Dave Dombrowski held court with reporters today and he revealed a glimpse into this winter’s agenda.
The main points:
- Edgar Renteria’s option will not be picked up
- The Tigers are looking outside the organization to fill the closer role
- The Tigers don’t expect to be a major player in the free agent market
- Detroit does not expect to cut payroll significantly
- Dombrowski likes Cale Iorg thinking he’s going to be an All Star very soon.
- Declining the Renteria option was pretty much a no brainer. The Tigers can try and sign him for less and offer him arbitration. If he declines and is signed somewhere else the Tigers get two draft picks. If he accepts it probably is a decent stopgap. Renteria is a decent bet to bounce back somewhat and not be a void in the lineup. While there is a desire to upgrade the defense at short, with Inge and mystery catcher in the fold the Tigers can’t afford to go with a total defensive specialist at short. They have that at third already now. Renteria sounds like he’d like to be back.
- Dombrowski’s comments about Iorg were quite enthusiastic. It could be he’s trying to up the trade value, or diminish the Tigers needs, but the remarks came on the same day that Iorg made the BA Top 20 list for the FSL. (Rick Porcello was number 1). It makes one think the Tigers aren’t looking for a long term fix for 2009.
- Rodney got a lukewarm treatment from Dombrowski saying that he’d be the leading candidate on the current club, but he wanted more consistency. But with the Tigers not making a splash that probably means no K-Rod or Fuentes which is fine. The new closer will likely be an established set-up man who can be had for a cheaper price. It might not satisfy the fan base, but is probably the best and only way to go given the payroll constraints and ridiculous sum that closers get.
In the end Dombrowski is looking for answers like the rest of us…
“Most years, when we go into spring training, I have a good feel for where we’ll finish,” he said.
“I’m so far off on this,” he said, shaking his head, his voice trailing off.