Tigers not tapped out? In on Chapman?

There are a lot of unknowns heading into the Tigers offseason, but one constant assumption has been that the Tigers are working on a limited budget. The only dispute has been how limited. Now there may be reason to doubt that assumption as the Tigers have interest in Cuban southpaw Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman is 21 and comes with a 100mph fastball and the type of price tag that those traits typically warrant. He could find himself getting a Daisuke Matsuzaka type deal. That would seem to limit his suitors to those flush with cash to spend.

Chapman likely won’t end up in Detroit. I can’t see the Yankees or Mets or Red Sox letting him get away. But the fact that the Tigers are even interested in a meeting given the price tag tells me things might not be as fiscally dire as they appear.

13 Comments

  1. jcm

    October 26, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Bluffing. Window shopping . You always can see the menu

  2. >>>>>

    October 26, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Maybe it is a bluff, maybe it isn’t. A team can’t compete for foreign born players if they don’t try. At least the Tigers are getting their name out there. It may not get them this guy, but other players will become aware of the Tigers if they’re pro-active.

    • TSE

      October 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm

      Unless they are also willing to invest money in a new SS / 3B / C, then it won’t really matter. At least not for the next 2 seasons.

  3. Kathy

    October 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Maybe Mike Ilitch asked about him? Probably a bluff.

  4. Matt

    October 27, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Even if it is a bluff, at least they can run the price up a bit and make the Yank-Sox pay top-dollar.

  5. Mark L

    October 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Boy, that’s a name that rolls off the tongue.

  6. Tom

    October 30, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Chapman is a really interesting guy. In some ways he displays all that is wrong with the current MLB setup. We all just assume that he will land with the Yanks, Red Sox, Mets, or some other extreme high payroll team that can take the risk to invest $50 million in a kid that hasn’t thrown a big league pitch (hellooooo Dice-K). It just seems sad. It isn’t just moeny either. These bigger market teams have such strong roots in Cuba and other countries based on the money they’ve spent developing players from those countries. Look at the over $8 million that the Red Sox gave to a young SS a few years back. That’s HUGE money for a kid without a single at bat in this COUNTRY.

    I’d love to see the Tigers get this kid. Just compare him to the $100 million deal that Lackey will likely get. I wouldn’t rule the Tigers out, but I’m not holding my breath. Also, check out some great Detroit Tigers memorabilia from my client, Steiner Sports, and get ready for 2010…with or without Chapman.

    • TSE

      October 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm

      I have a ’68 Tigers ball signed by every player on the team except Lolich who got rubbed off. What’s that worth?

  7. Kathy

    October 30, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Depends on who wants it. For me, it would be priceless as that is my very favorite Tiger team.

    • TSE

      October 30, 2009 at 8:08 pm

      Hmm, priceless? Ok, I will sell it to you for 99% of all the money you have! :)

      I thought about throwing it up on eBay one day, but haven’t got around to it. I have a TON of junk in my garage from when I was a kid, comic books, baseball cards, etc. If somebody wants to come over and buy me out, that would be convenient!

      • Kathy

        October 30, 2009 at 10:20 pm

        Being a shrewd shopper, I’ll have to take a pass on that offer. Look, if you want to be the Tigers’ GM one day, you might want to put that ball on your desk. I’d hang onto it, if I was you.

  8. RPS

    October 30, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    I don’t think Chapman talk can be dismissed so easily. There are only two real explanations I see for the last couple years.

    A) The Tigers are being operated without respect to profit/loss considerations. The team has become Illitch’s rich guy toy. Instead of boats and cars and planes and island mansions and whatever, he uses the Tigers for his recreation and enjoyment.

    B) There have been a significant amount of insurance policies that have paid out, or a lot of salary money has been deferred forward. The effective cost of the team has been way closer to $70 or $80 mill than the public numbers indicate.

    Either way, the pattern I see is that Illitch is willing to spend what he needs to spend to get the players he wants. With the risk of injury and/or future ineffectiveness inherent with any 21 year old non-MLB pitcher, I’d definitely rather not see him signed to the kind of contract he’s going to be able to get. If Illitch decides he wants him, however, he’s gonna do everything in his power to get him.

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