What are they talking about?

by billfer on October 16, 2007 · 43 comments

in Front Office,Minors,Trade Rumors

Leyland and Dombrowski
Dave Dombrowski, Jim Leyland, and Chuck Hernandez took in some instructional league action today. Everybody is in Lakeland this week for organizational meetings so they could have been discussing anything.

Maybe they were talking about the way that the ball explodes out of Rick Porcello’s hand, or maybe the kid’s follow through.

Perhaps they were discussing how much David Eckstein would be worth if he left the St. Louis Cardinals. Would 2 years and $14 or $15 million be too much for a player with declining skills?

It could be they were thinking bigger and deciding if it is worth dealing with everything besides the money it would take to get Alex Rodriguez signed. That negotiation certainly wouldn’t be a picnic (thanks MetsBlog.com!). Would you want to deal with this?

‘All these things have to be part of the deal or there’s not a deal,’ including an office at the stadium for his marketing person, a luxury box where he could host people, and after the game people come down to the clubhouse and get things signed. That he had become so big he can’t fly commercially, so he’s going to need charter airfare. That he wanted to meet with ownership and go through the scouting reports in the organization, since he’s making a long-term commitment, of who is coming up in the farm system to know there’s a bright future to play with around him. He wanted to have a tent in spring training to sell A-Rod apparel. He wanted to know what the team marketing plan was going to be around him as he joined the team. I think that’s about everything.

Or maybe they were just talking about Cameron Maybin’s 2 homer night in the Arizona Fall League.

Really, it could be anything.

 
 

{ 43 comments }

Mike R October 17, 2007 at 2:08 am

David Eckstein would be a ridiculous mistake. He’s better then Guillen defensively but is still substantially below average defensively. Couple that with a weighted runs created of 68.8 over the last 4 years (skewed by 1 year over 61 RC when he had a bizarre 106 in 2005) which coupled with defense puts him a few ticks below average.

Jack Wilson would be a much better investment then Eckstein. Hell, Billfer at SS might be a better investment.

Hopefully though, they’re talking about not rushing Rick Porcello any more then need be.

Sam October 17, 2007 at 8:00 am

//Would 2 years and $14 or $15 million be too much for a player with declining skills?//

It would be too much for David Eckstein with declining skills.

Jeff M October 17, 2007 at 8:41 am

Leyland: “Did you guys try the funky fajita?

Kyle J October 17, 2007 at 8:57 am

Somehow I get the feeling none of us are going to be thrilled with the way the shortstop thing plays out.

Kurt October 17, 2007 at 9:12 am

I fear Kyle is correct but hold out a modicum of hope that Dombrowski will fleece somebody ala Guillen.

Rings October 17, 2007 at 9:36 am

May I “third” Mike & Sam’s comments. I’d rather play Santiago everyday and pay him peanuts than commit stupid money at Eck.

Don October 17, 2007 at 11:02 am

I’ve kind of come around on the idea of jack wilson at SS for a couple years. Points in his favor: (1) very good defense (2) only turning 30 (3) should average about .280/.325/.400 over a couple of years, which is about league average at SS; decent contact hitter. Points against: (1) have to give up a c+/b- prospect to get him (2) biggish contract (IIRC around 16 over two years or something) and (3) is an ugly mofo. Would I prefer renteria or furcal or chin lung hu? yeah, but wilson is a sensible SS option for the tigers (I still wake up in cold sweats having nightmares that shane halter is our starting SS).

ron October 17, 2007 at 11:04 am

Dave, can ya run out and get me a pack of smokes?

ron October 17, 2007 at 11:13 am

What the heck are we doin’ here, Dave?

Don October 17, 2007 at 11:37 am

FYI, some granderson love on BP: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=607

Jake October 17, 2007 at 12:06 pm

One guy I haven’t heard a lot of people consider for SS is Michael Hollimon. He put up solid numbers offensively in the minors and from everything I read has atleast an average glove. I would prefer the Tigers to give him a shot at SS and if that doesn’t work out just use Santiago there. I really don’t want the Tigers to pay 7-8 million for a SS with an average bat and average glove when we could pay Santiago less than a million and have a SS with an excellent glove and a below average bat.

Ian C. October 17, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Chuck Hernandez is either miffed that he’s being left out of the discussion or he wishes everyone would stop chattering so he can watch some baseball in peace.

Andrew October 17, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Doesn’t it look like leyland is in the bottom left corner of the picture too? Or is that just me? Ha ha, it’s an optical illusion…he’s in two places at once.

Ian C. October 17, 2007 at 12:16 pm

And speaking of shortstops, I wonder what it would take to get the name atop Larry’s list: Orlando Cabrera. Neither the Angels or Tigers might want to make an in-league trade like that, but Cabrera is in his walk year, the Angels have Brandon Wood ready to step in at shortstop, and really, isn’t Cabrera exactly what the Tigers could use at that position?

Kyle J October 17, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Doesn’t Nate Silver know that Curtis can’t hit left-handers?

Surprised Verlander didn’t make the top 20.

Mike R October 17, 2007 at 3:14 pm

And speaking of shortstops, I wonder what it would take to get the name atop Larry’s list: Orlando Cabrera. Neither the Angels or Tigers might want to make an in-league trade like that, but Cabrera is in his walk year, the Angels have Brandon Wood ready to step in at shortstop, and really, isn’t Cabrera exactly what the Tigers could use at that position?

Wood got moved to 3rd base. And Cabrera’s kind of brutal at SS. He was a below average defender in 2007 (to the tune of -6.5 runs, which is slightly worse then David Eckstein).

One guy I haven’t heard a lot of people consider for SS is Michael Hollimon. He put up solid numbers offensively in the minors and from everything I read has atleast an average glove. I would prefer the Tigers to give him a shot at SS and if that doesn’t work out just use Santiago there. I really don’t want the Tigers to pay 7-8 million for a SS with an average bat and average glove when we could pay Santiago less than a million and have a SS with an excellent glove and a below average bat.

I know Matt (tigers minor league blogger) likes Hollimon and stated to me that he’d like him to be on the Tigers bench, I don’t view Hollimon as a starting shortstop in the major leagues. He won best defensive SS in the Eastern League from Baseball America, but he’s also been 2+ years older then his competition at every level. I’d like to see him be successful at Toledo and force the Tigers hand a bit more or become a bench player, not a fixture in the everyday lineup for Detroit.

I still think that Jack Wilson (I did a 180 on him completely), or Renteria are the best options.

Matt in Toledo October 17, 2007 at 4:12 pm

I did say he seems like he’d be a good fit for the role Infante had coming into 2007 (with Ramon Santiago filling Neifi’s role) but that wasn’t because I don’t think he can be a starter in the majors.

That role might be a stretch for him in 2008, but I wouldn’t count him out as ever being a starter. What I think could end up happening with Hollimon is he could use the AFL and the spring to force his way onto the active roster. If he does that, I think he would do it in a bench role similar to Infante’s role coming into 2007.

I’m kind of rooting for that to happen, but only if Leyland likes him and works to get him fairly regular at bats. Otherwise, I’d rather just see him play everyday in Toledo.

As for his award from BA, it was as the Best Defensive Second Baseman. Asdrubal Cabrera won for Best Shortstop.

billfer October 17, 2007 at 6:30 pm

I like Hollimon, and do think he could be an everyday player at the big league level. I don’t know if that happens next year or not though.

But you can’t go into next year with him as the starter as the plan. I like him, but it is hard to win a starting job in the AFL which is what he’d have to do. And it’s dangerous counting on a player as a regular who has never played at the big league level if you’re a contender.

As for Mike’s age concerns, Hollimon has been old, but I think some of those concerns should be alleviated in that he skipped a level and still had success. It’s not like he’s been at AA for 3 years. And he wasn’t over 2 years old for the league this year, it was more like 18 months.

Kathy October 17, 2007 at 9:51 pm

I thought the same thing Andrew. And the guy who looks like Leyland is talking to a guy who looks like a young Dave Dombrowski with dark hair. Hah!!

Stephen October 17, 2007 at 10:40 pm

RE: Would 2 years and $14 or $15 million be too much for a player with declining skills? Apparently not as we still have 3 years and 18 million for a player with declining skills. Steve Phillips is a hack. There’s a reason he’s still on television. He’s the guy who signed Mo Vaughn to a gazillion five year contract and has some, uh, marital issues that made it into the papers.
If I’m a perennial 50 hr 140 rbi guy looking to win a championship, I’d want to look at what’s down on the farm. For all of A-Rod’s personality flaws, the Tigers have recently employed America’s Malcontent–Sheffield– a shoplifter-Craig Monroe-an amphetamine head-Neifi Perez–a man in and out of rehab–Dmitri Young–a man who pushed a camera into a working journalist’s face –Kenny Rogers–so if the worst the best baseball player alive does is demand a luxury box and inquire whether there are any position players on the way, the Tigers should just shut the hell up and say thank you.

Deaner October 17, 2007 at 10:55 pm

I love the fact that Leyland is holding a cigarette in his left hand… classic!

Mike R October 18, 2007 at 2:22 am

I did say he seems like he’d be a good fit for the role Infante had coming into 2007 (with Ramon Santiago filling Neifi’s role) but that wasn’t because I don’t think he can be a starter in the majors.

That role might be a stretch for him in 2008, but I wouldn’t count him out as ever being a starter. What I think could end up happening with Hollimon is he could use the AFL and the spring to force his way onto the active roster. If he does that, I think he would do it in a bench role similar to Infante’s role coming into 2007.

I’m kind of rooting for that to happen, but only if Leyland likes him and works to get him fairly regular at bats. Otherwise, I’d rather just see him play everyday in Toledo.

As for his award from BA, it was as the Best Defensive Second Baseman. Asdrubal Cabrera won for Best Shortstop.

I’m fine with him being in a bench role. I just still am skeptical of a 25 year olds success in Double-A and would like to see him at Triple-A but I think i could handle him as a bench player. Especially since I would be very surprised if Omar Infante is part of the Tigers organization come next April.

I forgot he made the move to 2B this year.

I like Hollimon, and do think he could be an everyday player at the big league level. I don’t know if that happens next year or not though.

But you can’t go into next year with him as the starter as the plan. I like him, but it is hard to win a starting job in the AFL which is what he’d have to do. And it’s dangerous counting on a player as a regular who has never played at the big league level if you’re a contender.

As for Mike’s age concerns, Hollimon has been old, but I think some of those concerns should be alleviated in that he skipped a level and still had success. It’s not like he’s been at AA for 3 years. And he wasn’t over 2 years old for the league this year, it was more like 18 months.

I agree with these sentiments. Still, 18 months is substantial. And he should have jumped to Erie. I don’t think there would’ve been a point in testing him in High-A against that talent level. I still am just taking his success thus far with little more then a grain of salt. I need to see more from him against people his own age, but his results have been impressive thus far, even if he is old for the levels.

Ryan Shannon October 18, 2007 at 10:12 am

Stephen,

I’m so sick of hearing Craig Monroe referred to as a shoplifter. Dude, he stole a belt when he was like two years old. I think the statute of limitations has just about elapsed. I think the Unabomber, or possibly Tim McVeigh, has a lock on ‘America’s malcontent’. You may want to quit this site, because I put a pack of ’85 Topps in my sock and left A&P with them when I was four. Yes, I’m a shoplifter. Based on what I’ve done once, I am a vandal, a public intoxer, a drug user, a jaywalker, an assaulter and batterer in my seventh grade lunchroom, a house-egger, and one time I rubbed spoiled bratwurst on the grill of these vegans I didn’t like, whatever you want to call that. I think it’s insane to hold these players to such a high moral standard, who have done things your neighbor has done on a bad day, and not even mention Ugueth Urbina, who did something legitimately horrible and is worthy of looking down on.

And the picture –
Leyland – Hey, did you guys catch 24 last night?
DD – Naw, I haven’t seen it in like two years.
Leyland – So the president get a ca
Chuck – Hey guys! We’re here for the game, alright! Lets watch it!
*20 seconds of silence*
Leyland – *Lights up and exhales deeply* So anyway, it turns out that the terrorists are pla
Chuck – *Turns around* Guys! Hey, put that out Jim! I’m serious!
Leyland quietly to DD – What is he worried about? Like he’s gonna smell any worse on account of this cig.
DD – *Chuckles silently to self*
Chuck – I heard that, guys! Hmmph. *folds arms*
*20 seconds of silence*
*Leyland rolls his eyes*
Leyland – So they get their hands on all this nitrate…

Picture taken

Mike R October 18, 2007 at 10:19 am

Well, just to nit-pick: Craig Monroe stole a $30 belt in 2004 when he was 27. Not like Stephen’s bringing up something he did in high school. I would think it’d be reasonable to expect that a baseball player making at least hundreds of thousands of dollars would not shoplift — no matter the item — by the time they’re 27.

Ryan Shannon October 18, 2007 at 10:44 am

Fair enough, Mike, but I don’t think this crime is significant enough to land him on a list of ‘bad guys’, much less be a defining personality trait. Fine if people disagree with that, just my opinion.

BobS. October 18, 2007 at 11:19 am

At the age of 27,stealing is arguably a defining personality trait.
While possible,it’s also no more likely Craig Monroe was caught shoplifting on his very first attempt than it is that Larry Craig was caught cruising on his maiden voyage.

Kathy October 18, 2007 at 2:55 pm

5 years ago I was trying on a million clothes in J.C. Penney’s and almost walked out with a top on and very easily could have gotten away with it. It almost freaked me out when I realized it and went back in the dressing room and took it off. Things like that do happen…….not very often, but it does happen.

Stephen October 18, 2007 at 3:40 pm

Ryan, I was merely pointing out inconsistencies in the way we view players. I’m not against signing shoplifters; heck part of my adolescence was predicated on lifting girlie magazines from a Grayling truck stop on the way to Torch Lake. And I still think releasing Dmitri Young last year was a mistake even if he smelled of vodka and strohs. I’m just saying we allow so many other things to slide and yet A-Rod gets grief for being an unloveable one man corporation. If we look the other way on these guys, why make such a stink about A-Rod being a law-abiding partial jackass?

Mike R October 18, 2007 at 8:49 pm

Fair enough, Mike, but I don’t think this crime is significant enough to land him on a list of ‘bad guys’, much less be a defining personality trait. Fine if people disagree with that, just my opinion.

I know. Personally, I don’t care either way — it’s a belt. Is it kind of disheartening that a pro athlete would allegedly steal a belt? Yeah. Do I hate him for it? No.

I hate him for being a mediocre baseball player.

Roger DeWitt October 18, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Thanks for the publicity Bill. All of it helps all of us share our love of our game.

Kathy October 19, 2007 at 9:08 am

The only difference between the aforementiond players (Sheff, C-Mo, Neifi, Kenny) and the rest of us is…….they got caught.

BobS. October 19, 2007 at 10:28 am

Speak for yourself,Kathy.I haven’t stolen from others since I stopped lifting money from my mom’s change purse to buy baseball cards.Remind me to take inventory after you visit.

Kathy October 19, 2007 at 11:14 am

Ever kiss a girl who was 15? Ever drive if you’ve been over the legal limit (what is it now, .08? Ever smoke weed? I could go on and on but you get my drift.

Jim October 19, 2007 at 8:46 pm

I left a man for dead in Toledo once. I stole his belt too.

BobS. October 20, 2007 at 9:32 am

Yes,Kathy,I have kissed 15 year old girls.When I was 15.Your insinuation that it’s normal or commonplace for adult men to engage in that activity is more than a little troubling.In any event,however,I’m not sure how that criminal sexual behaviour relates to the very particular case of Monroe that I was commenting on and the questions his shoplifting raise about his character.

Kathy October 20, 2007 at 10:07 am

It’s OK BobS, I believe you have truly never sinned or lied in your entire life and your character is stalwart unlike 99.9% of the population! You’re a truly unstanding guy!

BobS. October 20, 2007 at 10:32 am

I don’t remember making those claims about myself,Kathy.Please direct me to the comment you’re referring to.
I do deny engaging in intimate behaviour with underage girls,which your comment suggests is concerningly normal in your own circle of friends and family.I also objected to the suggestion that the only difference between Monroe and ‘the rest of us’ (which I believe includes me) is that we (I) haven’t been caught when we steal.I haven’t been caught because I don’t steal.
I didn’t advocate jailing,stoning,or amputation for Monroe.I simply made the observation that it can reflect poorly on an individual’s character to steal from others,particularly at the time in his life when he was caught,an age when an individual’s moral compass should be able to tell north from south.

PHT in HK October 20, 2007 at 10:51 am

As I have mentioned before . . . I love this site for the great debates and references to things from my past.

Stephen – This Stroh’s for you!

PHT in HK October 20, 2007 at 10:56 am

Stephen – Do they still distill Smirnoff’s in Allen Park off of I-94 on the way to the airport?

One of the down sides of living in Hong Kong is that you can’t get stuff like Stroh’s, Magnum, Colt 45, Olde English 800, etc. The only American swill you can find is PBR.

ron October 20, 2007 at 11:47 am

Nice World Series ring Jim is wearing. Too bad it’s not Detroit’s. At least he still has a job.

billfer October 20, 2007 at 11:52 am

Who said it wasn’t a Tigers ring? Ilitich gave out rings this year.

PHT, they don’t make Smirnoff there anymore. And Stroh’s is made by Miller now. Plus, Stroh’s used to make all those brands that you mentioned.

Kathy October 20, 2007 at 1:10 pm

And Thank God Maggs gave Maybin his credit card and sent him to his favorite store to purchase suits and dress clothes…I’d imagine there were a few belts in different colors purchased too. This is a true story.

ron October 21, 2007 at 1:20 am

If Maybin signed Maggs credit card, than he was guilty of fraud. Trade Maybin now!

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