Dave Dombrowski Rumors

Dombrowski Talks Contract Extension

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch silenced questions about the job security of his leadership team by announcing extensions for manager Jim Leyland and president and general manager Dave Dombrowski today. It’s a move toward stability and, Ilitch hopes, the Tigers’ first World Championship since 1984.

“Dave has built a solid foundation for this organization and assembled competitive teams that give us a chance to win year in and year out,” Ilitch said.

Dombrowski’s top assistants – assistant GM Al Avila, special assistant David Chadd, VP of player personnel Scott Reid and legal counsel John Westhoff – also received contract extensions. That continuity helps the front office team work effectively, Dombrowski said.

“I think it’s extremely important,” he said on a conference call. “They’re very knowledgeable, they’re hard-working, they’re loyal.”

But don’t confuse continuity with an aversion to change. Dombrowski says the Tigers rely on more statistical analysis now than they did a five or ten years ago. Mike Smith and other executives supplement scouting reports with numbers for balanced evaluations.

“We don’t rely on them as much as other people do, but there’s all different types of statistical analyses available,” Dombrowski told reporters. “I think everybody has grown through the use of computers and the use of scouting reports, having access to them. It’s at your fingertips any time, anywhere you go.”

Though Dombrowski’s top assistants obtained extensions and the GM himself is locked up through 2015, Leyland’s coaches did not get extensions and the manager obtained a one-year extension. However, Dombrowski said Leyland did not ask for more job security than he was offered.

Lame Duck General Managers

By now, I'm sure you've looked over our list of players that will be free agents after the 2011 season numerous times, but what about general managers? With some help from Cot's Baseball Contracts, here's the list of GMs without contracts for 2012…

  • Andy MacPhail, Orioles – Technically, MacPhail isn't the GM, he's the president of baseball operations. He's still the guy calling the shots though. Last October we heard that he doesn't have any plans to approach owner Peter Angelos about a new deal before his current one expires.
  • Neal Huntington, Pirates – Team president Frank Coonelly said he expects Huntington to be in Pittsburgh "for a long time" earlier this year.
  • Walt Jocketty, Reds – Cincinnati is clearly a team on the rise, so it seems likely that ownership would want to bring Jocketty back after the season.
  • Dave Dombrowski, Tigers – A few months ago we heard that the fates of Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland could be a package deal based on the team's performance in 2011.
  • Brian Cashman, Yankees – The third longest-tenured GM in the game would seem to be on rocky ground after being over-ruled by ownership on the Rafael Soriano signing, but we heard afterwards that he still has the "full backing" of the Steinbrenners.

GM Trade Histories: AL Central

Brendan Bianowicz has more GM Trade History series updates for us.  Click below to download Excel spreadsheets with info on the AL Central GMs (trades, free agent signings, and top draft picks).

Odds & Ends: Tigers, Clark, Duncan, Beltran

Wait, what do you mean "there are no baseball games tonight?!?"

  • James Schmehl of MLive.com says that during the Tigers' annual season-ending meeting, GM Dave Dombrowski acknowledged "that payroll limitations this offseason will prevent the Tigers from keeping every free agent." Detroit's double play combo of Placido Polanco and Adam Everett will be free agents, as will their setup man-closer tandem of Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney.
  • Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Braves scouting director Roy Clark "told the Braves on Tuesday that he's leaving the organization to become an assistant general manager with the Nationals." Clark will have a similar role with the Nats, overseeing player development and the scouting department. He had been Atlanta's scouting director since 2000, drafting such players as Brian McCannYunel Escobar, and Jason Heyward.
  • Cardinals' pitching coach Dave Duncan said he's going to wait and see what manager Tony La Russa does before making a decision about his future, according to FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi.
  • In a mailbag at MLB.com, Marty Noble says the Mets are "boxed in" when it comes to Carlos Beltran because not many clubs can assume the $37MM he's owed the next two years, not to mention concerns about his physical condition.

Odds and Ends: Teixeira, Izturis, Gaudin

Links for Thursday…

Olney’s Latest: Manny, Peavy, Fuentes

ESPN’s Buster Olney has a bunch of new info in today’s blog.

  • Olney continues to wonder if Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras will "wave the white flag" and accept the Dodgers’ offer of arbitration.  It could result in a huge one-year salary, and the current market for Manny is not robust.  However, Peter Abraham said in July that a condition of Manny’s trade was that he would decline arbitration.  Did anyone else write this?  Hopefully a journalist will ask Boras about it soon.
  • Olney says the Cubs would love to have Adam Dunn in their lineup, but he’s a stretch as a full-time right fielder.  The Cubs are willing to sacrifice some defense in right, but how much?
  • Could Dunn or Pat Burrell wind up with the Rays on an affordable one-year deal?
  • The Cubs and Padres "have a basic framework in place" for a Jake Peavy deal built around third baseman Josh Vitters.  Things may pick up after the Cubs’ ownership situation is resolved.
  • The Astros don’t have a ton of flexibility to move their high-salaried stars, but Jose Valverde is one they can deal without restriction.  He’s due for a nice raise from this year’s $4.7MM.
  • Olney suggests the Rockies were wise to trade Matt Holliday when they did, or they might’ve gotten significantly less.
  • Olney speaks of "a belief within the Rockies’ organization" that Brian Fuentes could come back on a multiyear deal.  The Rockies could trade Huston Street in that case.
  • The Braves may push A.J. Burnett for an answer before C.C. Sabathia signs, in case the Yanks miss out on C.C. and come after Burnett.
  • Apparently there is "serious tension" between Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland.
  • Olney sees Rafael Furcal signing with the A’s.

Dave Dombrowski – GM Trade History

Next up in our GM Trade History series, Dave Dombrowski of the Tigers.  MLBTR contributor Brendan Bianowicz chronicled his moves as GM of the Expos, Marlins, and Tigers in this Excel spreadsheet.