think Jose Molina would actually be a great signing (he had a solid couple of years in Toronto) — he doesn’t come with any baggage, has a great arm, and could probably be had for $1M or so.

          • Matt Moore 4 years ago

            Dont worry… We all hate Laird..

          • Dennis Pombier III 4 years ago

            Any Molina would fit in here! Name your Molina!!!

    • jphenix2002 4 years ago

      that’s become Don Kelly’s role.

  4. Wait. I remember Earlier in the year people were calling Raburn  “Rabum”! Why the change?
    Or is Drombowski still drooling over him? By the way, I don’t think the tigers should resign Betemit… (Kind of an obvious gut instinct…)

  5. Leib Kozlov 4 years ago

    Liza K. is now this.

  6. mmwatkin 4 years ago

    I like the offseason direction for the Tigers. They already have a team that could very well win the AL Central again. Anything to better the team just helps them towards a World Series title

  7. Leib Kozlov 4 years ago


  8. dtowntigers43 4 years ago

    I have a gut feeling that the tigers are going to make a big trade or come out of no where and sign reyes. Mike I said that he wants a championship and said he will give the money to get it.. expect a big deal from the tigers this winter

    • jphenix2002 4 years ago

      That wouldn’t be the way to go. The guy just doesn’t stay healthy

      • dtowntigers43 4 years ago

        i understand but im just saying i wouldnt be shocked if it did because illitch said he will do whatever he can to make the team better cause he wants a chmpionship before he dies

  9. Only one player in all of baseball was in the top five in errors committed in two different positions last year…RABURN! And he was a part-time player in both of them. We can do better! Sign a veteran that wants to play for a winner and send Ryan packing!

  10. jennaboo1 4 years ago

    If Raburn could learn to hit as well the first half as he does the second half he would be more valuable. 

    • mmwatkin 4 years ago

      I am pretty sure that Raburn put an OPS in April similar to what Young did in Detroit in the regular season

  11. mistermonkey 4 years ago

    Might also help if he learned to take a walk! I don’t understand why Raburn has ever been viewed as a utility guy. He obviously sucks at 2B and 3B and is barely passable (meaning, better than Delmon Young) in the OF. He has decent value as a 4th OF who gets 250-350 ABs a season and/or as the right-handed half of a strict OF platoon, but the Tigers’ banking on him to produce as a regular is getting tiring. Just commit to him being your fourth OF, sign or trade for a real 2B and take this broken toy away from Leyland.

  12. KingofBing71 4 years ago

    Raburn is awful in the field no matter where he plays. Routine plays are an adventure for him in LF and he has stone hands at second. Do we all forget the ball bouncing off of his glove and over the fence? No go for me. It’s looking more and more like Delmon Young is going to be traded away to fill the second base position, and the Cuban kid Cespedes is going to be picked up to play LF. If not Cespedes then someone like Andy Dirks or a bargain bin outfielder will probably fill the role. Second is a much harder fill than the outfield, so Delmon will be traded for Prado or Figgins.

  13. dtowntigers43 4 years ago

    If were going to do that i would rather resign santiago!He hit well down the stretch and is an above average defender and has some speed, he could possibly be a leadoff hitter too.
    Raburn is awful i hope we trade him

  14. Raburn is a utility player playing in the wrong league.  If he was a National League player, with his power, he would be a successful player. Does he usually have one successful half? Yes–but it doesn’t help that he usually bats him either 2nd (after all I know how to do is strike out Austin Jackson) or batting 5th… after Miguel Cabera.  Bat him 8th and take the pressure off.

    We don’t need Reyes… He was on the DL multiple times this year. He has the potential to turn into another Guillen–we’ll pay him to be injured. Besides, Peralta was successful once he returned to the position of SS.  Don Kelly will probably learn to be the backup catcher, and spell Inge at 3rd.  2b will probably be Danny Worth’s job to lose in Spring Training.

    The Tigers “big” acquisition? Most likely Bruce Chen from the Royals… if not for the fact that we won’t have to face him anymore!

  15. I would really like to have Kelly Schoppach. He and Headley would be a successful offseason. Adding Prado would be even better.

  16. Dennis Pombier III 4 years ago

    The Tigers need to make a big move this offseason. And, here’s why: They were good enough to win the division and get to the ALCS, but as close as the games with Texas were, we all know that the Rangers were just a little better. If the Tigers want to win a World Series, they need to get a little better in some regard. Weather it’s a leadoff hitter at 2B or LF, or another arm, but it needs to happen. Here’s something I’d like to see them do. Sign Buehrle and Crisp. Buehrle gives them a LHSP that is more than just left handed and Crisp gives them some speed in the OF. At that point, trading Delmon Young for a strong bullpen arm makes sense. I know all of this makes sense to me on this page, but getting it done is a little more difficult. I trust Dombrowski to make the right moves to push our Tigers just a little more towards that first World Series title since that magical 1984 season!

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