links for 2007-08-02

40 Comments

  1. Jonathon

    August 2, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Agreed. That trade scares me and hopefully nothing of that sorts will get done during the waiver period.

  2. Jeff

    August 2, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Did the ghost of Randy Smith inhabit the GM’s office this week?

    What is this obsession with trading minor league talent for lousy-hitting good-fielding middle infielders?

    If that’s the great need of this team, wait a couple weeks for the finger to heal and bring up Santiago. That’s cheaper than trading minor league talent away and paying some of the remainder of an 8-figure 2-year contract.

  3. cib

    August 2, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Jeff is right. I think everyone has forgotten about Santiago. Unfortunately, we’ve got all the pieces we need but I can’t believe how many injuries. It’s beyond anything you could expect.

  4. Stephen

    August 2, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    GOOD NEWS ALERT.
    The Tigers have more home games remaining than any other team in the majors. They have played 13 more road games than Cleveland. This should count for something.

  5. tiff

    August 2, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but they play their worst ball at home.

    Good news: no time like the present to turn that around!

  6. Matt in Toledo

    August 2, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    I saw the article that MVN post must be referring to. It said the Tigers were offering two of their top six prospects for Jack Wilson and one was “major league ready”. If you look at BA’s Top 10, number six is De La Cruz and there were the earlier rumors about Clevlen. So those were the two I assumed they’d be or else the article would have said two pitchers.

    My mind reels at how awful a deal that would be for the Tigers – regardless of what they pay him. Especially when there was no market for Jack Wilson and Pittsburgh had backed themselves into a corner to get rid of him. I just hope it’s a bunk rumor, because I just don’t see the logic from the Tigers’ standpoint.

  7. Stephen

    August 2, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Tiff: I was just trying to shift from my Chief Dark Cloud reputation for a second there.

  8. Ryan S

    August 2, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Stephen: interesting item. I guess it means Cleveland must have some big long roads trips in their future. We’ll see if they respond any better than we did.

    Here’s a question I’m curious about. How many wins are people thinking it’s going to take to get to the postseason this year? I was originally thinking 95, but now I’m wondering if it will end up being a bit lower. Maybe 92-93? Last year we made it with 95, but could have had as few as 91 and still been the wild card.

  9. T Smith

    August 2, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Forget about the reports.

    I refuse to believe it. It simply can’t be as the rumor has it. It simply can’t be. Two GMs simply cannot be that clueless (Dave Littlefield for not accepting ANY terms involving aforementioned players, and DD for allegedly offering aforementioned players in the first place (for Wilson? Huh?). What are the odds two GMs could so utterly botch their team’s interests in the same deal?

    Nope. I can’t believe it.

    If it were true, it would demonstrate DD knows absolutey nothing about a) the immediate/intermediate/long term needs of the team b) about equitable talent/needs that should be inherent to a trade and c) about fiscal responsibility. Matt Millen could have put together a better package. Call me naive, but I hold DD in a little better light than that.

    Even if the Pirates agreed to pay 100% of Wilson’s salary, it still doesn’t make sense. So I simply refuse to believe a deal like this was ever in the works, propaganda be damned.

    Then again, I never believed it was impossible for the Tigers to make a serious run at Gagne or Dotel, despite the “reports” to the contrary that placated and pacified the masses, so perhaps I’m not qualified to comment here.

  10. Stephen

    August 2, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    I agree. I’ve seen better sourcing on ‘UFOs Spotted’ stories than on this one.

  11. Mark in Chicago

    August 2, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    I’m kinda with you, T. I find it awfully hard to believe DD would give up THAT much for what he admitted would be a reserve infielder. That’s an awfully expensive insurance policy. And of course DD doesn’t comment on trade rumors, so we’ll probably never know.

    That said, Littlefield is an absolutely atrocious GM. How he still has a job is amazing. Beyond me. So I am a little reluctant to dismiss the possibility that he may have somehow effed up a deal like that. Because he totally would.

    Seriously, Matt Morris?

  12. Joel

    August 2, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    The best part of Cleveland having a lot of games left on the road is that they’re actually sub-.500 on the road. Detroit’s Home/Road split is much less pronounced than theirs.

    Also interesting is the expected W/L record for the two teams. Detroit’s XW/L exactly matches its actual. Cleveland’s XW/L is 59-49, which would put them 2.5 back. So they’ve been slightly lucky this year.

    The main point of this post is… I need to be optimistic after this past two weeks!

  13. Keith G.

    August 2, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    The good news is we have 11 straight at home all against teams that are below .500. The bad news is that we have 11 straight at home against teams with losing records. Unless we figure out a way to perform at home like a contending team does (that is play .650 ball at home), having long homestands don’t mean jack.

    I hope Leyland gave everyone the day off today to try and clear their heads. If I was Leyland, I’d have a quick, informal meeting before tomorrow’s game. No yelling or finger pointing. Just remind the guys that they are the ballclub that had the best record in the game thru 95 games, not the one who’s showed up the last 12. Just keep it positive, tell the guys that he believes in them, and leave it at that. No need to rehash the disatrous road trip, its over and done with.

    Any predictions out there for the upcoming homestand? I think they NEED to go 7-4 or better to get the positive mojo back on their side. I think that’s about where they end up (7-4) for the homestand. If they go 8-3 or better I’ll be one grinning Tiger fan, but I’d take 7-4. If they go 6-5 or worse they are really going to make things tough on themselves for the stretch run.

  14. Walt

    August 2, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    I think that there is something else to the deal that didn’t happen that is not being reported. I am assuming that 1 or 2 of the pirates relievers were in there somewhere.

  15. T Smith

    August 2, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Keith G:

    The thing is:

    There is rarely a solid “middle ground” for this team. They are either playing at an astounding .750 clip, or at a dismal .350 clip. It’s really hard to figure. I don’t see them going 6-5, or even 7-4… I would like to see 8-3. I figure it’s just as easy for them to pull off 8-3 as it is 7-4 or 6-5. Otherwise, it’s 3-8.

    The Tigers almost behave like one of those elusive “electrons” we learned about in high school. They jump from one orbit to another instantaneously and kinda disappear altogether in the middle.

    Of course that annoys me almost as much as physics class did.

  16. T Smith

    August 2, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Walt:

    I think your right. If the Pirates picked up all (or nearly all) of Wilson’s salary plus they threw in one of the relievers we discussed earlier, e.g. Marte, Torres, or Chacon, then I think it’s an okay deal.

    What probably killed the deal was how much of Wilson’s salary Littlefield was willing to pay.

  17. billfer

    August 2, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Even with 1 of those relievers it still would have been an atrocious deal. Even if it meant Pittsburgh paying a good chunk of the salary. The very fact that the Tigers would employ one of the worst starters in the Majors makes the deal bad. And if the long term plan was to make Wilson the starting shortstop I would be supremely disappointed.

    Here are the worst OPS+ the last 2 years among players with over 500 PA’s in a season. Wilson’s 2005 season ranks 9th worst and 2006 ranks 13th worst, and those were his age 27 and 28 seasons or when you’d expect him to peak. Adam Everett is also on that list twice, but his defense is actually good enough to cover. Wilson’s defense is a above average at best, not stellar.

    http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/Cs4Q

  18. T Smith

    August 2, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Billfer,

    I must say I’m leaning your way on this one. At the end of the day (as I post this I am extremely sober) you are probably right, being that Chacon, Torres, and Marte aren’t a noticable upgrade to what we already have…

    When it comes improving to the bullpen, though, I guess I’m kinda like that security guard who looks the other way when slipped a twenty. He knows it’s wrong, but he can’t help himself.

    When it comes to shoring up this bullpen, that’s where I’m at. I probably would have been okay to “overspend” to get a Marte or a Torres. But Wilson? That’s a cold splash of water to the face that will sober one up quick. That’s clearl subtraction by addition, which makes the pill WAY harder to swallow.

  19. Ian C.

    August 2, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    Oh man – you gotta love that Clint Barmes, another shortstop Detroit was supposedly after, is #2 on that list for his 2006 season.

    For all the credit we give Dombrowski (and deservedly so), he’s also had a few instances where a failed deal or negotiation actually worked to his benefit. Either the Carl Pavano, Steve Finley, and Rich Aurilia signings would’ve been problematic at best. This Jack Wilson thing can go on the list, too.

  20. T Smith

    August 2, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    It you’re talking about Barmes or Wilson, what’s wrong with Santiago? Grant it, Santiago’s no dynamo, but at pennies a serving, he’s nearly as effective offensively as Wilson/Barmes. I should probably check that, but that’s my hunch anyway.

    I say, when it’s time to retire Guillen to 1st, go after something substantial at SS or promote within.

  21. Stephen

    August 2, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    I gotta think if you do .ops on first basemen since last August, ole Shaun gotta be in the bottom five for first basemen with 500 pa’s.
    Yes, lets add more Pirates!

  22. Kurt

    August 2, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    What’s wrong with Ramon Santiago? Generally, the answer is nothing. In this case, “Ramon Santiago and Kevin Hooper, two starting infielders, went on the disabled list with broken fingers within a week’s time. Hooper is done for the season; Santiago isn’t expected to return until late this month.”

    http://toledoblade.com/apps/pb.....1/SPORTS09

    As far as that potential trade, if that was ever more than a rumor, we sorta have to be worried about Dombrowski. But given he hasn’t really made any destructive, utterly stupid moves, such as that, in his Tigers career, I”m not sure I buy into it. Yah, he’s picked up Perezes that suck, but those came at little cost.

  23. Kathy

    August 3, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Carlos is committing too many errors. He already has 20 and it’s only the beginning of August. I love the guy but I’ll be surprised if he stays at SS in ’08.

  24. Keith G.

    August 3, 2007 at 12:31 am

    Yeah Kathy, I agree that Guillen should be the Tiger’s first baseman for the remainder of his contract beginning in 2008. Start him there in spring training to get him a month to get comfortable with it. His bat is as potent as ever, his body is breaking down and he just can’t cover ground as well as he did two years ago.

    Guillen’s error in Oakland Tuesday night really opened up the floodgates for the A’s. The A’s were struggling to score any runs to that point in the series (3 in the first 14 innings) and that was the break they needed to jumpstart the offense. I honestly believe the Tigers win that game if Guillen just makes the play on that routine two-hopper. The A’s were dormant before that and it just woke them up and let them believe they had a chance.

  25. Matt in Toledo

    August 3, 2007 at 9:22 am

    The rumors only get worse. Read this story if you dare. I don’t recommend it if you’ve recently eaten or are easily nauseated.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07215/806618-63.stm

  26. T Smith

    August 3, 2007 at 10:05 am

    If there is any truth to that Gazette story — even the slightest — I’m gonna need to revamp my entire understanding of universe. Let’s see:

    1. The earth isn’t round, it’s really flat
    2. Einstein, Newton, Galileo: morons — Ptolemy was right all along.
    3. Even after Tigers escape near catastrophy (apparently riding on the luck of Dave Littlefield’s idiocy) Tigers deal through waivers two top pitching prospects AND pick up all of Wilson salary off waivers.

    Phew. Glad we got that settled. Now the universe is aligned and back in balance again.

  27. colin

    August 3, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Over at http://www.replacementlevel.com right now there’s a listing of AL shortstops sorted by runs saved/162 games. Zone rating was used to compile the stats. Guillen’s only slightly below average by that metric (-3 runs/162). Moving Guillen to first base could be foolish if we don’t get the runs back on defense that we’d lose on offense by swapping out a first baseman for a shortstop. Guillen might stay a little healthier at first but I’m doubtful that would cover the difference, even if the truth lies somewhere between the high error total and the decent ZR.

  28. Chris in Nashville

    August 3, 2007 at 10:07 am

    I just don’t get the need for Jack Wilson. Carlos’s problem is that he makes the hard plays look easy and the easy plays look hard. His technique on fielding grounders isn’t what you’d teach a young ball player. That being said, what happens if you get Jack Wilson….are you going to sit Guillen 2 or 3 times a week? No. What else can you do with Guillen to play him as much as he needs to? DH? Nope, Sheff is there. First base? Casey is there and playing well. So I really don’t understand why paying $14 million for a back up shortstop that may be a late inning replacement is worth giving up anything for. I’d rather have Ramon in there when he gets healthy, and I don’t see the difference between Neifi and Wilson. So none of this really makes sense, plus we are getting this info from Pittsburgh sources, so who knows how much of this is true.

  29. Walt

    August 3, 2007 at 10:21 am

    If DD is dead set on picking up a backup middle IF, Royce Clayton is available and cheaper than Wilson.

  30. T Smith

    August 3, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Besides that, I just don’t like Jack Wilson. I kinda understand the thinking with Santiago and Hooper both injured — what happens if Guillen goes down AND something happens to Infante or Polly? I guess they see a whole there. But Santiago should be back by the end of August, and you also have Raburn who can be an emergency utility infielder. I just don’t think you need to take out a 14 million dollar insurance policy for three weeks, for another Neifi Perez, and give up a prospect.

  31. Angus

    August 3, 2007 at 10:38 am

    I heard on the radio that the deal for Wilson is still on. What is our problem that we need to get run of the mill poor hitting NL SS. If they want that, just bring Neifi back. We are already paying him $ 2 million. I have heard nothing about relief pitchers in this deal. This is a very dumb short sighted deal if it goes through.

  32. Tbone

    August 3, 2007 at 10:57 am

    Boy, DD is sure getting indicted here before any moves have been made. Give the guy a little credit for getting this team in a position where so many of us actually care about this minutia. And despite all the rumors, he hasn’t pulled the trigger yet. If and when that happens, that will be the time to let loose.

    Having said that, this team is still in desperate need of relief help. If we want to make that happen this season, there will be a price to pay. A Wilson deal only makes sense to me if there is a quality reliver thrown in.

  33. Ryan

    August 3, 2007 at 11:14 am

    I choose to believe that this story is one of those cloak-and-dagger waiver wire maneuvers to disguise who DD really wants to help that player slip through waivers.

  34. Walt

    August 3, 2007 at 11:42 am

    I want to believe in Ryan’s outlook, but we did trade for Neifi last year.

  35. Chris in Nashville

    August 3, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Good call Walt…I hope you are right.

  36. Stephen

    August 3, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Two Things I can’t abide
    1. “Casey is playing well at first base.” Sorry guys, Casey is the Wilson of first basemen. He’s got no power, an embarassingly average .357 oba, and a slugging % in the .390s which would be ok if he was a shortstop. He is the first base equivalent of your classic 80s shortstop. I’m not saying get rid of him, the team has greater problems, but to suggest he’s a positive force on the offense is just isn’t true.

    2. From the Pitt report:
    “That deal apparently collapsed when the Pirates asked for a major-league player, perhaps outfielder Craig Monroe.”

    Finally, monroe contributes!

  37. Joel

    August 3, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Colin:

    I don’t get the argument that it doesn’t help us to move Guillen to first. I don’t get where we lose runs by moving him over. As long as the guy who replaces him at SS provides equal or greater value than our current 1B (Casey), it’s an improvement, right? There’s another part of the equation that needs to be considered.

    But finding decent-hitting 1Bs seems to be easier than finding value at SS. I agree that it’d have to be a huge defensive upgrade at SS to justify bringing in a Jack Wilson-type offensive non-presence. I think a better solution would be to give Thames more experience at 1B and use him there more regularly and be patient in finding a better replacement at SS.

    I could handle signing A-Rod after he opts out of his NY contract… :)

  38. Bill A \ Kal MI

    August 3, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    I ain’t signing onto any of this. we got good players.

    let’s go out there and take care them sox tonite!

    But ya know what? we can look at how we make the best use of the talent we got. and it’s fut to chat about that on the wire

    Hessman might play 3d — as he has before — and might try Inge at SS. He’s a cat out there with that glo0ve and Hessman ain’t bad his own self

    that wa we can keep Old LB at 1st. He might hit another 2-sacker!

  39. colin

    August 3, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Hey Joel:

    Sean Casey’s marginal offense for 1B makes sliding Guillen over to first more attractive than it would be otherwise, I agree. But his .291/.355/.384 line is still better than the composite batting line for all AL SS this year (.271/.324/.389). Unless the Tigers feel that Mike Hollimon is ready to contribute as an above average everyday MLB SS I would run Guillen out there at short until his darn legs fall off. Otherwise I feel at a minimum we’d just be wasting money and we don’t need a better DH.

    In addition I’m hopeful that Casey won’t be on the roster in 2008 so I was kind of thinking towards the future (and predicting we will employ a productive 1B, which like you said, is easier to find than a productive SS) as well. I’m afraid that if we slide Guillen over to 1B this year, he’ll stay there regardless of what is best for the team in ’08.

    I don’t have anything positive to say about Jack Wilson wearing the “D” so I won’t say anything at all.

  40. Bill A \ Kal.MI

    August 3, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    ain’t right to run no player completely in the ground. Jim knows that and I’m sure he’ll find a way to put guys into the lineup where we have a good chance to win and at the same time take care of all the players. It’s a long season and we got 2 months to go

    I’d like to see Hessman at 3d a couple more times