Dombrowski On Tigers’ DH Options

Representatives for free agent hitters have started calling the Tigers, who will probably play the 2012 season without one of their top offensive players. But general manager Dave Dombrowski is still digesting the news that Victor Martinez is likely out for the season with a torn ACL, and he doesn't feel the need to rush the team's next move. The GM points to the 2011 Cardinals, who lost Adam Wainwright in Spring Training but won the World Series.

"You need to be resilient," Dombrowski said on a conference call with reporters. "After you feel sorry for yourself for a day you move on, you look at all your alternatives."

If the Tigers add a bat, it would most likely be a short-term addition, Dombrowski said. The club could maneuver from within, but that would mean using Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila or an outfielder at DH on occasion — not shifting Miguel Cabrera to third base and pursuing a first baseman. Dombrowski declined to comment on specific players, but Johnny DamonManny Ramirez and Vladimir Guerrero are among the available free agent designated hitters.

As for Martinez, he injured his left knee late last week while doing a side to side shuffling exercise. The Tigers expect him to recover fully if he undergoes surgery, as expected. The possibility exists that he could return late in the 2012 season, but that would be a bonus, rather than anything Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland will count on.

Martinez signed a four-year, $50MM contract with the Tigers last offseason and posted a .330/.380/.470 line in his first season in Detroit. Though Martinez appeared in 26 games at catcher last year, the Tigers hadn't planned to rely on him behind the plate in 2012.

106 Responses to Dombrowski On Tigers’ DH Options Leave a Reply

  1. melonis_rex 3 years ago

    Manny Ramirez. Yes.

  2. jb226 3 years ago

    I wonder if this makes them more or less likely to pursue a Garza trade.  Obviously they just lost offense and they may prefer to replace that, but there is always the argument that a strong pitching staff reduces the need for that offense (see: 2010 Giants).

    • onemanwolfpack 3 years ago

      yeah trade for garza and soriano to take over the DH spot….good moves for the tigers

      • Who are you going to trade for those two?  And are the Tigers going to pick up a lot of the contract for Soriano?

        • onemanwolfpack 3 years ago

          the cubs said they would eat 40+ mill of his contract…..for 3 or 4 mill a year who wouldn’t anyone take him for that and just let him DH.

        • Njriv 3 years ago

          no the cubs will eat the majority of the contract. In return would probably Jacob Turner and/or Nick Castellanos

  3. What would it take to get Michael Young out of Texas?  If Texas signs Fielder, there aren’t enough ABs for Young, Fielder, Napoli, Kinsler, Andrus and Beltran…

    • Devon Henry 3 years ago

      Yeh I have always thought that Michael Young would be a perfect fit for the Tigers considering: Young is a high AVG guy with good defense, Comerica park is definetely not a hitters park, and the Tigers desperately need a 3B. Young also prefers not to DH.

      • unnamedsource 3 years ago

        Young does not play good defense.

        •  umm. Young is a multi-Gold Glover. very good defender. Won GG’s at SS and 3B.

          • unnamedsource 3 years ago

            We obviously have a different opinion of the value of a gold glove as an indicator of good defense. And that’s okay…

          • unnamedsource 3 years ago

            We obviously have a different opinion of the value of a gold glove as an indicator of good defense. And that’s okay…

          • BrocNessMonster 3 years ago

            Andre Ethier won a gold glove last year, but he’s an awful defender. GGs don’t mean ANYTHING.

          • BrocNessMonster 3 years ago

            Andre Ethier won a gold glove last year, but he’s an awful defender. GGs don’t mean ANYTHING.

          • Motor_City_Bombshell 3 years ago

            Derek Jeter won a GG two years ago, riddle me how he won THAT. Wasn’t because of his defense.

          • I am NOT knocking my guy MY10, but just correcting you lol. He won his only Gold Glove in ’08 at SS.

            He plays decent defense, but has fallen off since then. You get spoiled after watching Adrian Beltre for even a season though lol. He’s incredible to see in action.

          • verlander 3 years ago

            Michael Young is an atrocious defender.

      • High average, good defense.  Doesn’t that make him a good fit for every team?

    • It would take Miguel Cabrera.

    • It would take Miguel Cabrera.

    • Luckily, we don’t have to worry about giving Beltran at-bats because he’s not on our team.

      There isn’t anything on the Tigers current roster that they would trade or that we could trade them for Young. It would probably take major league ready prospects.

    • Luckily, we don’t have to worry about giving Beltran at-bats because he’s not on our team.

      There isn’t anything on the Tigers current roster that they would trade or that we could trade them for Young. It would probably take major league ready prospects.

  4. Devon Henry 3 years ago

    I dont think Pena is the answer. A low AVG high HR guy in Comerica Park good luck with that. Id say Manny, Vlad, or Damon if they are going to sign anybody. (Cespedes would also work by moving Young to DH)

    • RationalSportsFan 3 years ago

      Don’t ignore Pena’s walks.  Those carry over in any stadium he plays in.  Adding in his defense (could at least split time with Miggy at 1B), and Pena is a much better option than Manny, Vlad, or Damon.

    • verlander 3 years ago

      Peña showed power when he was with the Tigers. 

      Also, Comerica isn’t as extreme a pitchers’ park as people make it out to be.

  5. The Tigers are better off signing a guy they can play in left or at 2B rather than a full time DH/1B.  They already have 2 DH types in the field (Raburn and Young).  Signing a 2B/LF would probably strengthen the club more than a Pena or Kotchman would.  Too bad we can’t travel back in time and sign Crisp or DeJesus…

    • Pawsdeep 3 years ago

      Cue Cespedes.

      • Evan 3 years ago

        cue large mistake

      • Stuart Brown 3 years ago

        Would make for an interesting scenario. DH Young and put Cespedes in LF. I’m not entirely sold on Cespedes, but it seems a valid option.

  6. nm344 3 years ago

    Raul Ibanez anyone?

  7. InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

    Sign Cespedes and move Delmon to DH. Solves LF for the next couple years and Vmart can take DH over again when Delmon is gone the following season. 

    • tigers22 3 years ago

      This is the most logical option.  Landing Cespedes is easier said than done though. 

    • Evan 3 years ago

      no we need a hitter.  cespedes can’t hit.

      • verlander 3 years ago

        I wouldn’t be able to hit either if I had the kind of layoff Cespedes had. We should let him get his timing back before we make judgments about whether or not he can hit. 

        • Sniderlover 3 years ago

          Well, there are legit questions about his hit tool. You can’t go from facing weak inferior pitching where ever he has played and immediately go to MLB and start hitting well. Even if he had a plus hit tool, I think he would need some time in the minors to adjust but he doesn’t so he should definitely start in the minors and work his way up or else he will really struggle in the bigs. 

  8. Leonard Washington 3 years ago

    I bet the DH’s of the league are soooo pumped now. If I was Detroit I would go with Damon. Gives them a little more speed, a left fielder/DH, reasonable power, and a reasonably patient bat.

    • Evan 3 years ago

      he can’t play left field and has no power. 

      • Leonard Washington 3 years ago

        He can prob play LF every so often and hit 16HR last year.

        • verlander 3 years ago

          Damon’s power disappeared when he was a Tiger. Can’t see that happening again.

          • Leonard Washington 3 years ago

            Your right it did disappear when he was a Tiger, but last year it seemed to come back a bit. Because he hit 16 out with Tampa Bay. Before that one season in Detroit Damon had always gotten a reasonable amount of HR going way back. I wouldn’t bet against that one season being the exception and not the rule for him. Guy can still hit, get on base, steal a few, and be a nice addition to a clubhouse. Their might be better options out there but he can do a lot for Detroit.

  9. Pawsdeep 3 years ago

    I’d love to see them try Maglio out as the DH. He came around atthe end of the year and not putting him in the OF means his ankle won’t disintegrate.

    • tigers22 3 years ago

      I would not love this at all. 

    • verlander 3 years ago

      I’d consider Maggs before going after guys like Vlad, Manny, Damon and Juan Pierre. But he is definitely not my first choice. I’d worry about his ankle/age.

  10. And please don’t say Prince (begin typing “Prince” into your reply now).  Even if he would accept a 1 year deal, would the Tigers give up their first rounder for one year at $30MM of Prince?

    • RestoreTheRoar 3 years ago

      I thought the new player’s contract got rid of the rule where a team loses its draft pick when they sign someone offered arbitration..?

      The new rule I believe is the other team gets a sandwich pick, but its not pulled from the new team.

  11. joeybw 3 years ago

    Plenty of guys who can sit at DH and hit the ball hard, just leave Carlos Pena for the Rays, please.

  12. Carlos Lee.  Production close to V-Mart in 2011, should be relatively cheap if the Astros eat salary, flexible DH/OF/1B can spell people on rest days or for platoon problems.

    • I would consider this.  I’m not sure how his “D” compares to Delmon’s, but his “O” is pretty good.  Maybe Houston can eat the salary of Lee and Wandy and ship them both to Detroit…

  13. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    Give the rangers whatever it takes for Michael Young.

  14. Kendrys Morales?

  15. tigers22 3 years ago

    If we can’t get Cespedes… Pena on a 1 year deal would be my choice.  Despite the average, a lefty with power who draws walks and has a decent OBP would be a good move at this point. 

  16. Hard to call.  After all, Spring Training is still a ways away as is the season.  Would a left hitter or RHB make more sense?  If a LHB, then Pena or Damon; if right, the Guerrero.  If not, a trade may work, but do the Tigers want to give up a top prospect for a filler?  Micheal Young would require a top prospect and he is 35, and no way Texas deals him for less.

    Dombrowski might wait to see about Fielder, where he signs.  That may, only may, open doors for a trade.  Maybe this then: Sign Pena, trade him to Baltimore for Guthrie, sign Guerrero.  Nah, never happen.

  17. InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

    I really hope we don’t sign Vlad. He’s nothing more than a nice name at this point.

  18. kmborek 3 years ago

    I think they should try and trade for Bobby Abreu. LAA need to move someone from their huge logjam at OF/1B/DH so it shouldnt be tough to get him, and he already has said he’d be open to a trade. He’s a similar type of player to VMart, but is a way better baserunner, something the Tigers severely lack.

    Being Venezualan and especially a native Spanish speaker also would presumably make him a good fit in the clubhouse, and his contract expires after the season so he’d fit the Tigers “short-term fix” guidelines. Also it’s probably more than reaching but Comerica was where he went off in the HR derby, so perhaps he feels comfortable hitting there.

    • Stuart Brown 3 years ago

      Makes sense to me. It would give the Angels the option to DH Morales/Trumbo or put them in the OF while Wells and Hunter DH.

      Abreu’s really the odd man out it seems, despite being a superior hitter to Trumbo and Wells.

    • Tyler Jedrzejak 3 years ago

      Abreu may be the one he seems like he wouldnt take a whole lot and could be a effective DH

    • stymeedone 3 years ago

      The Angels need his lefty bat. They wont move him.

  19. verlander 3 years ago

    Signing Carlos Peña makes sense to me. 

  20. unnamedsource 3 years ago

    Still, I’d be happy to see Fielder with the Rangers and trade either Young or Moreland to the Tigers.

    …in response to Devon Henry above.

  21. *2011 Cardinals

  22. Man the Giants are going to be PISSED when they find out the Cardinals actually won the 2010 World Series.

  23. Trade Angels for Callaspo or maybe Trumbo.

  24. onemanwolfpack 3 years ago

    reported that the tigers are now in talks with chicago to complete a soriano for player to be named later trade.

  25. onemanwolfpack 3 years ago

    yeah he lied…pete gammons is a guy a work with. not peter gammons. sorry guys. haha

  26. jondogg2010 3 years ago

    I know I’m going to get a lot of crap for this, but how about his:
    Sign Manny for a non-guaranteed deal. He’s invited to S.T and given a chance to show his bat. Give him bulk AB’s at DH. He says he’s a role model, well he will have a month to prove himself. If they like what they see, he makes the team as the teams DH. His salary (base) is MLB Min. and he would have incentives on how he hits. Wow, and to think, this is (technically) how ALL players should get paid but that’s a topic for another day. Doing that would be low risk, and if he rakes you’re paying him pennies on the dollar.

    • I agree or go ahead get Prince at first 

    • Jeff Westcott 3 years ago

      You’re leaving out a crucial fact: Manny still has to serve a 50 game suspension. The Tigers certainly aren’t going to want any part of that, and frankly I doubt that anyone else will either.

    • Jeff Westcott 3 years ago

      You’re leaving out a crucial fact: Manny still has to serve a 50 game suspension. The Tigers certainly aren’t going to want any part of that, and frankly I doubt that anyone else will either.

    • Paul Shailor 3 years ago

      Since serving his first suspension for juicing he has been garbage. No thanks. 

  27. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    I wonder if the Tigers could pry Morse away from the Nationals. Yes I know I am dreaming but come on I am desperate!

  28. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    I wonder if the Tigers could pry Morse away from the Nationals. Yes I know I am dreaming but come on I am desperate!

  29. stymeedone 3 years ago

    l like to look for the silver lining and if they can find an OF that can cover the LARGE LF in Comerica Natl Park, and thereby move Young to DH, wonderful!  Not much left in free agency other than Juan Pierre, and he’s not a great OF by any means, but he beats what they have now as a leadoff hitter.  There wont be that big a drop off in offense as Boesch and Young were never in the lineup together.    If they fill it with a DH type,  how about Hideki Matsui?  He had a great 2nd half, and like Martinez, he doesnt strike out a lot.

  30. Apparently both NYY and Detroit have talked to Guerrero, Pena, and Damon, but not Matsui or anyone else, yet.

  31. Apparently both NYY and Detroit have talked to Guerrero, Pena, and Damon, but not Matsui or anyone else, yet.

  32. weaselpuppy 3 years ago

    Illitch will spend teh $6.5min insurance money and DD will find a LH bat for $8-11m on 1 yr out of the pool that’s there of Pena/Abreu etc…. It would be best if looking for a multi year to sign a LF bat that can take over for DY2 as he exits after this coming season. Damon is as bad a LF as DY2 so no go there…We could see Theriot and move Raburn to LF and DY2 to DH, but it really needs to be a lefty IMO…Manny is garbage. Intrigued at El Caballo and Wandy….no chance Soriano…I don’t think Morales will be traded and he’d not fit anywhere after this year….DH/LF only if they grab a guy for more than a year

  33. True, a lot may shake out in the next 5 weeks.  Will LAA get rid of Morales?  You know they’d love to dump Wells and Abreau.  Who will Pena deal with?  Will Texas deal a hitter for pitching?  Is Seattle going to cross their fingers and hope the team hits above AA level, or sign two hitters?  Oakland needs bats too, but I think they’ll live with a horrible offence.  What about Baltimore, can they add a solid bat like Pena?  Will Boston try and add anyone?  What will Cincy do with that infield?  How will Detroit try and fix the VMart loss?  Atlanta needs more arms, will they still try and trade away an infielder and hope Jones doesn’t break down even more?

    I’m betting little action now, but in early February all bets are off.

  34. caby24 3 years ago

    I think the best thing we could do right now is NOT go after Cespedes. What the Tigers should do is make a trade; Turner, Smyly for Garza, Soriano. Theo has shown the Cubs are willing to eat up contracts i.e. Zombrano. Put Soriano in left, Young to DH, and Garza in the middle of the rotation. Yeah, it will probably take a little more from the Tigers, but it can get done.

  35. weaselpuppy 3 years ago

    since Soriano exited his prime at age 32, he has average hitting .248 with 37 walks and a bad “tude, hitting right handed…you can’t find a more opposite guy from VMart than that clown….so we need to give up our top of the rotation projected  power righty with great control at age 20 and  a great control mid rotation lefty pitching prospects for 3 years of a guy that doesn’t fit in any way and 2 years of a #2/3 starter who will be changing leagues….and we pay Garza $20m? That assumes the $54m owed Suckiano is eaten by Epstein….

    or we don’t spend $20-25m and keep our best young pitchers and sign a lefty hitter with OB skill for $8-10m for a year….


  36. Tigers94 3 years ago

    Welcome to Detroit, Prince Fielder

  37. tigers06 3 years ago

    losin V-mart is bad, they need to sign a left handed batter cuz with the losing Vmart , the still need a 2nd basemen, 3rd basemen. i guy i like the can get cheap but hes a decent defender a switch hitter got speed and can play 2nd n 3rd and a lil out feild is chone figgins, i kno he hasnt had that great of years the last few but look what he was doin in LA, i think he could come here and help the team, if they can i would try tradin delmon and like andy oliver for andre either cuz either is a lefty and will put up Vmart #s, gap power, lil bit of speed, and will be a nice bat for years on end, they still need a starter to, with Vmart goin down there gonna need as much help as they can, id sign oswalt to a year or 2 deal but what ever they do GOO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!

    • stymeedone 3 years ago

      Its amazing what happens when players stop taking steroids cuz they have a multi year contract and testing has tightened up.  Offense is down in the entire game.  Figgins just seems a prime suspect.  Only way to consider him is if he is released in spring training (possible) and is at league minimum salary.

  38. I’ve read all the comments and considered Detroit’s options. Here are my top ten picks in no specific order.

    1. Rick Ankiel Outfielder that can hit for power and play either LF or DH
    2. J.D Drew If healthy can easily back-up Cabby in the lineup and again can play LF or DH andd even RF.
    3. Jonny Gomes Once a versatile outfielder, he can still hit and fit into the DH role rather easily.
    4. Raul Ibanez This is one of my personal favorites. Year after year he proves he can continue to hit. He’s a perennial LF who can also DH.
    5. Carlos Pena This one is tough. He can DH or play 1B but that’s it. Do you platoon him and Cabrera?
    6. Jorge Posada Yeah I know he’s considering retirement, but I watched him closely in the ALDS and he proved he can still hit. He can potentially be a full-time DH or even play some time behind the plate or at first.
    7. Cody Ross Once a former Tiger he can like most guys on this list play LF or DH.
    8. Garrett Jones He’s roven he can hit and he can pretty much everywhere but SS,2B, and CF or C. The Tigers probably wouldn’t have to give up much to get him, maybe they could swing Inge in a deal.
    9. Bobby Abreau I saw his name pop up in many of the comments above and I thought it would be great for the Tigers. Abreau has shown success in Detroit and again probably another player where they wouldn’t hhave to give up much to get him.
    10. Adam Jones Jones is a five-tool player who has popped up in rumors all offseason coming out of Baltimore. If a trade were to happen the Tigers could probably also get a starter out of this.The Tigers will likely have to give up at least one of their top prospects to pull this one off.

    • stymeedone 3 years ago

      You forgot Marcus Thames!  Lots of retreads and strikeouts on your list.  I like Jones the best, (btw the Orioles dont have pitching to trade thats not overpriced).

  39. Tigerfan93 3 years ago

    Boesch can be the DH if Dirks comes out hot in ST and wins an outfield job. Boesch can’t really field all that well anyway, plus Dirks has the speed to lead off. I know it’s a big IF, but it’s definitely not impossible. 

    • tigers06 3 years ago

      id rather have young DH. hes slower than boesch n sucks defences wise

  40. Probably never happen due to the years on his deal, but KC could send Butler to Detroit for Max Scherzer. Tigs could bring Turner into the rotation, and KC could give Robinson a shot or sign Manny or even Damon to DH…

  41. TheBigNice 3 years ago

    Carlos Lee is the answer. 

  42. Matt Roberts 3 years ago

    I wonder if Gerrardo Parra is available from Arizona, I get the feeling he’s expendiable because Arizona suprisingly decided to push him to the 4th outfielder as they signed Jason Kubel because they wanted a more powerful bat,  he’s a pretty good speedster defender, that just won the Gold Glove last year and he has just enough pop in his bat with a .280-.290 BA and he’s only 25.

  43. Texas doesn’t want Napoli catching full time.  I don’t know why, because he did well last year.  Maybe cause they think he’s too big…OR maybe I made the whole thing up. Torrealba did catch more than Napoli last year, and if they sign Fielder, they may be looking for some salary relief…or not…

  44. BrocNessMonster 3 years ago

    OH YEAH?

  45. BrocNessMonster 3 years ago

    OH YEAH?

  46. Motor_City_Bombshell 3 years ago


  47. Motor_City_Bombshell 3 years ago

    I’m not sure the Tigers would do that to Cabrera. If anyone is DHing in that situation, it would be Pena, and Cabrera would get the occasional “day off” at DH.

  48. Torrealba caught more than Napoli last season because nobody knew Napoli could put up those numbers.
    As the season went on Napoli was nearly our full-time catcher, with Torrealba starting every few days.
    I’m not sure what you’re suggesting though. Are you saying you want the Rangers to trade Napoli to y’all?

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