AL Central Notes: Hafner, Verlander, Cabrera

Every AL Central team except the Royals has won the division at least once since 2007. Here are the latest AL Central links as the Tigers look to win back-to-back division titles for the first time since they won the 1934-35 pennants…

  • The Indians are hoping for modest production from Travis Hafner in 2012, which will probably be his final season with the Indians, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. "If Travis can be a productive major-league hitter this year, we'll be happy," GM Chris Antonetti said.
  • Justin Verlander and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports discussed the right-hander's newfound celebrity in a piece that's well worth reading. Verlander makes it clear that he loves Detroit, but admitted he’s thought about what playing in a bigger market would be like. “It would be fun, but hopefully I help turn Detroit into a major market,” Verlander said. “Other teams are major markets not just because of their fan base but because of the national fan base.”
  • No talks about a new contract for Verlander have taken place, but he’s “open for conversation” with the Tigers. Verlander, who’s under team control through 2014, is intrigued by free agency.
  • In this FOX Sports video, Morosi said the Tigers are realistic about Miguel Cabrera's limitations as a defender at third base, and seem committed to making the arrangement work.
  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland recently joined Evan & Phillips on Sirius XM Radio and said he's willing to accept that Cabrera won't get to as many balls as Brandon Inge might.


41 Responses to AL Central Notes: Hafner, Verlander, Cabrera Leave a Reply

  1. JacksTigers 3 years ago

    Verlander’s comments worry me.

    • Red Barrons 3 years ago

      Agreed 100%.

    • Meanwhile, the Yankees radar just went up…

      • LordD99 3 years ago

        …and yet the Yankees are no more likely to sign the big-name free agents as are any other team.

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      he’ll be 32. you got his best years

      • LordD99 3 years ago

        Unlike position players, power pitchers like Verlander usually do quite well through their 30s. 

        The Tigers can certainly afford to keep him.

        • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

          i’m not sure that’s true actually. but even if it is, detroit will still have had his best years. he’s going to be paid like an ace by somebody for his 32-37ish years, but will be a much riskier proposition than he is during this contract

    • strikethree 3 years ago

       Can you blame him? Just look at what the Tigers gave Fielder.

      To me, Verlander is more important to that team — especially considering that they already had a decent offense to begin with.

      This Fielder contract could hurt them even more in 2014 if Verlander uses it as leverage against the team for an extension. Why give a discount when he just saw the team give a free agent a 200+ million dollar contract?

      • ImperialStout 3 years ago

        Well Verlander sure wont be given a 9-10 year contract.  I could see something around 6/150.  I hope Illitch Holdings Inc. can hang with that.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        apples and oranges

        • strikethree 3 years ago

          And why is that? They didn’t need Fielder, but they sure as hell need Verlander.

          Because he is a pitcher? He is probably the most valuable player on that team. They’ve made him
          throw over 250 innings last year and he still posted an ERA lower than
          3. He hasn’t posted less than 200 innings since his rookie season.

          Why can’t he use it as leverage? “Hey, you just gave a guy, who you didn’t need at all, an absurd contract so where’s mine?” (he is the face of that franchise and they pretty much need him to stay put)

          A good agent would make this argument.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            no because a good agent would see that Justin Verlander already makes one of the top Salaries for starting pitchers.  Verlander will also be 5 years older than Prince at the time of his next deal.

            To expect for him to say hey you signed a luxury 3 years ago to a huge deal, I want even more, isn’t feasible.

          • strikethree 3 years ago

             “no because a good agent would see that Justin Verlander already makes one of the top Salaries for starting pitchers”

            An agent’s job is to make more money for his client. Even if a player makes a large amount already, a good agent should want even more for his client.

            “To expect for him to say hey you signed a luxury 3 years ago to a huge deal, I want even more, isn’t feasible.”

            Probably not in terms of total years, but they can certainly use that as leverage when discussing annual numbers.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            or they could just use JV’s stats as leverage when discussing annual numbers and not even mention Price Fielder because its completely irrelevant

    • Benjamin Godfrey 3 years ago

      Morosi asked him questions what is he supposed to say? That he doesn’t want to move and hates the other markets i wish he did but then he would lose leverage.

  2. was Leyland’s Inge/Cabrera comment suppose to surprise somebody???

  3. There was never a question that Inge can field at second base.  There shouldn’t be a question that he’s a complete hole in the lineup against right handed pitching.  I think that Cabrera will be just fine at third base, and the National media will be eating crow. 

    • Pawsdeep 3 years ago

      Most of the Detroit writers already are changing their tune already, and we’re not even out of spring.

      I’m not sure why everyone jumped on the ‘aramis bandwagon’ and yet hate the idea of cabrera at 3rd. I can’t see them being that differently defensively. On top of that, Cabrera is basically replacing Wilson Betemit; a guy who is so bad defensively that he is now DHing and is behind Josh Bell and Mark Reynolds on their depth charts. It makes no sense expecting the Tigers to be that much worse at 3B

    • ellisburks 3 years ago

      I think The Tiger’s main problem is that you have a below average defender at 3b, ss, 2b and 1B. That is the worry. Not that you have one bad defender but 4.

      • Pawsdeep 3 years ago

        I can agree with that, but it is still the same as last year after the acquisition of Betemit.

      • Benjamin Godfrey 3 years ago

        Austin jackson saved 22 runs last year best in mlb also peralta may lack range but make very few errors if inge or santiago plays second then that is solid too

  4. D.Mack 3 years ago

    If Detroit lets Verlander hit the open market they are nuts…they need to start working on an extension now.

    • Benjamin Godfrey 3 years ago

      He said he was open for talks so they should talk

  5. Keith Richards 3 years ago

    Verlander is a non story.   Don’t feed the media monster.

  6. hawkny1 3 years ago

    Cabrera’s lack of defensive skill, and slow foot speed at 3B will be the Tiger’s achilles heal in 2011.  For every run he drives in he will give away two.  Opposing teams will take advantage of him at every turn when he is on the field.  By July, his poor play in the field could begin to affect the play of those around him, if he is, in fact, the every day Tiger’s 3B..  Jimmy Leyland would be much better off limiting Miguel’s play to DH and backup 1B, the role Victor Martinez assumed when he was brought into the motor city two years ago.

    • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

      You’re being overdramatic.

    • ImperialStout 3 years ago

       Remember the year 1997?  link to baseball-reference.com

      One position’s defense won’t kill the team.  Like InLeyland said…. you’re being over-dramatic.

      • ellisburks 3 years ago

        As I said a bit higher, it’s not One position’s defence that might kill Detroit, it will be 4 below average infielders that will kill it. They don’t have even one proven average defender at any of the infield positions.

        • Pawsdeep 3 years ago

          Peralta is solid. Limited range but sure handed and accurate thrower.

      • MetsMagic 3 years ago

        Bobby Bonilla was your example? I was thinking more along the lines of Dick Allen, who was as bad a 3B as Cabrera will be but was a HoF hitter. 

        • ImperialStout 3 years ago

           Florida won a WS with that liability.  That was my example. 

  7. YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

    Whatever happened to Hafner. Shame..he was a beast. I was hoping the Yanks could work out some sort of AJ Burnett for Hafner swap.

  8. northsfbay 3 years ago

    I am sure that Fielder will play first and Cabrera will DH. You can put hitters at DH, 1b, lf. How you hit at the other positions, will seperate the men from the boys.

    • JacksTigers 3 years ago

      He will play the field. There is no way that he is a DH.

    • JacksTigers 3 years ago

      He will play the field. There is no way that he is a DH.

  9. roberty 3 years ago

    I guess a positive for Verlander staying with the Tigers is he could buy 15 city blocks in Detroit for less than the price of a nice apartment in Manhattan.

  10. Tigers look to win back-to-back division titles for the first time since they won the 1934-35 pennants…? there were no divisions in 1934.

  11. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    do you think he called morosi and set up the interview? he answered questions honestly and did so without disrespecting detroit in any way whatsoever. don’t be ridiculous

  12. YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

    agreed. people seem to have selective reading tendencies. 

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