Roster Cutting

With the end of the 2009 season looming, the Tigers have some roster cutting to do. They currently have 44 protected players between the 40 man roster and disabled lists. They have to get that number down to 40 in the short term and well under 40 eventually to protect minor leaguers.

The Tigers need to reduce their roster to 40 players before the free agent filing period, which is the first 15 days after the end of the World Series). Matt Treanor, Mike Hollimon, Joel Zumaya, and Jeff Larish currently find themselves on the disabled list meaning that 4 of the current 44 players need to be removed any day now.

Treanor and Hollimon will likely be two of those players. I’d like to see Dontrelle Willis be a third. In Dombrowski’s postseason media session he still thought Willis could be a productive player, but there are only so many chances one can be given. In the case of Willis my guess is that it is a matter of what the Tigers value more – the roster spot or the combined probability that a)Willis is productive and b)the are able to collect insurance if he spends another season on the DL. Don Kelly is a 4A player who will likely by DFA’d to free up space as well.

The table below breaks down the types of players currently on the 40 man roster. And by types I mean contract status. For those listed under ‘”Club Control” I have included the remaining option years as well. (For all Tigers service time and options status information check out Tigers Thoughts which has this information and more).

Signed Club Control Arb Eligible Free Agent
Ordonez Raburn (1) Seay Polanco
Guillen Galarraga (1) Thames Washburn
Inge Dolsi (2) Santiago Huff
Bonderman Larish (1) Laird Lyon
Cabrera Perry (2) Jackson Everett
Willis Kelly (1) Verlander Rodney
Robertson Rapada (0) Zumaya Treanor
Granderson Ryan (2) Miner
Porcello Figaro (3)
Ni (3)
Bonine (3)
Hollimon (1)
Avila (3)
Fien (2)
Ramirez (2)
Dlugach (3)
Turner (4)
Wells (2)
Simons (2)

As Tigers Thoughts points out, Clay Rapada has seemingly fallen out of favor among the powers that be, and with no options remaining the Tigers may try (or may have already) passed him through waivers.

Clearing space for Rule 5’s

Now trimming 4 is just step one. The Tigers have other work to do with a number of players who are rule 5 eligible. Scott Sizemore tops that list and he’ll need a spot regardless of Polanco’s situation. Ryan Strieby is also a lock to be added – barring a trade of course.

Beyond Strieby and Sizemore the Tigers will need to make decisions on Brennan Boesch, Brayan Villarreal, Brett Jensen, Scot Drucker, Luis Marte, Brooks Brown, and Audy Ciriaco. Drucker’s presence and success on the ARL team may be an indication the Tigers would like to hold on to him.

So where would this space come from? I doubt that the Tigers keep both Lyon and Rodney so there is at least one spot. Marcus Thames is likely to be non-tendered so that’s 2. If the Tigers feel that Brent Dlugach could match Adam Everett’s offensive output or if they feel he could be a cheaper back-up infielder than Ramon Santiago that could make 3. Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff will depart via free agency making 5 spots which may be enough to accommodate the Rule 5 eligibles but the Tigers still have other work to do.

Presumably the Tigers would like to add a member or two of the reliever class of 2008 – not for rule 5 protection – but because Robbie Weinhardt or Cody Satterwhite may be leaned on for bullpen innings in 2010. But they have until spring training to make those decisions.


  1. Coach Jim

    November 3, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Zach Simons, Jacob Turner, Brent Dlugach, Mike Holliman, Don Kelly, Wilkin Ramirez, and Casper Wells seem to be the early favorites for cuts. Dontrel Willis is also a candidate to drop. As free gents sign with other teams, I expect Washburn and Huff to clear up spots also. That’s 10

    • bill

      November 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm

      There is no way that Turner, Ramirez, and Wells get cut. One is the first round draft pick from last year and the other 2 will likely see time with the big league club in 2010. Simons’ spot is fairly secure and Dlugach’s fate is tied to the team’s plans for shortstop.

    • Mark in Chicago

      November 3, 2009 at 4:59 pm

      why on earth would you cut Turner? They just drafted him, paid him a ton of money, and he has yet to throw a professional pitch. and Ramirez and Wells? Who do they have to replace any of those guys that’s better? Both could get time in the majors in 2010.

  2. Kathy

    November 3, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Jacob Turner?

  3. Kathy

    November 3, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    There are 43 names listed, biller. Who is the 44th player who is protected

    • Kathy

      November 3, 2009 at 12:47 pm

      Clete Thomas

      • billfer

        November 3, 2009 at 9:52 pm

        Sorry Kathy. Nice catch.

  4. Tbone

    November 3, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I see plenty of expendable names. Here’s my list:

    Bonderman, Dlugach, Huff, Larish, Guillen, Holliman, Miner, Rapada, Robertson, Rodney, Ryan, Thames, Treanor, Washburn and Willis.

    • billfer

      November 3, 2009 at 9:58 pm

      I wouldn’t view Bonderman or a lot of the guys on that list as expendable – especially when the team doesn’t have a wealth of cash available to backfill those spots. If Bonderman, Miner, and Robertson are all gone then who fills out the bottom of the rotation? Ryan and Dlugach both have options left and both could play roles in 2010.

      • Vince in MN

        November 3, 2009 at 10:43 pm

        Perhaps Tbone meant that under NORMAL circumstances many of these players could be considered expendable. But with the proverbial 1000 lb gorilla (120M payroll/bad contracts) staring over DD’s shoulders, even setting the 40-man roster is a ticklish business. As a result of the lack of financial flexibility, the roster maneuvering room is limited too – likely no major free agents will be added and trades may be hard to come by. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  5. West Coast Tiger

    November 3, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    On Free Agents.
    I am firmly in the camp of keeping Polanco. I would want to see Sizemore demonstrate ability at the MLB level before discarding a Gold Glove and an above average bat. The injury to Sizemore makes this even more of an issue.

    I would let Rodney, Treanor and go. If Huff’s time with the Tigers is an indication of future production, I would propably let him go. But this is a tough one depending on what you do with Thames.

    Wasburn and Lyon are Keepers which leave Everett.

    I believe he is still above average SS but should get some outside help with his approach at the plate. (Not Lloyd).

    • Eric Cioe

      November 4, 2009 at 1:31 am

      Except his bat isn’t above average anymore, and I’d bet money that it won’t be next season.

  6. RPS

    November 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    No doubt goners – Huff, Washburn, Treanor, Hollimon, Willis
    Probably out – Thames, Rodney, Polanco
    Close calls – Galarraga, Dolsi, Kelly, Rapada, Ryan, Simons (barely)

    No doubt coming to the 40-man – Sizemore, Strieby
    Probably coming – Villarreal, Marte
    Close calls – Jensen, Drucker, Boesch (barely)

    When everything is added up, the Tigers would seem to have about 36 guys who they really want to have a spot on the 40-man for. Even if a couple FAs are signed, they really won’t have to release anyone they don’t want to. Which is good and bad.

    • TSE

      November 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm

      How come Hollimon is automatically out? And what about Willis, I thought DD said at one point recently he was still holding out hope for Willis to come around?

      And Marcus Thames doesn’t deserve to be classified as anything other than top status. He is one of the bright spots of this team, a player that gives us a good value for the money spent. He had a terrible year for himself and he still provided more of a plus than a minus to the team while other guys were providing huge negatives. You win baseball games with + players like Marcus Thames.

      What’s the hype with Don Kelly? I don’t know much about him, so if there is some secret potential value that he has that I’m oblivious to that is fine, but he wasn’t good last year. Sure he got lucky with a clutch hit late, but I don’t see any upside in him. He looks like a destined to be sub-par player that can’t hit. I’d rather take a flier on Hollimon, or one of the MANY other minor league prospects we have before I would ever give a look to Don Kelly. There’s too many guys in our system that could deliver an upside, and we can’t afford to keep giving up roster spots to guys that have a ceiling 3 centimeters off the ground that have never shown in their entire lifetime that they have good hitting skill. That being said, if he wants to TRY OUT for the team at SS he would have a better shot of winning a job than Everett would. If he can field well he could serve as a smaller negative than Everett, thus equating to a minor upgrade and some cost savings.

      I’m also pulling for Dusty Ryan. He doesn’t have much history to go on, but I would take him in a heartbeat over Gerald Laird. I think he has a fairly large shot of providing us with an upgrade there. I like the fact that the second half of his minor league career he has really improved his hitting. He deserves a chance to take Laird’s job in tandem with Avila. Although I’m still praying that somehow the Red Sox will let Victor Martinez although I don’t see how they can, but if we can get him then we can make the playoffs. There’s no way he should have ever been traded to Boston. They couldn’t have beat out my trade offer, it’s just not logical. We had a much bigger void at Catcher than Boston did, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have easily overbid them. What a steal.

      • Andre in Chi

        November 4, 2009 at 7:19 pm

        “There’s too many guys in our system that could deliver an upside, and we can’t afford to keep giving up roster spots to guys that have a ceiling 3 centimeters off the ground that have never shown in their entire lifetime that they have good hitting skill.”

        Are you still talking about Kelly here? The guy of whom you said, “I don’t know much about”. Seems like a baseless prediction if that’s the case.


        Dusty Ryan – Minor League
        Career: .240/.331/.396/.727
        2009: .257/.359/.455/.814

        Don Kelly – Minor League
        Career: .288/.360/.388/.748
        2009: .331/.404/.465/.869

        The only advantage I see with Ryan is that he’s 4 yrs younger than Kelly.

        • TSE

          November 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm

          Yeah I was talking about Kelly there. I don’t see it as baseless at all. It’s purely based on the numbers, numbers for his entire career in MLB and the minors, and I see NO evidence to suggest that he is a good hitter. I mentioned the part about not knowing much about him as a safeguard in case there’s something I don’t know about him, such as maybe he’s a SS fielding demon. But BASING it on the numbers and his history, he doesn’t have any appeal to me.

          Ryan has a lot more to offer than just 4 years of extra youth. You are using an MLB statline in your post which makes no sense, because the sample is too small. I’m looking at their minor league stats and current trends, and Ryan looks to me like a MUCH more promising hitter than Kelly.

          Plus, I already have Everett penciled off our roster, and Laird has more security here, so getting Ryan into the roster puts a LOT more pressure to remove Laird from the team or limit his atabats, whereas keeping Kelly doesn’t do that to the same degree to Everett. So not only is Ryan younger, he’s a better hitter, and can help give us an option to reduce the plate appearances of our weakest link from the starting lineup.

          • Mark in Chicago

            November 4, 2009 at 9:13 pm

            I’m looking at Andre’s stats that he posted (which he noted as minor league stats, so I don’t think we have a sample size issue here), and I see Don Kelly as having a better track record over the course of his career. I can admit that the stats he presented aren’t perfect indicators of ability, but they’re pretty good. So please describe what statistics you are looking at that tells you that Dusty Ryan is a “MUCH more promising hitter than Kelly”.

            • TSE

              November 4, 2009 at 9:18 pm

              Yea I realize he posted the minor league stats, I realized that just a few moments ago but can no longer edit my post. I also had a typo in that post that I would’ve liked to fix. Not my best post indeed. 😉

              I’m looking at the first few years of Dusty Ryan’s career, and his stats were brought down heavily by a night/day differences in the 2nd half of his career versus the first half.

      • billfer

        November 4, 2009 at 9:15 pm

        First of all, I’m not sure where you’re seeing the Kelly hype. I said he’d likely be DFA’d. RPS said he was borderline and Coach Jim said he was a likely cut. What hype is it that you speak of?

        As for Hollimon, I like him. He’s also relatively old and hasn’t had a healthy season since 2007. It means he’ll likely clear waivers and will remain in the organization while the team gets to free up a roster spot.

        As for Thames, he was a replacement level player this year and will make $3 million or so in 2010 if the Tigers keep him. You can’t ignore defense and positional scarcity when assigning players value and you need to move beyond slugging percentage when assembling a team.

        • TSE

          November 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm

          I wasn’t suggesting you were hyping Kelly. I was replying as a rebuttal to the poster that placed him in the tough call list ahead of the other 2 groups which have players that are more deserving to be in the top category.

          I also am not afraid to let Thames play a little LF, because his value offensively is plenty enough to let him play there, but I’m not planning on letting him play in the field. He’s be primarily a DH. Somebody has to DH and he fits nicely in that spot. We don’t need to justify him having a fielding value, because we get that fielding value from Raburn or Guillen or whoever takes the field in Marcus’ place. So if they can field better than Thames, then more power to us.

          • billfer

            November 4, 2009 at 9:45 pm

            But Thames value offensively isn’t enough to make up for his lack of fielding ability – at least at the salary he’ll likely make next year. It was one thing when he was a)hitting more, b)fielding better, and c)making less. Guillen and Ordonez will get the lions share of the at-bats at DH so what role will Thames play exactly?

            As the roster decisions, I don’t know what “top category” necessarily means. This isn’t ranking players by ability. It’s looking at contract status, roster flexibility (options), likelihood of being claimed, ability to replace a player’s production with a cheaper alternative…

            • TSE

              November 4, 2009 at 9:58 pm

              Well with the roster as it stands, Guillen is my SS, and Thames would get the lion’s share of DH atbats. That leaves either Ramirez or Raburn playing in the field for Thames. Or on days that Santiago needs more time and he is playing SS, then I might shift Guillen to LF. Either way, as our roster stands we don’t have room for Thames in the field. Every other player on the team has a spot they can fit into by moving Thames to primary DH. He’s the best fit for the DH spot.

              “top category” is where I was referring to the 3 categories that the other poster made where he put Thames in the lowest category and Kelly in the highest. To me that is backwards. In fact, Thames shouldn’t even be in those 3 categories, he’s a guaranteed roster spot unquestionably imo.

              • Andre in Chi

                November 4, 2009 at 10:54 pm

                “Well with the roster as it stands, Guillen is my SS”

                I did just hear that a miracle knee rejuvenator was just developed, which should allow Guillen to play the majority of the season at SS.

                And, as long as we’re in fantasy-land, I’m penning in Zumaya as the closer and Perry as the primary set-up man – because they project to be 100% health and unlikely to walk batters, respectively.

              • TSE

                November 4, 2009 at 11:01 pm

                You really think that Guillen’s knees are that bad that he can’t play SS? Well shoot, maybe he shouldn’t even play baseball for a living. He should be a telemarketer. I’m not picking Guillen to play SS because I think his knees are wrecked beyond use, I’m picking him tentatively until he proves he can’t do it, because we don’t have any other great alternatives. This is making an assumption that he CAN play SS.

                If you have something to offer to suggest that Guillen is not capable of playing the position adequately, then I’m all ears, and would be happy to pick somebody else if you can make a case for them.

                So no fantasy about it. We don’t have a better option at SS except possibly Santiago. But if we don’t keep Polanco and Sizemore isn’t healthy or playing well at 2B, then we need Santiago over there as well.

                Who’s your SS?

              • Andre in Chi

                November 4, 2009 at 11:17 pm


                “If you have something to offer to suggest that Guillen is not capable of playing the position adequately, then I’m all ears, and would be happy to pick somebody else if you can make a case for them.”

                The nice part about this situation is that the Tigers have done the work for me. THEY don’t think he can play SS, which is good enough for me. Also, at his age, players don’t tend to get more healthy. There is a chance that he might have an entirely healthy season, but its about as likely as I am to abstain from alcohol for an entire week. Playing him at one of the most physically intense positions lessens that likelihood.

                Earlier, you mentioned “a player that gives us a good value for the money spent”, which to me was Everett at SS last year…although to you it seems only to apply to part-time LF. Everett might not come as cheap this year, but for the sake of argument, and considering the financial situation, Everett reprising his ’09 role (assuming his defense remains) would be my pick for SS. That’s not an ideal choice, but there’s nobody in-house @ SS that tickles my fancy. This doesn’t mean a ton; I haven’t combed the potential SS FAs, so all I have right now is please-lord-no-Guillen-at-SS.

                “Thames shouldn’t even be in those 3 categories, he’s a guaranteed roster spot unquestionably imo”

                What is it about Thames’ track record that makes you think this? Or is it just a question of the in-house alternatives being that bad, iyo?

              • TSE

                November 4, 2009 at 11:36 pm

                Well your argument is shot down completely as soon as you start it. THEY don’t think he can play SS? THEY are the same people who thought Everett COULD play SS. This game isn’t won by just going with the best defensive player, it’s about going with the optimal player, and THEY don’t seem to understand that.

                As far as Everett, well I’m not going to argue with you too much on that one. I’ve already stated my opinion that I don’t want Everett playing for us for free let alone for a million bucks. I don’t want him on my baseball team. He’s not the kind of guy I would ever have on my team. I don’t view him as a statistically valuable player, in fact, using him is detrimental to the objective of winning. I want to weed THOSE types of players OFF of the team. He may be the nicest guy in the world, but if I can’t win baseball games with him, then he means nothing to me. And for all the talk about his defensive prowess, I actually think his defensive play is overrated slightly, but that’s besides the point, cause Adam Everett is dead to me.

                Thames’ career numbers are outstanding for the price (unless you just go by Batting Avg or don’t account for ALL of that stats appropriately). Even with a meltdown like he had this year, he still produced a valuable hitting performance on average. The play here is to hope he doesn’t have a meltdown, cause if he doesn’t then you get a BIG reward, but even if you do hit a meltdown, he shows he can still compensate extra heavy in the other games to more than make up for it. Very few players can provide that scenario, and don’t have a backup plan if they have a down year. Heck, Ordonez had a down year this year and even he couldn’t recover as much as Thames did despite his hot finish. Marcus Thames is a nice quiet value to the team. He gets no respect, and nothing but bad press, but I think he’s one of our most underrated and under appreciated players.

                In fact, now that I think about it, he’s probably easily #1 in that category. I can’t pick somebody like Avila, because everybody’s so high on him, so I guess Thames is the obvious pick to me of the player that is worth the most that gets the least recognition of that worth. And that’s all because of THEY again, because THEY have been warping their fans’ minds by pounding in BAD baseball logic day in and day out for only the last 2 decades.

                Only Cabrera and Granderson of our full-time starters last year had a better average plate performance than Marcus Thames. That’s a big problem, especially considering this was Marcus’ worst season of the last 6 years counting only the 5 seasons where he had more than 150 ABs.

  7. Andre in Chi

    November 5, 2009 at 12:20 am

    “Even with a meltdown like he had this year”

    That’s strange, his 100 OPS+ is right in line with what he’s done his last 3 years.

    “Only Cabrera and Granderson of our full-time starters last year had a better average plate performance than Marcus Thames.”

    What’s your measure of “average plate performance”?

    For example, Raburn, with 3 more ABs had 22 more total bases, 40 pts of AVG and over 100 pts more OPS than Thames.

    Thames is 32, and in over 1500 ABs has amassed a whopping 1.6 WAR in 8 seasons (for reference, Raburn was worth that this year alone). I know you don’t believe in that stat, but its cumulative…not averaged…if that means anything to you (oh, and if you’re wondering, Everett has an 11.6 lifetime WAR rating).

  8. TSE

    November 5, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Yeah I don’t put as much stock into OPS and WAR that everybody else does. Decent stats, just not the end-all be-all, and I prefer others.

    I use OE% interchangeably with average plate performance, which is precisely what that stat was designed to represent, so that is my stat of choice that I’m most comfortable with.

    Raburn wasn’t a full-time player. We actually had 5 players on the team that beat out Thames in average plate performance, but only 2 of them were full-time players. I posted my rankings in the other topic and I did have Raburn listed ahead of Thames on his average. Although in the long-term I think Thames will beat out Raburn.

    • Andre in Chi

      November 5, 2009 at 12:53 am

      “Although in the long-term I think Thames will beat out Raburn.”

      Sounds like you’ll make one hell of a GM.

      • TSE

        November 5, 2009 at 1:00 am

        Your comment sounds sarcastic, but that doesn’t make sense. I didn’t say I’d rather have Thames over Raburn, just that Thames would beat out Raburn on OE%, and I didn’t say he would beat him out by much, he might only edge him out by one thousandth of a point. I’m just picking Thames to win on that one category. But Raburn is cheaper and younger and more versatile for use in the field, so there are lots of things to consider when comparing the two players overall as baseball players.

        As a GM I would have been good enough to get us into the playoffs this past year, and with several games to spare. Our current GM didn’t do that. I also would be willing to work for much less than him in providing the better results. I’d say that means I’m pretty good, and I wouldn’t argue with you if you said that my contributions are the greatest contributions for the dollar of any GM of any pro sports team.

        I’m a logical choice for GM, and I challenge anybody on the planet to meet me in Mr. Ilitch’s office and try to sell him on why they are a better candidate for the job than myself. I don’t intend to lose that battle, because I will bring logic and facts that crush the opposition with arguments that make sense and expose bad baseball minds that don’t know how to do their homework or strategize for optimal winning percentage.

        • Andre in Chi

          November 5, 2009 at 1:08 am

          We’ll just have to add your non-selection for GM on top of all our other losses.

          “I will bring logic and facts that crush the opposition with arguments that make sense and expose bad baseball minds that don’t know how to do their homework”

          With the same homework you did on the Kelly comment, I think we can look forward to plenty of crushing indeed.

          • TSE

            November 5, 2009 at 1:18 am

            I misread the Kelly comment that I replied to. I didn’t actually look at the numbers posted. I saw 2009 and thought the reference was to the time in the Majors, cause I thought the current trends of the recent history of the time in the minors was in obvious favor of Ryan. I didn’t promise to come on here and blow anybody away with my arguments, I promised to do so when there’s something on the line that I have trained all my life for. For that moment I will be ready. And when I’m on the job I won’t make sloppy typos or incorrectly glance at emails when I reply to them.

            As a casual Internet poster, I don’t feel an obligation to be perfect with every keystroke. As GM of the Tigers, my obligation is to win and get the most out of the team players and resources, and that is what I do. I get the job done. We have failed miserably the last 5+ seasons of getting the most out of our players. We underachieve EVERY year with respect to what we have. That is not acceptable, and that would NEVER ever happen under my regime. It’s against everything I stand for. I have a lifelong history of success of consulting for companies and organizations and showing them what they are doing wrong and how they can fix it. This is my life.

            • Andre in Chi

              November 5, 2009 at 1:56 am

              “I have a lifelong history of success of consulting for companies and organizations and showing them what they are doing wrong and how they can fix it. This is my life.”

              Examples include?

            • Kathy

              November 5, 2009 at 10:23 am

              My brother did that for a while. He’s an engineer and started his own consulting business. It’s exactly what he did….go in there and clean the place up, show them what they needed to do to correct what they were doing wrong.

              I don’t believe some people here believe you, because you don’t share your stats and methodology or use the ones typically used by sabermetricians. People are made fun of when they have different ideas or views that others don’t share. I enjoy listening to different views, even though I might not agree with all of them. On paper, the ’08 team was supposed to finish first. Wow! How wrong was that. After watching the WS (ugh) it really is pitching, pitching, pitching. Sure you gotta have guys that hit the big ones and have decent defense, but like Jim says ” you’re only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher.”

  9. TSE

    November 5, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Well the last company that I worked for as a consultant/sales manager, I have brought in more revenues for that firm than any single person that has ever been employed by that company in any position even if you include the owners of the firm. So that includes nearly 500 different people over a 10 year period of which I am #1 on the all-time list as a result of my performance. I didn’t even like my job and found it to be incredibly boring and unsatisfying and unrewarding in every way other than monetarily, yet I still produced more results for our company and our clients (which include over 200 businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada) than any other person.

    Not bad for doing a job that I didn’t care for and was not passionate about. I also had 0 years of sales experience and 0 years of mngmt experience and 0 years of consulting experience when I started with the company. Baseball and football are my two passions in life.

    And my skills and abilities might be even better in mngmt of sports organizations due to not only my business acumen but my expertise in game theory and logic which I would land in an even higher percentile relative to others. It’s a deadly combo of talents and skills that are more perfectly aligned with being a GM for a baseball or football team than probably any other job out there. It also helps that all of my free time is spent watching baseball and football in addition.

    • Andre in Chi

      November 5, 2009 at 2:16 am

      Classic TSE, no verifiable evidence.

      I’m actually a Top-Gun fighter pilot, in fact, I’m the best pilot the military has ever seen. Not bad for somebody who’s only experience with airplanes was the Ace Combat series, don’t you think?

      • TSE

        November 5, 2009 at 2:24 am

        What are you talking about? All of my claims are verifiable and I have references! Are you REALLY a fighter pilot or are you making that up? I don’t make stuff up.

        • RPS

          November 5, 2009 at 10:51 am

          I can destroy cities with my mind.

          My shoes cost $23 million.

          It’s verifiable. Look it up.

          • Coleman

            November 5, 2009 at 12:17 pm

            Well, what did you expect? You start destroying cities, and the price of all kinds of things–yes, even shoes–skyrockets…

    • Kathy

      November 5, 2009 at 11:11 am

      Honestly, TSE, I know you think exactly like you are a GM. I believe you and wish you the very best in your endeavors. But, one day while reading your posts, I thought this guy might be a great bookie. Picking odds and that sort of thing. Ever thought about that?

      • TSE

        November 5, 2009 at 12:56 pm

        Well I have made a little money in the past in betting on sports, but that was more for entertainment purposes. I think I would do a great job working for a sportsbook, but not sure how interesting that job would be. I like the idea of GMing a baseball or football franchise because to me that is rewarding. Whereas working for a sportsbook, I’m just helping them make money. Helping other people make money just for the sake of making money just doesn’t in itself have a reward other than a monetary reward. I don’t really need money that much for myself, so I’m looking for an outlet that can help contribute to something that I’m passionate about, and the two things I care most about are the Tigers and the Lions. So that’s my first choice! 🙂

        One thing I do like to do for fun because I’m such a sports nerd, is every week when the football lines come out I like to quickly run through the games and predict the spread and see how close I can get. You might want to try playing that game sometime, it’s pretty fun. Set goals for yourself, like maybe start off with trying to come withing +/- 3 pts of every spread and see how many weeks it takes for you to achieve that objective, and then cut it down to 2 pts and so on. I don’t keep score or records for myself so I can’t tell you what my best week is, I just like to play the game! 😉

  10. Mark L

    November 5, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Guys, this is great. Keep it up! ROTFL
    Here are my thoughts about the true identity, and motivations, of TSE:

    1. Carlos Guillen (with the help of a native English speaker). Trying to get his old position back.

    2. Ramon Santiago (also with help). Trying to clear Everett out of the way.

    3. Adam Everett. Yes, Everett is fishing for love and support from Tiger fans by being as negative about himself as possible. Those who rush to his defense are pumping up his ego.

    4. Dombrowski. Same motivations as Everett.

    5. Whoever was turned down for the job when Dombrowski was hired. Motivation should be obvious.

    5. Randy Smith. Naaah.

    It’s really too bad that Dombrowski has all those incriminating phots of Ilitch. Otherwise, Ilitch would be free to go out and hire a real baseball man like TSE.

    • RPS

      November 5, 2009 at 10:52 am

      Totally 5.

    • TSE

      November 5, 2009 at 1:01 pm

      It’d be Mr. Ilitch’s best decision for the team he’s ever made in his lifetime, I can tell you that much. And I don’t under-deliver on my word, I get the job done as advertised.

      But no, my real identity is Mike Hessman. I’m hoping to clear out Everett and Laird so that other viable infielders have to be considered for SS after the Tigers move Inge back to Catcher. Then I can play 3B.

  11. RPS

    November 5, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Serious question to everyone but TSE: The reason I thought Don Kelly might be kept is that, assuming Raburn is going to get a lot of PAs in left field, he is the closest thing to a viable 3B backup on the 40 man. Then I remembered Larish. Does anyone have any idea how his fielding is at 3B, and/or if the organization still considers him viable as a 3B? If Larish can play an okay third, that lessens Kelly’s value to the organization significantly. If Larish is now considered a 1B/DH, either he or Strieby is probably traded by spring.

    • Kathy

      November 5, 2009 at 11:31 am

      He played 61 games in Toledo, all at 1st base.

      • RPS

        November 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm

        He’s played third in the past, though. I just don’t know if Larish only at first is because of a lack of ability at third, or if it’s just a consequence of the permanent Hessman installation at third in Toledo.

  12. Shane Trapped in Toledo

    November 5, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Larish played five games at third in Toledo this year, with Hessman playing first for those games. Hessman played 14 games at first this year, and suprisingly 3 at SS. He actually looked pretty good at SS when I saw him.

    • Kathy

      November 5, 2009 at 1:15 pm

      I don’t know where you are getting the numbers. The Mud Hens don’t have him listed playing at 3rd. However, he did play 3rd for one game with the Tigers.

  13. Coach Jim

    November 5, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Baseball Reference shows Larish with 5 games at 3B and 54 games at 1B. Hessman is even more fun: C=1, 1B=14, 2B=1, 3B=110, SS=3, LF=1, CF=1, RF=3.

    • RPS

      November 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm

      That’s awesome. Utility Hessman! I had no idea. If he gets that arm stretched out, he could be the AAA Shane Halter.

      • Shane Trapped in Toledo

        November 5, 2009 at 3:10 pm

        Most of those were from the last home game where he played at a different position every inning. This cost the the game as Hessman gave up the winning run in the ninth as he was pitching.
        I wonder what the Tigers will do with Hessman this off season? I hope the sign him to another minor league contract to play in Toledo for another year or so. He is a fan favorite who is very involved in the community. Though I do not think he will be getting anymore $400,000 per year contracts hitting .215 in AAA.

  14. Tigers Fan For 50 Years

    November 6, 2009 at 12:16 am

    “TSE November 4, 2009 at 11:01 pm
    You really think that Guillen’s knees are that bad that he can’t play SS?” In my opinion he is way to over weight and slow to play SS. He should be the Tigers Everyday DH. Who would I move to SS? I would keep Polanco and try Sizemore at SS. He should make the tranition easily if he is as good as people say. Left Field should go to a TRADED Player we don’t have yet or Ramirez and Raburn. Right field same as this year Thomas and Ordonez. Thames should be let go to make room for new player. Keep Lyon, Robertson, and Bonderman, they will perform well in 2010. The 5 starters at the beginning of 2010 will be Porcelo, Verlander, Jackson, Bonderman, and Robertson. This will be the Best starting rotation in Baseball in 2010. I just feel they will produce as a team. Willis is old history. Lyon should be the closer and Zumaya (if he can stay healthy) and Perry the setup men. I think Perry will mature in 2010 and show great improvement. Personally I don’t think the Tigers need to make any more changes (except for a new hitting coach) to their staff unless they can work out a trade for Ordonez & Guillen, but that will never happen, they are both way over paid.

    • TSE

      November 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm

      Well I appreciate your suggestion that you would like him as a DH, but tentatively I’m ruling that out as an option. It seems to me that Guillen is upset with a reduced role and that Leyland has already promised to use him in the field on a regular basis next year. Those 2 things coupled with his high salary mean he has to play somewhere. So you pretty much have to pick LF or SS. So if you really don’t want him at SS, then you are going to put him in LF? If that’s the case, how do you feel about Thames/Raburn/Ramirez and potentially other interesting outfielders either getting shafted on playing time, or released or traded or what not? I suppose you could also put Guillen at a different infield position if you want to move other people around. Maybe we should put Guillen at 3B and Inge at SS? 🙂

      I’m open to anything, except LF, because we have a gigantic amount of qualified potential players in the OF, and the entire infield is a giant hole that is void of hitting talent. (not counting Cabrera) LF is just not an option for Guillen in my mind, unless we wheel and deal for a different roster shape.

      • Tigers Fan For 50 Years

        November 7, 2009 at 1:38 am

        Leyland left it open saying he had to perform/earn the every day position…..He is way over weight and out of shape to play the field effectivly….If he can show up at spring training in shape and loose #### Pounds….. All he is good for is hitting…..Sorry……Salary, Over Paid…..Trade him or DH……

        • TSE

          November 7, 2009 at 2:32 am

          He’s probably on a treadmill at this exact moment.

  15. Mark in Chicago

    November 6, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    It’s a shame Guillen had such an injury-plagued season, otherwise trading him for something useful might be an option as well, and the one that makes the most sense in the short and long term.

    • TSE

      November 6, 2009 at 2:27 pm

      Yeah I agree. I’d LOVE to trade Guillen away, along with several others. Too bad we wouldn’t get much for him with his high salary. Maybe he would agree to take less money from a team that wants to play him in the infield full-time.

  16. Jim

    November 6, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Dombrowski is going to deal the outfield surplus. This may be the year to give the kids a shot and focus on 2011. Thames will be non tendered and I believe most of us are in agreement. So that leaves us with Guillen , Granderson , Maggs , Thomas , Rameriz , raburn. Raburn will be platooning in left and right while maggs or gullien DH. I think the availible peices will be Rameriz or Thomas , Galaraga. Unless they can do a bad contract swap for Gullien. This team has a lot of needs so it will be interesting to see what they target first. I am guessing a solid bullpen arm and a SS prospect not named Cale Iorg.

    • TSE

      November 6, 2009 at 3:14 pm

      Well freeing up a space by non-tendering Thames sure does help open up some room, but that’s not a proper solution, cause he’s a valuable player. That just makes our problems worse. More room and less talent is not as good as less room and more talent. Talent is a good problem to have because you have options to make a team, but if you don’t have talent to begin with, then you are already disqualified from playing the game. Thames represents a piece of our talent, and we can’t afford to surrender that talent.

      Also, as far as Polanco is concerned, I don’t think that letting him walk w/o arbitration is an option. When he was hitting .340+ I wanted to trade him. My stance was you either trade him, or you keep him and use him as an elite player, or you trade him later, but you can’t at THAT point let him walk away for free. Pick one of the 3. They didn’t pick the obvious option #1 which is one HUGE mistake that this franchise made, possibly my #1 biggest gripe of non-moves that we have made in a LONG time. And in my opinion #2 is not possible because he isn’t good enough to be as elite as people perceived him to be when he was hitting north of .340. So now our hands are tied, and DD has cornered us into a rough spot because there is no ideal solution on how to part with him. Letting him walk for free sucks, and offering him arbitration sucks too, but I think it sucks less.

      As far as the bad contract swap goes, that’s a solid idea. Does anybody have a link offhand that has a list of players that fit into this category? There could be a convenient and very strategic swap opportunity out there. If I had to guess on what the most practical solution for Guillen would be, that would be my first guess.

      • Andre in Chi

        November 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm

        I agree with Jim (below). Keeping Thames on the roster, despite his power, gives the Tigers less options. Ideally, you want to DH Thames. If you can’t, you want him at 1st. After that, you want him in LF. The problem is that the same applies to Guillen, who’s under contract. You would also want to give Ordonez some rest at DH if possible. I think we can agree that Thames value lies almost exclusively in his power. Observant folk will also notice what’s either his inability to play everyday at a high level, or management’s lack of faith in the same.

        Keeping Thames likely represents less ABs for Raburn as well. While one might argue that having two power-bats is better than one, the salary difference and the added flexibility Raburn provides begins to stack the deck against Thames.

        Its not that Thames has no value, its just that the cost of keeping him in dollars and flexibility seems too high. He slumped heavily down the stretch and isn’t getting any younger, so the thought of him taking ABs away from one of the Tigers’ hottest post-ASB hitters isn’t very appealing.

        I also wouldn’t worry too much about letting Polanco go for nothing, its not like we gave the Phillies much for him to start off with. I would argue that the trade has already paid for itself.

  17. Jim

    November 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Thames is a one dimensional player. If this was 1995 and defensive stats weren’t proven I would agree with you but he is no longer needed as Raburn has taken his spot. I don’t get your love of Thames. $3.5 Mill is better spent on a good relief arm. You have to think of needs , Thames is not needed he is an aging slugger on the down side of a average bench bat career. You must be thames friend family member ?????

    • TSE

      November 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm

      There’s room for 40 men on the roster. In a perfect world Thames would be a great fielding SS, but that’s not the hand we have been dealt. You can’t make a FULL 40 man roster of ONLY players that are multi-dimensional and excellent at all jobs in a perfectly well rounded fashion. There’s not many players that have a perfect balance between all skills, so there is room for one guy that is a one dimensional hitter. How many other players do we have that are one dimensional hitters? And that’s really being a bit aggressive by saying Thames can’t play LF, cause he can. Sure he’s not the best LF in the world, but that doesn’t mean he is TRULY 1 dimensional, cause there is a portion of value that can be applied to using him in the field. It’s not a true zero value for THAT dimension.

      And how many roster spots are going to free up when a ton of these other older players and expiring contracts come up in the next year or two? Today there is room for Thames EASILY, and we will have more flexibility in the future when these bad contracts eventually die. I see it as a non-issue and really couldn’t disagree with you more on the notion that Thames should go due to flexibility, and the money isn’t significant enough.

      He’s a value player even with his limited skill set. Now we can’t acquire more guys like Thames that have nothing but slugging pct, but right now the category of guys like Thames is one that is empty w/o him. We need to keep him!

  18. Jim

    November 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Polanco was a beast and I will always remeber him as a great 2B , now it is time to play sizmore and see what we have. Hopefully we can get Ramirez some more AB’s as well to see if he can replace Maggs in 2011. I would also like to see Satterwhite & Fein in the pen all year. It’s time to let our kids prove themselves ! Crosby needs to have a strong year this year in AAA and fill in behind Jackson in 2011 and I hate to get too excited but Turner would look good too in the 5. I think the farm is going to prove to be better then people thought in 2010 & 2011.

    • TSE

      November 6, 2009 at 4:57 pm

      Well I think you will get a good deal of your wish to play young guys this year. We don’t have the money or the options to do otherwise, DD’s bad decisions have left us with no other option but to have more new young faces next year than we had this year. Yet the Tiger’s payroll is paying for a different nature of players. What if we told the Marlins they had to pay $80MM next year for the same team that should cost $40MM? They’d be like WHAT, WHY?!?!? The Tigers are just giving away money for nothing in return. Our payroll number sounds like PLAYOFFS, but our expected win total will be short of that. That’s a bad relationship (gap) and it should have NEVER come to this.

      • Keith (Mr. X)

        November 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm

        I thought the Tigers had a decent season. They improved over the 2008 season. The pitching was much much better. The defense was way better. DD done all he could do to make the team competitive again despite the injuries we had on the roster. They went back to basics and played some good old fashion baseball for the 1st time in about 20 years.

        You pay a premium price to hold onto veteran players like Guillen, Polanco, Inge, Nate, ect. Had we let those guys go as Free Agents instead of giving them multi-year contracts we’d still be in the same boat. We’d be paying some other chump to underachieve for us. In the past we had overpaid for FA’s like Dean Palmer, Fernando Vina, Jason Johnson, Troy Percival. Would we have been better had we signed Adrian Beltre or Barry Zito a few years back?

        Fact is- If you have money to spend, it is almost always going to be spent on over-valued Free Agents. Magglio Ordonez, Pudge, Todd Jones, and Kenny Rogers were very good signings by DD. DD made good trades with Polanco, Guillen, Jackson, Laird, Galarraga, and Cabrera. He’s made a few bad ones too. But overall he’s done a very good job.

        • Tigers Fan For 50 Years

          November 7, 2009 at 1:51 am

          I agree with you…..

  19. Jim

    November 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Thames UZR in Left career -16.7 , enough said

    • TSE

      November 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm

      Is he dead last in that category? If not, then it’s not a ZERO dimension and you have to count the prorated portion of how much time he does play with respect to the tier of his defensive quality. That amounts to SOMETHING that is greater than zero.

      And also, again, even if we never put him in the field for ONE play that is fine, because Raburn’s salary is cheap as heck, and so is Ramirez, and they are COVERING THE FIELD in his place. It doesn’t matter. We don’t NEED Thames to field ONE play to justify his roster position, not even close! And again, we don’t WANT or NEED or HAVE ROOM for another “one dimensional slugger”. Thames is a perfect fit here with what we presently have. This is a cozy and comfortable situation. Especially for a very convenient $3M bargain. Look at Polanco, he plays both sides and can earn almost double that. Thames is more efficient at his one job than Polanco is at hitting. So if you named 3 jobs as Polanco’s fielding, Polanco’s hitting, and Thame’s hitting, well Thame’s hitting is actually more valuable to the team than any of those other 3 things. Yes it is more important than the defense. Now if Polanco was a stud SS then that might not be the case, but at 2B it is the case. So we are talking about $3MM for Thame’s hitting, and a pair of $3MMs for the 2 Polanco jobs.

      To me, it’s easily in favor of Thame’s ONLY ONE $3MM for his ONE job that is a better value than one of Polanco’s jobs and pay rates or both of them together on average. The same can be said if you look at Inge and his salary, or Larid and his salary, probably Cabrera and his salary, and Ordonez and his salary. The only guys who have ANY chance of beating Thame’s value of $3MM for JUST HITTING are the guys that make much less that can possibly explode, like if Avila or Ramirez becomes a great player. Everybody else is in an unfavorable position to beat out Thame’s value of $3MM for the one job. And again, ANY defensive value amount that is computed ABOVE the ZERO value is just extra freebie, albeit a tiny freebie.

      • billfer

        November 6, 2009 at 5:49 pm

        TSE – Do you read your posts before hitting submit?

        As for Thames, he can’t play the field which limits his value. You’re ignoring positional scarcity when your valuing him. He is an average hitter at the easiest position to fill. How does that make him a $3 million player?

      • Tigers Fan For 50 Years

        November 7, 2009 at 1:54 am

        Thames is gone….Lets move on…..

        • TSE

          November 7, 2009 at 2:33 am

          Yes, but a person has to be gone before one can say “He’s BACK!!” 🙂

    • Andre in Chi

      November 6, 2009 at 5:34 pm


      You’re such an idiot, clearly Thames is a 1.01 dimensional player.


      I’m pretty sure that Thames’ .450 SLG could be replaced for at least a third of the cost of bringing him back, and with some defensive upside to boot. If not in-house, than here:

      • TSE

        November 6, 2009 at 5:47 pm

        1.01 also sounds low. 😉

        Besides, it doesn’t matter, even if it WERE 1.0, it’s still a good value. How much more than .01 is very debatable and again not a lot, but it’s not fair to try and argue the converse by shortchanging the player on his full value whatever that extra portion may be, and also by calling him a .453 slugger when he’s better than that.

        Thames is not a .450 SLG, he has a career .491 SLG (massive difference), and last year was his weakest in his entire career short of 1 season with barely 100 atbats and his first 2 seasons of extremely low playing time. He’s more than likely going to hit north of .450 next year than he is to hit less than .450. If you could look into the future and tell me he was going to hit less than .450 and closer to .400, then that’s a whole different ballgame and I wouldn’t be going on and on about keeping him in that case, cause then he’d be approaching Polanco-value hitting for the dollar by having a $3MMish number against a .400-.425 SLG # (or whatever comparable metric you use w/adjustment to Polanco’s advantage for contact or OBP so who’s to say what the exact SLG equivalent would be, but somewhere in that neighborhood below the .450 SLG mark). But that is not statistically likely based upon his history. Plus, you could make an argument that if he had more consistent batting time that he could actually improve and get better than his career average. For some people it might be tougher to play random spotty time.

        • Andre in Chi

          November 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm

          “Plus, you could make an argument that if he had more consistent batting time that he could actually improve and get better than his career average. For some people it might be tougher to play random spotty time.”

          We’ve had plenty of arguments here along those lines. There’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

          • TSE

            November 6, 2009 at 5:58 pm

            There’s evidence for BOTH sides of the argument, and both sides can be argued for, and not 100% of baseball players will be affected identically by having spotty play time in place of consistent time. People are complex dynamics and different things affect different people.

            • Andre in Chi

              November 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm

              Sorry, I’ll elaborate. The two sides of the argument were (generally speaking): 1) Marcus doesn’t get enough playing time to consistently produce, and 2) Marcus doesn’t consistently produce enough to justify more playing time.

              Its seems be more 2 than 1. That’s where Marcus being so one-dimensional hurts him; there’s no defensive upside to allow for keeping him on the field while he works things out, and no room for a cold DH.

              In any case, Raburn supplies Thames-like power, with less defensive downside, at a fraction of the cost. With other younger OF and DH candidates out there (Ramirez, Larish), its not cost-effective, and likely we’ll see similar numbers out of whoever replaces Marcus in a platoon.

              • TSE

                November 6, 2009 at 7:18 pm

                Comparing Raburn to Thames isn’t relevant for me, because it’s not an either/or scenario for me. The problem is the Tigers seem to have Guillen penciled in at LF, thus I’m moving Guillen to SS and then replacing Everett with Thames (still plenty of guys to field in the outfield from Raburn / Ramirez / Wells / whoever). Raburn doesn’t need to be compared to Thames unless we are choosing one over the other, and I choose to keep both, because we have plenty of room for both of them.

                We have plenty of room for ALL of the players on the team that I wanted to retain. You have to keep in mind I have extra spots that others don’t have because Everett is not going to be considered and Laird would eventually have been traded to somebody for something, and I’m probably going to have others that would be traded as well, although not required to easily conform to the roster limit.

              • Andre in Chi

                November 6, 2009 at 7:36 pm


                “I’m moving Guillen to SS and then replacing Everett with Thames”

                That’s cool, cause in my scenario Illitch is selling Little Ceaser’s and using the proceeds of the sale to acquire V-Mart, Beltre, Crede (just to bench him), Manny Ramirez, Vlad G., (you get the point), etc…

                When reality isn’t relevant, neither are your scenarios.

              • TSE

                November 6, 2009 at 8:09 pm

                But there is no guarantee that Guillen plays in LF. What if the Tigers for some reason put him at 3B, or SS, or 2B, or 1B? If they do any of those then that’s going to change your perceived reality. I guess if you are sure that all of those spots have been ruled out, then your reality is indeed what it is, but I haven’t chosen to rule out those spots. It’s in the Tiger’s best interest to play Guillen in an IF position in lieu of the OF, so it is most logical to talk around the optimal choice that is available to them.

              • billfer

                November 6, 2009 at 8:21 pm

                But Thames has already been let go so there is that reality to deal with.

              • TSE

                November 6, 2009 at 8:27 pm

                Sure, there’s no point any longer in talking about what the Tigers should do with Thames, unless we were talking about trying to still sign him to a deal and for a cheaper amount, which is still possible. His market value has to be dirt low considering the Tigers have destroyed his perceived value as much as they could. Let’s sign him and get a great bargain!

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