Stark On Tigers, Pineda, Dodgers, Rockies, Angels

On Tuesday the Tigers learned that they'll be without Victor Martinez for the 2012 season and the club won't be able to truly replace everything that he brings to the lineup, writes Jayson Stark of  Only four other players matched or bested the 33-year-old's .330/.380/.470 slash line last season: Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Braun, Michael Young and Miguel Cabrera.  Stark takes a look at Detroit's options and much more in tonight's column:

  • Before Carlos Pena re-upped with the Rays, it appeared he was at the top of the Tigers' list.  Now, Stark says that the club could deal for Bobby Abreu, sign Yoenis Cespedes, or bring Johnny Damon back for another go-round in Detroit.  Outside of those players, the club could look into left-handed-hitting free agents such as Hideki Matsui, Raul Ibanez, J.D. Drew, and Kosuke Fukudome.  Right-handed options include Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordonez, Cody Ross, and Derrek Lee.
  • One club official estimated that he had about a dozen conversations with the Mariners this winter and Michael Pineda's name never came up.  That's probably because M's GM Jack Zduriencik wanted young, controllable, impact bats like Jesus Montero, Mike Stanton, and Logan Morrison and only dangled the pitcher to those teams.  Eventually, it was the Yanks who made the deal.
  • There are also two "conspiracy theories" floating around regarding the deal.  One school of thought has people wondering if Pineda's fading velocity down the stretch trigged the M's to trade him.  There are also clubs wondering if the Yankees had concerns about Montero's mental make-up.
  • There has never been a team in history with three $20MM-a-year pitchers, but the Phillies will have to be the first if they want to hang on to Cole Hamels.  The club has been hoping that Hamels would take a Jered Weaver-type deal, but agent John Boggs wants more.  Stark believes that this is due in part to his view of C.C. Sabathia and Ryan Howard.  Sabathia was the last dominant left-hander to hit the market at age 28 and Howard comes up in conversation because the Phillies gave him top-of-the-market dollars two years before free agency.
  • One team executive said that "Next year this time, the Dodgers will be THE team calling up every marquee free agent.  They're going to have serious money.  They'll be the Yankees West."
  • Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd has amassed so much controllable starting-pitching depth, he might turn around and trade an arm or two to replenish his position-player prospect pool.  Earlier today, O'Dowd shipped Kevin Slowey to the Indians for right-handed reliever Zach Putnam.
  • The Angels are downplaying the possibility that they'll add a closer to supplant Jordan Walden. They've been looking for another left-handed reliever, they've checked in on Brad Lidge, and now they're basically "looking to deepen their supporting cast," according to one exec.
  • Agents who have spoken with the Yankees say that, despite rumors they could sign a DH-type like Damon, Matsui or Ibanez, the team isn't too hungry for a bat. One source says that, in truth, the Yankees have told agents that a veteran DH is actually "a very low priority."

68 Responses to Stark On Tigers, Pineda, Dodgers, Rockies, Angels Leave a Reply

  1. The Tigers will sign Cespedes. Book it.

    • slider32 3 years ago

      I don’t think so, I think they trade for Bobby Abreu, they need an experienced hitter behind Cabrerra.

      • BobOfArslan 3 years ago

        Abreu and Izturis.

      • BrocNessMonster 3 years ago

        I don’t understand that. Give me someone who has some kind of chance to help the team. Abreu was a glaring hole in the line up, he’s dobe, completely.

    • Tko11 3 years ago

      Him being Cuban and all I would think Miami is very attractive. I don’t think Detroit is a place he would like to go unless they offer a lot more money than everyone else. 

  2. yankees west, huh? i like the sound of that. i just hope it’s not colletti spending it. also, i love pena signing with the rays. cespedes has talent, but there is no way he can live up to or surpass current expectations of him. i believe he will ultimately be remembered for his training video and the massive contract he gets more than his on-field performance. 

    • slider32 3 years ago

      I would take Soler over Cespedes, he has upside, is younger, and won’t cost as much.

  3. “Only four other players matched or bested the 33-year-old’s .330/.380/.470 slash line last season: Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Braun, Michael Young, and Miguel Cabrera.”

    Ummmm what are you talking about? If you meant batting average, then it’s the above four plus Jose Reyes. If you meant OPS (i.e. “slash line”) then there were 32 players last season who beat or matched Victor Martinez’s .850 mark.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      Or, most likely, he was talking about having a better AVG, OBP, and SLG

      • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

        pretty trivial, though. more than 30 players were more productive than martinez last year

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

           Agreed, it’s a poor way to evaluate a player, just pointing out what I assume he was saying.

          • BrocNessMonster 3 years ago

            It’s just a way to make his point seem valid. If you take batting average out of there, a bunch of guys did it last year.

      • Heh I suppose that would do it, although it’s a disingenuous way to rank how good a hitter was as a full 32 players still matched his production. The term “cherry pick” comes to mind.

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

           Yeah, definitely not the way I would go about ranking players.

    • BobbyJohn 3 years ago

      That still means that, on average, there was only one player per team across MLB who was better at the plate than Martinez.

      In other words, he’s more than just “pretty good”.

  4. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    Mariners could have had Montero and kept Pineda if they were smart

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

       Trade Felix?

      • I assume he’s referring to the nixed Lee deal.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago


          • $3513744 3 years ago

            They’re better off risking it with Smoak and Montero than Pineda.  They got plenty of young pitching coming up.

          • Dylan 3 years ago


          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            They still could have used Pineda to acquire some other type of offense.. They could use and outfielder or 2 

          • $3513744 3 years ago

            Nah, the two they got have better upside.  I don’t see any OF’s they would’ve been able to get with Pineda.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            based on what?

          • $3513744 3 years ago

            Based on the same thing yours is based on:  opinion.  If you had a better deal waiting in the background, I’m all ears.

          • slider32 3 years ago

            If that deal went through the Yanks would have won the last two world series. Lee would have resigned with the Yanks if they had won in 2010. He and CC are friends.

        • MaineSox 3 years ago


          • MB923 3 years ago

            Didn’t seem like sarcasm to me, but then again I am one of (No I admit I’m thee) worst at seeing if somone is sarcastic or not.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

             I was being sarcastic, I promise

    • PennMariner 3 years ago

      The fact that everyone has completely written off Smoak will make his breakout all the more satisfying.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        Not writing off smoak.. but trading Lee and Pineda for 2 similar players makes it redundant. They have other holes to fill.

        • $3513744 3 years ago

          Well I’m sure if the likes of Justin Upton, Evan Longoria, or Mike Stanton were available for a trade, they’d been more than happy to do so.  But fact of the matter is there aren’t a whole lot of guys that are just readily available to fill the many holes they have.  They did pretty well getting the two guys they got.

  5. mmwatkin 3 years ago

    As a Tigers fan, that is depressing. 

  6. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    Wow J.D. Drew is still a free agent. Haven’t heard anything of him this winter, almost forgot he existed.

  7. Kirk Edward Gerwin 3 years ago

    If I were the Tigers I’d plug the hole within the system for the time being.  Possibly wait until mid spring training or even the trading deadline.  Because of the weaknesses within the AL Central I think they would be fine even without VMart and possibly pick up a DH from a seller at the deadline to get them over the hump.

  8. iheartyourfart 3 years ago

    Yankees west? i think you mean Angels north.

  9. AnewBlueDay 3 years ago

    I am sure that clubs are talking with the Commissioner about not letting deep pockets buy the Dodgers.  The Padres, Giants, Rockies, and D-Backs will all scream if the Dodgers do get big money.  In reality, that will cause a problem for the balance — assuming the Dodger get a decent GM

    • vtadave 3 years ago

      Pretty sure that anyone that buys the Dodgers will have “deep pockets”.



    • BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

      The commissioner has no say in who buys the Dodgers. That’s entirely up to McCourt — as a condition of the deal they struck to get the team sold, he chooses. All of the potential buyers are huge money. Besides, since when is balance an issue? I mean, where you been the last 15 years?

      • Too Many Idiots 3 years ago

        Actually, the commisioner’s office and the other owners have to approve the sale, so yes, they do have a say.

        • BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

          Actually, no, not this time. The deal cut between McCourt, MLB and the bankruptcy court has the commissioner qualifying up to ten bidders, but McCourt gets to choose the winner. You could look it up.

          • Too Many Idiots 3 years ago

            I did look it up. All bidders are submitted to MLB. After reviewing, MLB forwards a list of up to 10 approved bidders and McCourt chooses who he wants to sale to from that MLB pre-approved list. Before the sale is final, 3/4 of the owners must approve the sale. So, yes, the commisioner does have a say.

          • BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

            Normally the commissioner signs off on any franchise sale. This time he approves only a list of bidders, after that, the sale is out of his hands. That’s what I am saying, and nothing you have added changes the point. This deal is unique in that respect, and some others too.

    • monkeydung 3 years ago

      The only team who would have a problem would be the Giants. The Dodgers are tr best home game for any other team in the NL West every year. That will be even better if they are full of stars.

      • BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

        Not sure I get what you mean. The Giants are currently the largest payroll in the NLW. With a new owner and a new media deal, the Dodgers probably leapfrog right over them and everybody else in the division in terms of what they can spend for talent. In fact they will probably have to spend lavishly in the free agent market if they want to give the fans some satisfaction in the near term, since the farm system is so depleted. If I had to take a stab at the 2013 payroll, I’d guess $150m.

  10. Tigers519 3 years ago

    It’s going to be Abreu for the Tigers – As soon as I heard he’s on the market – book it! – Detroit has been Venezuela North for a while now.

    Now that I hear Scutaro is being dangled – I say trade for him – let him play 2B – and put Young / Raburn as your DH / LF platoon

  11. FunkyTime 3 years ago

    I haven’t seen enough of Pineda to comment on his “fading velocity”, but anyone that knows anything about baseball knows that the Yankees didn’t trade Montero because of concerns about his mental makeup, but rather concerns about their rotation.

    They got a lot for a player that’s projected to be a career DH.

    • Both teams got a lot.  The M’s will do their best to make Montero a catcher in a Piazza, Lopez mold.  (Watch Dan Wilson work wonders as a consultant.)  Pineda will be a horse at the top of the rotation for the Yanks if that changeup comes around.  And he’s got the demeanor and work ethic to make it happen.  Both are gonna like what they got and miss what they dealt – and that’s a trade (i.e.. trade-off).

      • FunkyTime 3 years ago

        True.  I’m not knocking Montero.  I’d love it if my team had him, even if only as a DH.  But I’m just saying that trade made a LOT of sense for the Yankees without any other reasons needing to be given.

  12. FunkyTime 3 years ago

    Tigers, please please please don’t bring back Johnny Damon.  We have no need for a DH with no power, nor a 38 year old corner outfielder with no arm.

    • Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

      You jinxed it. Now we are probably going to get both Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu

  13. weaselpuppy 3 years ago

    Nobody beats my slash line.


    Ugeth Urbina

  14. hrbomber1113 3 years ago

    How on earth is finding a DH for the Yankees a very low priority? It’s the ONLY priority. The only other things they could add would be someone like Chavez again on a very small deal or minor league deal or add a second lefty in the pen. They have a full starting lineup, 7 starters on the big league team and a very full pen. What else are they worrying about doing? This is just a ploy to try and get Damon or Matsui or another of their type to take $2MM or so. Considering how much money Damon has made you’d think he’d be dying to come back to a team like the Yankees to try and get in the HOF. He’s very close to 3,000 and is 1+ decent years away from that. A team expected to win in a great offense that will boost his runs/RBI’s and a stadium perfect for his swing. Plus if he won another ring that wouldn’t hurt. But considering he’s taken the most money every time he’s hit FA then who know’s. You wouldn’t think a guy who’s made over $110MM in his career would be worried about $1-2MM vs making it to the HOF. Another year in Comerica won’t help his case much besides the hits.

    • slider32 3 years ago

      Damon is trying to get 3000 hits, that’s his motivation not the money. If he can land a full time DH job he will take it, if not he will try to win another series with the Yanks. The Yanks have many obtions, and to rotate the DH makes sense for them. Players at the end of their career’s have to be careful, it’s like musical chairs, they don’t want to be the one standing in the end. There are only so many teams that need a DH, and Vlad, Damon, Matsui, and Ibanez vieing for a spot.

      • hrbomber1113 3 years ago

        that’s what I said….i was saying I expect him to choose the Yankees for a team that will win, a good park for his swing and a great lineup to pad stats instead of worrying about a couple of mill he’ll never be able to spend. The problem with rotating a DH is an ARod clone doesn’t get to come in and play 3B while he also DH’s. It means essentially penciling Nunez/Chavez type for an entire season’s worth of AB’s. That’s throwing away a lineup spot. I expect Damon to sign with the Yankees for $3MM and platoon DH with Andruw Jones/ARod/jeter getting the AB’s against LHP and Damon getting the rest. Nobody wants to end up like Jermaine Dye thinking some team is dying for his type. There are about 5 or 6 guys each year that retire because they can’t accept a lesser salary or role when others will. Guys that could probably still keep playing. I honestly think Posada would be ideal. I just doubt he’d be willing to come back for that. Even in his horrible year in 2011 he had an OPS over .800 against RHP. Have him platoon and he’s good to go. And maybe, just maybe, 2011 was an aberration from the right side of the plate since only the year before he was 34 OPS points better from the right side. Considering all the tough lefties in the AL East and how small a sample size it could just be a fluke. Berkman was thought to be done as a RHB but rebounded, in a small sample size of course, to post an OPS over .800 last year. I just don’t believe Jorge is done. It’s just a shame that I believe he resigned to giving up baseball if it meant not being a lifetime Yankee and is mentally done..and that it happened before the Pineda/Montero trade. I’d love to see if I was right or not. I mean if he came back for $2MM and sucked, they could always trade for lefty hitting DH. it’s probably the easiest thing to find on the market. No harm no foul. Anyways, rant over.

  15. RBL_Tigers 3 years ago

    Tigers sign Prince, put him in a timeshare with Cabby at first/DH and sign a low-level one year deal with a backup catcher.  Bring Prince to Comerica and watch that offense EXPLODE.  One year with player-friendly options.  Get it done dom.

    • Tigers94 3 years ago

      I feel like it may happen. Prince doesnt have a team to go to right now, and could sign a 1 year, 22-28 mil deal with Detroit, then go back on the market next year and have a team such as the Dodgers (who will have an owner then with lots of money) give him alot

    • Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

      that would be legend….not dairy because Prince Fielder’s Vegan. it would be awesome though

  16. Kevin 3 years ago

    They should bring back Damon he was killer

  17. hrbomber1113 3 years ago

    definitely. There are literally like 2 or 3 legit DH spots open for a lot more than 3 hitters.

  18. hrbomber1113 3 years ago

    definitely. There are literally like 2 or 3 legit DH spots open for a lot more than 3 hitters.

  19. Chris Barrows 3 years ago

    If they had a concern, it was will he catch for us when we need ARod to DH

  20. slider32 3 years ago

    Clubhouse Confidential on MLB Network says that it’s a myth that good hitters need protection. I kind of agree, except that teams will walk them more.

  21. dook83 3 years ago

    From the volumes of commentary that I’ve read about the Yankee/Mariner deal, there’s a great chance that Montero would still be a Yankee if they thought he could at least be a serviceable catcher.  I’d love to have his bat in there for the next decade, but being able to contribute in the field is vastly underrated, especially on this Yankee team.  I love this deal for the Yanks, and the detractors who claim Pineda can’t pitch effectively for a whole season can go pahk der cahs and go eat some chowda…

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