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Tigers close to acquiring Jacque Jones

Jon Paul Morosi is reporting that the Tigers are “close to finalizing” a deal where Detroit would send Omar Infante to the Chicago Cubs for Jacque Jones. 

If it comes to fruition, I like the deal.  Omar Infante doesn’t really have a role on the team at this point and never seemed to garner Jim Leyland’s favor (this was the reason for the Neifi Perez acquisition).  Ryan Raburn and Mike Hollimon both look ready to assume the super sub role that Infante held for the last 2 years.

As for Jones, he could make for a nice left handed platoon partner in left field for either Raburn or Marcus Thames.  For his career Jones is a 294/342/483 hitter against right handed pitching.  The biggest concern is that he’s coming off a year in which he only slugged .400 and only had 5 homers.  Whether it was a one year fluke (it was by far the lowest slugging of his career) or him collapsing remains to be seen.

Still, he’s only owed one year and $5.5 million so even if he is awful it won’t hurt the team financially.  It’s only a problem if he’s awful and continues to garner playing time (like that’s never happened before).

Defensively he played a couple outfield positions for the Cubs and rated well at least in terms of PMR.

Tigers near deal for Cubs OF Jones

Posted by on November 12, 2007.

Categories: Trade Rumors

52 Responses

  1. Supposedly it’s a done deal. But I don’t know enough about this guy to even state an opinion. So I’ll just read what the rest of you have to say.

    by Kathy on Nov 12, 2007 at 12:01 pm

  2. I don’t think there’s anything not to like about this. Jones should have been a platoon player for years…although the Twins and Cubs could never really figure that out.

    My question is….why on Earth would the Cubs make this move? Unless they plan to non-tender Omar to free up roster room…it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    by Eric W. Kent on Nov 12, 2007 at 12:07 pm

  3. And the Tigers take another step toward reviving the ABC dramedy, ‘thirtysomething.’ Apparently there’s something in Dombrowski’s contract against adding anyone in the 27 to 30 age group.

    I guess it’s ok, but he’s not a difference maker and only marginally upgrades left field. He’s a hacker–walks way down last two years–with no power. Maybe it will return, or maybe he will be 2008′s Sean Casey. He doesn’t solve the Tigers weakness of meager offensive returns from LF, catcher, third, and first. (well, i guess we upgraded with guillen at first, who i love, but if guillen even has a 10-15% dropoff, he’s just average offensive wise at first).

    However, if the Tigers’ budget is limitless, it’s a good deal based on what we’re giving up.

    by Stephen on Nov 12, 2007 at 12:24 pm

  4. This is a good deal. While I liked Infante, there’s no room for him here. A platoon of Jones and Thames/Raburn should give the Tigers some decent production until Maybin is ready. Lets not forget, too, that this combo of players mostly likely will be batting 7th or 8th in the lineup. I think it’s an upgrade from Casey.

    by Scott on Nov 12, 2007 at 12:42 pm

  5. Eric, I think the Cubs made this deal because they are going to try Pie in OF full time (with Murton and Soriano), making Jones unnecessary, and they rightly think that Infante will be a significant offensive upgrade from sub-.700 OPS Ryan Theriot. Infante should have every chance to be the starting SS in Chicago. The only sad part of this deal is that it seems like the end for Marcus Thames; Jones/Raburn is now the one-year bridge to Maybin in left. It still seems to me like Thames is thisclose to figuring it out and being a star, but who knows if he ever gets there.

    by Ryan on Nov 12, 2007 at 12:47 pm

  6. I think we have pretty much seen what Thames is … a platoon player. He’s good on a limited basis, and gets exposed with too many ABs. If we get Jones, I think you’ll see him get 350-400 at bats with Thames and/or Raburn soaking up the rest.

    by Scott on Nov 12, 2007 at 12:56 pm

  7. OK, I lied, I am going to say something. Let Raburn stay an infielder, for the most part, and share (I know..the Skipper probably won’t let that happen) 3rd with Inge especially against righties, since Inge can’t seem to hit the broadside of a barn against them. If they are gonna pay a guy for one year (Jones), why not Kenny Lofton, who’s still good, still fast and a clutch hitter for a 1 yr deal? Good thing I’m not the GM, huh?

    by Kathy on Nov 12, 2007 at 1:00 pm

  8. Yea, giving up omar isn’t really an issue with santiago/raburn on the roster, but someone explain this to me: how does someone go from averaging 23 homers a year for five years to hitting 5? 5? Carlos Zambrano hit 6 in 2006! That just doesn’t happen to healthy major leaguers with regular playing time. I guess I’d take his career 294/342/483 against RHP, but I’m VERY concerned that we’re more likely to see a 270/310/380 from him in 2008 (why should we expect more than 5 homers next year in a bigger park?), which any AAA outfielder should be able to beat. I would have preferred lofton (lofton hit 7 hr last year) or even jenkins to jones, but at least he’s got a reasonable contract and we don’t really give anything up.

    by Don on Nov 12, 2007 at 1:16 pm

  9. FWIW, though, jones is supposed to be a very good defender still, which we haven’t had in left field for a long, long time.

    by Don on Nov 12, 2007 at 1:26 pm

  10. Everyone prepare yourselves for watching Jones swing at countless down-and-in sliders in the dirt and fire one throw after another into the ground ilke a quarterback trying to spike the ball and stop the clock.

    At least we didn’t give up much in Omar, but somebody really needs to cut off the friendship between DD and Jim Hendry before we end up with Jason Kendall.

    by Mark in Chicago on Nov 12, 2007 at 1:33 pm

  11. As far as I can tell he has great range and yes he did only hit 5 hrs last year, but hit over 23 long-bombs 3 from 2004-2006.

    Plus he is a lefty which will help Leyland go RLRLRL and make it harder for opposing managers in the late innings.

    I still really think Raburn should be given a shot, but will probably now be in the IF.

    I bet they platoon Jones(against RHP) and Thames (against LHP)

    With Grandy in CF and Jones in LF that should really help our D.

    I don’t think Thames will ever be a star and is exposed when he is batting. Like Inge(at times) Monroe, Shef etc. they all have been trying for HRs.

    Whatever happened to the Baltimore-chop? bunting? =(

    I wish the Tigers would play more small ball and use more hit-and-runs.

    by David on Nov 12, 2007 at 1:40 pm

  12. The mood ring on my Google tool bar says I’m “nervous, on-edge, uncertain”. Well, that says it all.

    by Kathy on Nov 12, 2007 at 2:08 pm

  13. Better than over-paying for a guy like Geoff Jenkins looking for a payday.

    Smart way to save some cash to make a run at a starter and some relief help.

    At least Drombrowski is proactive…and not trading for, say, Brad Ausmus.

    by Mike in CT on Nov 12, 2007 at 2:17 pm

  14. [...] Detroit Tigers Weblog [...]

    by Cubs Ship Jacque Jones to Detroit on Nov 12, 2007 at 2:29 pm

  15. I like the deal, as well Billfer. Fairly cheap and he wasn’t the only one to feel HR drought in Chicago last year as the Cubs in general weren’t hitting HR’s until the final month and a half of the year when they went on to clinch the division from the sinkhole that were the Brewers.

    We also improve defensively, even if it is for just what will probably be more platoon then anything.

    And the Tigers take another step toward reviving the ABC dramedy, ‘thirtysomething.’ Apparently there’s something in Dombrowski’s contract against adding anyone in the 27 to 30 age group.

    I guess it’s ok, but he’s not a difference maker and only marginally upgrades left field. He’s a hacker–walks way down last two years–with no power. Maybe it will return, or maybe he will be 2008’s Sean Casey. He doesn’t solve the Tigers weakness of meager offensive returns from LF, catcher, third, and first. (well, i guess we upgraded with guillen at first, who i love, but if guillen even has a 10-15% dropoff, he’s just average offensive wise at first).

    However, if the Tigers’ budget is limitless, it’s a good deal based on what we’re giving up.

    Who is Omar Infante bringing back that will be a platooner and is in their late 20′s? Anyone who’s relegated to a platoon outfield role before they’re 30 probably aren’t worth the cost of trading Omar Infante for. Jones is a nice stick that looked to have a down year — especially in power which the whole Cubs team had for 5/6ths of the season — and is solid corner outfield defender.

    In my opinion, we’ve made 2 shrewd and cost effective moves that have left us as a better team then we were when the season ended — both at the plate and in the field. We’re no younger but a project to get younger and still be a world series contender is real hard to do.

    by Mike R on Nov 12, 2007 at 2:30 pm

  16. I pretty much have to agree with Mark in Chicago. Although I haven’t payed too much attention since Jones went to the Cubs, when he was with the Twins the rap on him was exactly what Mark says: no plate discipline, trying to hit the 5-run homer, poor baserunning, etc. When he left here a couple of years ago, most fans were not disappointed. He could very well turn out to be a LH hitting version of Craig Monroe (hopefully the ’06 version rather than the ’07 one).

    On the other hand I guess you could argue that it is somewhat of an upgrade as far as the LF platoon situation and the bench goes. It’s only 1 year and not much money, and we didn’t give up much since Infante was obviously in the dog house.

    Now DD can concentrate on the pitching staff. Odds are also good that we can see the departure of Shelton pretty soon since DD seems to like to get the roster set relatively early.

    by Vince in MN on Nov 12, 2007 at 2:32 pm

  17. Oh how I don’t miss the Randy Smith years.

    I can’t say this does much for me either way. I will say that I was always a little frustrated with the way Infante was treated by Leyland. I thought he was a decent player and certainly preferred him to either Perez or Santiago. I mean, at least he could hit fastballs out of the infield.

    Jones isn’t gonna be the difference between making the playoffs or not and his time in Chicago did not end auspiciously. I obviously share everyone’s concern with the precipitous decline in power.

    His age doesn’t bother me much because it’s not like he’s 38 and this is obviously a short-term move.

    I’m certainly not sure if this was solely a choice between Jones and Jenkins, but I agree we could’ve done something a hell of a lot dumber than making this deal.

    by Joey C. on Nov 12, 2007 at 2:36 pm

  18. Giving Jones 350 ABs against right-handed pitching probably won’t kill us, and he will run down his share of balls in LF with his range (I again stress the terrible throws from the outfield. A 27-hopper to the cutoff man – essentially a ground ball – is not a good thing. Don’t say I didn’t warn you). Given our options in left prior to the trade, this does make some sense, and is far more palatable than most alternatives. As Mike in CT points, out, it’s a one-year move and better than overpaying for Geoff Jenkins, who’s only advantage over Jones is more power.

    This is a lineup where Jones will 7th or 8th, instead of 5th/6th (or worse, 2nd), as he did with the Cubs. I can tolerate this kind of bat at the bottom of the order, even with the rally-killing K’s.

    At a minimum, it deepens the bench, as either Thames or Jones will be available most days to match up against other team’s bullpens. And it appears they wil not rely on Timo Perez, which is also a plus.

    Good to see there is still room to add some pitching, let’s hope DD can keep the phones working.

    by Mark in Chicago on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:08 pm

  19. Anyone want to argue that jones in LF in 2008 would be better than Raburn in LF in 2008? Or Raburn and Thames? Or craig monroe? I don’t have a problem with the cost to acquire (infante) or the salary ($5.5 mil), I just have a problem with giving 500 corner-outfield at-bats to a guy who hit 5 homers all of last year.
    Can anyone think of a player who went from mid-20s homers one year to 5 the next (in full time work) and then back up to 20? seems like a bad bet.

    by Don on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:18 pm

  20. Son #1 just called to tell me the news. Of course, I pretended I didn’t know. “He’s real fast, mom.”

    by Kathy on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:22 pm

  21. I like the deal and think you hope, and can reasonably expect, one of the three establishes himself at some point during the year. Hopefully, it’s Raburn. Worst case, we just got a decent LH-bat, arm, and legs for the bench.

    Good luck to Omar, I hope this is his shot at the everyday (not counting 03), and I hope he does well.

    by Chris Y. on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:28 pm

  22. I dont care what his stats are as long as he can get a few hits in the clutch. Maybe a change of scenery will inspire him. We still need a clubhouse leader.

    by ron on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:49 pm

  23. Good Deal for the Tigers.

    Jones career numbers:
    v RHP: 294/342/483
    v LHP: 233/281/355

    Thames career numbers:
    v RHP: 226/287/479
    v LHP: 263/333/512

    So, I think they will make an excellent Platoon in LF.

    I see Rayburn and Santiago offering the depth on the Bench.

    -Sam

    by Sam on Nov 12, 2007 at 4:24 pm

  24. I dont see how putting a LH career .285 batting average guy in the 6th 7th or 8th spot is a bad thing. He has had power in the past and more often than not a drop off in power that significant is a fluke. Plus he will be hitting towards the shallowest part of Comerica Park lol not that its all that shallow. And like we as Tigers fans arent used to free swinging batters I mean I promise Jones cant be any better at killing rallies than Inge is. Heck Jones might even take full swings on strike three instead of half a$$ check swings. I just cant see any down side to this trade. We got our left handed bat with some potential pop, upgraded our defense in LF, and got something in return for Infante who was in AAA.

    by Josh M. on Nov 12, 2007 at 4:46 pm

  25. Anyone want to argue that jones in LF in 2008 would be better than Raburn in LF in 2008? Or Raburn and Thames? Or craig monroe? I don’t have a problem with the cost to acquire (infante) or the salary ($5.5 mil), I just have a problem with giving 500 corner-outfield at-bats to a guy who hit 5 homers all of last year.
    Can anyone think of a player who went from mid-20s homers one year to 5 the next (in full time work) and then back up to 20? seems like a bad bet.

    Well, I doubt that Jones is getting 500 AB’s this year and if he does it means that we potentially had big injury issues in the OF. I think he’s setting up to platoon in LF and therefore we won’t be expecting him to jump back to the mid 20′s in HR’s. His drop off is severe last year, but the Cubs power as a team was down last year. Pre-all-star break the Cubs hit 74 HR’s in 87 games. Contrasted to Detroit who hit 103 in 86 games. Jones also slugged .458 after the all-star break and from 05-07 has posted .272/.329/.448, which is something acceptable for a platooning corner OF who is above average defensively.

    by Mike R on Nov 12, 2007 at 4:50 pm

  26. Oh, and I meant to mention that all this said, I still would have preferred Shannon Stewart in LF, depending on the price tag/length of the deal.

    by Mike R on Nov 12, 2007 at 4:51 pm

  27. Shannon Stewart? No. Talk about a defensive nightmare, and a guy older and with no power is not what we need.

    I am cautiously optimistic about this. I think we have the makings of a very productive and relatively cheap LF platoon. However, I wish DD had managed to pry Luke Scott from the Astros. In 626 career PAs against RHP, he;s got an OPS just shy of .900 – and he’s younger and cheaper. He was widely reported to be available. Could have been worse, though.

    I’m intrigued as to what happens with the pitching now.

    by Walewander on Nov 12, 2007 at 5:54 pm

  28. In terms of talent I don’t like this a bit. Infante is six years younger, just coming into his prime years, and has never really gotten a chance to start. Jones has been overrated forever.

    That said the deal addresses a need. Jones won’t hurt them if they religiously sit him down against lefties. With both Thames and Raburn available that should not be a problem, although if they want to sit Granderson down against a lefty Jones doesn’t help.

    Infante was never going to play much. Every time he got a chance to play a bigger role he would make a terrible error. Usually a head uo a$$ error, the kind that drives Leyland up a wall. (I’m thinking the tailor-made double play ball that went through his legs in Boston right after Polanco got hurt.) Next thing you know it’s Neifi and/or Santiago.

    I still think Infante could be a good player and Jones is likely a one year rental. Another “win now” move, like Renteria. They key is you have to win. John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander was bad enough even with the division title they won. If they had finished second that year it would go down as one of the worst deals of all time. Not that Infante will be great but you get the idea.

    by Tim D on Nov 12, 2007 at 6:14 pm

  29. We aren’t going to ask or need much from LF, anything we get offensivley will be nice, but we need sollid D out there. When he doesn’t start, he could be nice late inning replacement in all 3 OF positions. I REALLY like this move. Here is how I see the lineup against RHs

    CF Granderson
    2B Polanco
    DH Sheffield
    RF Ordonez
    1B Guillen
    SS Renteria
    LF Jones
    C Pudge
    3B Inge

    That is not bad, not bad at all. Probably just punch in Thames for Jones against LH.

    by Chris in Nashville on Nov 12, 2007 at 6:26 pm

  30. We got Omar and Timo off the team in one deal? Heck yeah! He’s not great, but out of the 8 hole he’ll work. Not bad.

    by Jim on Nov 12, 2007 at 6:51 pm

  31. the cubs lack of power last year doesn’t somehow excuse jones’ hitting 5 homers in 453 at bats. Someone said “He has had power in the past and more often than not a drop off in power that significant is a fluke.” Evidence for that wild assertion? Power production is one of the most consistent, predictive statistics there are, going from 27 to 5 (in only 80 fewer PAs) is not a fluke, it has to be indicative of a degrading skills/hidden injury. Plus he did it in the NL central, probably the weakest division in baseball – quick, name 5 good pitchers in the NL central. I’m not trashing this deal, we didn’t really give up anything we needed, I’m just saying jones isn’t the guy he used to be. Can he maybe be effective enough to help the tigers next year in a limited role? I guess, but I’m not convinced that he’s the RHP masher people are making him out to be. We can’t just ignore his crap-2007, can we?

    by Don on Nov 12, 2007 at 7:06 pm

  32. I hope this isn’t as good as it gets this off season.
    I think Joey C nailed it-the Tigers could have done something dumber,so be thankful.

    by BobS. on Nov 12, 2007 at 8:21 pm

  33. Shannon Stewart? No. Talk about a defensive nightmare, and a guy older and with no power is not what we need.

    I am cautiously optimistic about this. I think we have the makings of a very productive and relatively cheap LF platoon. However, I wish DD had managed to pry Luke Scott from the Astros. In 626 career PAs against RHP, he;s got an OPS just shy of .900 – and he’s younger and cheaper. He was widely reported to be available. Could have been worse, though.

    I’m intrigued as to what happens with the pitching now.

    Shannon Stewart’s far from a defensive nightmare. He was one of the better LFers in baseball defensively last year. Injuries are a concern with him but that drives his cost down and he’s got enough pop to get by on a team where we get above average production from various positions.

    the cubs lack of power last year doesn’t somehow excuse jones’ hitting 5 homers in 453 at bats. Someone said “He has had power in the past and more often than not a drop off in power that significant is a fluke.” Evidence for that wild assertion? Power production is one of the most consistent, predictive statistics there are, going from 27 to 5 (in only 80 fewer PAs) is not a fluke, it has to be indicative of a degrading skills/hidden injury. Plus he did it in the NL central, probably the weakest division in baseball – quick, name 5 good pitchers in the NL central. I’m not trashing this deal, we didn’t really give up anything we needed, I’m just saying jones isn’t the guy he used to be. Can he maybe be effective enough to help the tigers next year in a limited role? I guess, but I’m not convinced that he’s the RHP masher people are making him out to be. We can’t just ignore his crap-2007, can we?

    Yes he was bad in 2007, but his 05-07 (3 year average) vitals are .272/.329/.449, which isn’t overly terrible from a platoon parter for only $5.5 million in an inflated market.

    by Mike R on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:02 pm

  34. Yeah, mike, but my point is why ignore 2007? Something’s wrong, and a LF who hits 5 homers in 453 at bats has NEGATIVE VALUE, in that you could give his at bats to a more productive person – it’s like having sean casey at first, does he do anything to hurt the team, no, but the cost is the opportunity cost of employing a better option. I hope he bounces back and hits righties well enough to give us an 800 ops platoon with someone, I’m just going on record as being highly skeptical.

    by Don on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:32 pm

  35. Nightmare is overstating it, true, but most defensive metrics fail to account for Stewart’s arm, which makes Johnny Damon look like Ichiro. Even with a good year from him, his numbers were just OK, not good enough for a starting LF, 2007 is as god as it will get with him.

    Inflated market? It is what it is. It’s not like there are other markets in which the Tigers can go get LFs without the same competition.

    The Doyle trade would have been more of a disaster not if we hadn’t won the division, but if he hadn’t been as good as he was (9-0 with an ERA around 1.86). As rentals go, you can’t ask for any better performance that that.

    We might have won the pennant if they gave us our rightful HFA and we wouldn’t have had to deal with Minny pumping in crowd noise and their bush league music and sound effects. The last two Tigers postseason teams have lost to the worst champions in recent memory.

    by Walewander on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:36 pm

  36. Not only the noise,but the HVAC was reputedly manipulated to favor the Twins,whose home and road records that year were curiously reversed(something like twice as many wins than losses at home and just the opposite on the road).
    The hate I feel for the Twins is second only to that I have for the Yankees,mostly because of 1987.

    by BobS. on Nov 12, 2007 at 10:50 pm

  37. WOW is what I can say about this offseason already.

    1. Renteria- Awesome choice and an obvious major upgrade over Casey. And an upgrade defensively for the SS position. Moving Guillen to 1B, I hope will keep his stats high or hopfully higher by resting his knees. The cost was Gorkys(#5 prospect now in the Braves org.) and My baby Tiger Jair Jurrjens.( #3 prospect in the Braves org.) The cost was high but filled a void we needed and with great offensive and defensive cababilities.

    Trade advantage – Even

    2. And then comes Jones. Jones is a moderately above average Of who is in his prime, had a down power year(so did the Cubs all season as Mike has said.) But this is also his FA year and he wants maximum buck for his talent so he wont be putting up crap 5 HR numbers this year but being platooned he wont get those 25+ HR he had a while back either. Either way it is a very decent to great trade from DD. This cost of Infante is alright since Leyland didnt seem to like him after his aweful performances when he was in for Polanco last year, and subbing for Guillen this year as well. It was a decent risk trade that i believe we got the better of the two.

    Trade advantage – Tigers

    3. FA Todd “Rollercoster” Jones. What can you say hopefully Zumaya will be back and not have to re-learn how to pitch after his accident :( . Jones will be there as our closer for the first half of the season and probably most of the second half and also mentoring Zumaya the closer role. So was more of an urgent move rather then smart move. And 7 million is a bit steep but I guess after having 3 million fill the ballpark for the first time Illitch wants to spend to have more fans fill Comerica this year lol.

    Signing grade ~ B-

    Still there are needs:

    SP someone to fill In #4 or 5 or both depending on if we can sign Rogers again.

    RP a setup guy would be awesome. Im hoping for Brian Fuentes. He pitched great for Colorado this year Im hoping we can get him and put him in the role Zumaya had for first part and give him some good duties afterward. Plus he would be great for a setup man after Jones is gone and Zumaya is the new closer. Plus Fuentes has closer experience so if Zumaya isnt as dominating as he once was, we still have Fuentes to fall back on to be our closer in ’09. Cant wait til the winter meetings to see what goes on next. Keep ‘em coming DD and Leyland the fans(at least I) am loving these deals. Go Tigers!!!

    by Steve in Kzoo on Nov 12, 2007 at 11:19 pm

  38. [...] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here [...]

    by » Comment on Tigers close to acquiring Jacque Jones by Mark in Chicago on Nov 13, 2007 at 2:05 am

  39. [...] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here [...]

    by » Comment on Tigers close to acquiring Jacque Jones by Mark in Chicago on Nov 13, 2007 at 2:05 am

  40. Yeah, mike, but my point is why ignore 2007? Something’s wrong, and a LF who hits 5 homers in 453 at bats has NEGATIVE VALUE, in that you could give his at bats to a more productive person – it’s like having sean casey at first, does he do anything to hurt the team, no, but the cost is the opportunity cost of employing a better option. I hope he bounces back and hits righties well enough to give us an 800 ops platoon with someone, I’m just going on record as being highly skeptical.

    His numbers are deflated by being bad in Wrigley Field. He went for .291/.345/.418 on the road while only .279/.327/.383 at home. I’m not expecting him to hit 25 HR’s next year, but 10-15 while playing above average defense in a platoon roll isn’t asking much. Who’s better that would be roughly the same cost? Geoff Jenkins would likely cost more and other OFer’s that I can think of that would out produce Jones are more expensive. For what he’ll cost, he’ll be more then adequate. I don’t see a reason why his road line with the Cubs last year isn’t a stretch to expect.

    Nightmare is overstating it, true, but most defensive metrics fail to account for Stewart’s arm, which makes Johnny Damon look like Ichiro. Even with a good year from him, his numbers were just OK, not good enough for a starting LF, 2007 is as god as it will get with him.

    Inflated market? It is what it is. It’s not like there are other markets in which the Tigers can go get LFs without the same competition.

    The Doyle trade would have been more of a disaster not if we hadn’t won the division, but if he hadn’t been as good as he was (9-0 with an ERA around 1.86). As rentals go, you can’t ask for any better performance that that.

    We might have won the pennant if they gave us our rightful HFA and we wouldn’t have had to deal with Minny pumping in crowd noise and their bush league music and sound effects. The last two Tigers postseason teams have lost to the worst champions in recent memory.

    Well his lack of a throwing arm doesn’t over shadow the fact that he’s still an above average corner outfielder. Curtis Granderson can’t throw a stone into the ocean and was right there with Ichiro for best defensive CFer last year. Is he any worse because he doesn’t have the Vlad Guerrero arm? No.

    And, like Jacque Jones, Stewart was KILLED by his home park last year (where his BABIP would indicate he had a big amount of bad luck).

    2007 Home:.252/.311/.319, 296 Plate appearances.
    Road: .324/.375/.461, 334 PA’s.

    So somewhere in the mean of that would be a legit expectation and that would be fine from a corner outfielder.

    by Mike R on Nov 13, 2007 at 2:58 am

  41. We all need to remember when we consider the other options (Jenkins, Lofton, Stewart) that they are all free agents and they have to WANT to come here. Not that we haven’t become an attractive team, but there are a lot of factors (money, proximity to home, weather, ballpark) that can rule out a guy who would otherwise be a perfect fit. What if Stewart didn’t like the weather in Toronto in March and September and wants to stay in California? What if Lofton wants to finish his career in Cleveland? What if Jenkins wants a guaranteed starting job? Any one of them could ask for a ridiculous payment and some other team take a chance on it.

    So we can pontificate all we want, but the truth is, DD went out and got a guy quickly to fill the same role as Timo, but is more proven and should be better. And he got him for a pretty good price, as Infante was rendered expendable. Better than waiting around for possible free agents, seeing them all refuse our offers and get nothing.

    by Mark L on Nov 13, 2007 at 5:49 am

  42. You can be very productive without hitting homers.

    by ron on Nov 13, 2007 at 12:27 pm

  43. as a cubs fan, i didn’t like the jacque jones deal. he had a great second half last year. i really don’t think that infante will help the cubs that much. obviously, this will be negated if the cubs go ou & get a tori hunter or someone comparable. in the meantime, good luck jacque. i hope you help the tigers big time!!!!

    by jim in arizona on Nov 13, 2007 at 12:40 pm

  44. Don, I accept your challenge.

    Carlos Zambramo, Roy Oswalt, Aaron Harang, Tom Gorzelanny, Adam Wainright, Ben Sheets when healthy, Chris Carpenter when healthy, Yovani Gallardo, Bronson Arroyo. I think five of those are fairly close to Sabathia, Carmona, Verlander, Santana, and Buerhle/Meche. The NL Central does suck, but I don’t think it’s the pitching (try it with the NL East – Smoltz, Hudson, Hamels, John Maine? Dontrelle Willis? Jamie Moyer!?!). I wouldn’t necessarily downgrade a bat from the NL Central based on the division. Plenty of other reasons for doubt.

    by Ryan on Nov 13, 2007 at 1:24 pm

  45. good try ryan, not convinced though: (1) jones didn’t have to hit agaisnt zambrano (2) carpenter and sheets weren’t healthy last year (3) arroyo, wainright, gorzelanny are all adequate at best – add 1 run to any of there eras if they pitch in a the NL west or east and add 1.5 runs if they pitch in the AL. I alwasys forget that harang’s good now. I’m just miffed as to how jones could hit 5 homers in full time and people think it’s a good pickup.

    And yes, ron, you can be a valuable player withut hitting homers, if you play stellar defense, have a high OBP and steal bases. none of which jones does.

    by Don on Nov 13, 2007 at 1:57 pm

  46. quote:

    Curtis Granderson can’t throw a stone into the ocean and was right there with Ichiro for best defensive CFer last year.

    unquote:

    I find it fascinating that this notion persists. Does Granderson have an identical twin, that kidnapped Curits, played in his stead, and displayed an extremely strong arm in his place the 20+ games I saw in person last year? Granderson might be very innacurate, and boy did he unload some wild ones a few times, but to agree that he doesn’t have arm ‘strength’, which I define as the ability to throw long distances, would be simliar to agreeing that someone doesn’t have power after seeing them crush 5 consecutive HR’s 50 feet past the centerfield wall at Comerica.

    by greg on Nov 13, 2007 at 3:11 pm

  47. I agree Mike, Stewart would be a nice fit in left. Injury risk, yes, but a lot less on real grass, the artificial turf in Toronto and Minnesota really caused his plantar fasciitus, and other problems, to flare up. Oakland supresses BA with the enormous foul territory there.

    He would come alot cheaper than Jones also…..although the Cubs are picking up some of the tab, anyone know how much?

    by greg on Nov 13, 2007 at 3:19 pm

  48. That would be according to MLBTR $2 million the cubs are sending for us. That is pretty good considering they were just “salary dumping” him on us. Like MLBTR said its just a savings total of like $1.5 million thats not exactly a dump of salary, do they really see something big for Infante. Like a full time 2B or SS?

    by Steve in Kzoo on Nov 13, 2007 at 3:35 pm

  49. Don -

    Actually, Ryan’s response precisely fills the criteria of your challenge. Neither of your first two objections are relevant, as neither was stated in your original challenge. Your third objection is speculative and presumably based on your own subjective observations.

    by Dave on Nov 13, 2007 at 6:03 pm

  50. quote:

    Curtis Granderson can’t throw a stone into the ocean and was right there with Ichiro for best defensive CFer last year.

    unquote:

    I find it fascinating that this notion persists. Does Granderson have an identical twin, that kidnapped Curits, played in his stead, and displayed an extremely strong arm in his place the 20+ games I saw in person last year? Granderson might be very innacurate, and boy did he unload some wild ones a few times, but to agree that he doesn’t have arm ’strength’, which I define as the ability to throw long distances, would be simliar to agreeing that someone doesn’t have power after seeing them crush 5 consecutive HR’s 50 feet past the centerfield wall at Comerica.

    I never said he didn’t have arm strength. What good is the strength if you’re throwing to the backstop? I said he couldn’t throw a stone into the ocean — because he’s completely wild with his throws.

    I agree Mike, Stewart would be a nice fit in left. Injury risk, yes, but a lot less on real grass, the artificial turf in Toronto and Minnesota really caused his plantar fasciitus, and other problems, to flare up. Oakland supresses BA with the enormous foul territory there.

    He would come alot cheaper than Jones also…..although the Cubs are picking up some of the tab, anyone know how much?

    I’m completely fine with going in with a Jones/Thames platoon, but I just hope they kicked the tires on Shannon Stewart. Maybe playing in Detroit isn’t something he wanted to do and that’s fine — hopefully they didn’t act before they explored all options first which I’m going to assume they did.

    by Mike R on Nov 14, 2007 at 1:40 am

  51. quote:

    I never said he didn’t have arm strength. What good is the strength if you’re throwing to the backstop? I said he couldn’t throw a stone into the ocean — because he’s completely wild with his throws.

    quote

    Good point. I made a faulty assumption about your comment. Right now, his strength with wildness is of little/no benefit, but it does offer reasonable hope that this area will improve in time, and with practice.

    by greg on Nov 14, 2007 at 2:31 am

  52. I’m fairly thrilled at this signing, as only a person who has read “Fantasyland” could be.

    by Dave on Nov 16, 2007 at 11:06 am

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