Wrapping up the week

by billfer on December 13, 2009 · 27 comments

in Free Agents,Trade Rumors,Winter Meetings

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It’s Sunday evening and this concludes my foray into full time blogging. I took this week off to delve into the winter meetings and cover them to the best of my ability. It proved to be an especially eventful week for Tigers fans and this blog. With that we’ll do one last set of hot stove rumors and news nuggets and a couple other thoughts as well.

  • Fernando Rodney seems to have priced himself out of 2010. His reported asking price of 3 years and $30 million has a retro-2007 feel to it.
  • Saturday at midnight was the non-tender deadline – or the tender deadline depending on how you look at it. The Tigers tendered contracts to all their eligible players. I was surprised to see Bobby Seay, who will likely make $2 million next year, tendered given the Tigers impetus to shed payroll and the surplus of lefty relievers.
  • Here is the complete list of non-tenders. One name that will receive some consideration is Kelley Johnson. Baseball Digest Daily takes a look to see if he has anything left to offer.
  • The Tigers haven’t decided on Phil Coke’s role for 2010, but River Ave Blues doesn’t think starter would be a good choice.
  • There is a pretty in depth analysis of Austin Jackson’s swing mechanics at Project Prospect (h/t Kurt who is now at Bless You Boys).
  • Speaking of which, Ian Casselberry has run the good ship BYB for the last 3 years and he’s done a tremendous job. He’s stepping down, but putting the site into the more-than-capable hands of Kurt Mensching. Kurt you may know as the proprietor of Mack Avenue Tigers. Best wishes to Ian and good luck to Kurt.
  • Juan Pierre, who the Tigers were linked to in a potential 3 team deal involving Carlos Guillen, may also be a target of the White Sox.
  • Marcus Thames is attracting attention from the Indians and the Blue Jays.

Some final thoughts

On the trade: I have been critical of the deal on a number of fronts. I stand behind that. I don’t think the Tigers got the short end of the deal though. I’m excited to see what Austin Jackson can do and seeing Max Scherzer join the top of the rotation should mean the Tigers are in games the majority of the time. I also hope for those that have an emotional reaction to the trade they don’t take it out on the new players, or on the players who have the hefty contracts. Ordonez earned his contract and is entitled to the money. Jackson won’t be Granderson next year and measuring his accomplishments against Granderson’s is unfair. Plus everything I’ve heard about Jackson is that he is a great kid and he deserves a chance. Let’s give everyone a chance.

On blogging full time: Wow. I don’t know how guys like Matthew Cerrone (MetsBlog) and Tim Dierkes (MLB Trade Rumors) do it. After one week and 30 posts I’m exhausted – and I took Friday off! I did find it exciting though to be flipping between Tweetdeck, Google Reader, checking email, and hitting refresh on a number of sites as the rumors flowed and the deals came together. It ended up being the biggest week ever at DTW with 3 of the 4 biggest traffic days in the site’s history coming this week. I hope you found this site to be a place full of accurate and up to date information this week. We’ll now be returning to a much more modest 4-5 posts per week schedule. I’ll also be deciding what to do with the new post carousel at the top of the page. What do you think?

 
 

{ 27 comments }

Mat December 13, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Winter meetings are fun. Good work and thanks.

Kathy December 13, 2009 at 11:28 pm

It’s been the best and the most fun, billfer. Kind of like riding a rollercoaster. I’ve enjoyed every minute of your analysis. Thank you for a great job.

Scottwood December 13, 2009 at 11:46 pm

That scouting report on Jackson was good. Well, I didn’t like what I read. But, it was a good in depth look.

the fume December 14, 2009 at 12:04 am

That was an ugly swing against Buchholz. That front foot seems to be going down really early, and it’s a definite ‘two-piece’ swing. Probably exaggerated a bit because he was late on the first pitch fastball and then Clay went to the off-speed. There’s a few videos where it’s not as bad, but it’s still there.

Hopefully, if the guy actually knows what he’s talking about, proper coaching and better pitch recognition will help. I wouldn’t expect much from him hitting wise tho in 2010.

Keith (Mr. X) December 14, 2009 at 10:21 am

I don’t think they had enough good video to do a proper critique on Jackson. Every pitch in those videos was either a breaking ball or a change-up, so the analysis was based solely on soft stuff. Every mlb hitter gets the foot down early on those types of pitches unless they are cued in and looking for that pitch. Sometimes hitting is about timing, not mechanics.

Comparing him to Braun, Either, and Joe Mauer wasn’t fair either.

I’ve seen Jackson in video with his shift and swing on the money.
Like in this video-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pthSJD7GJwg&feature=related

the fume December 14, 2009 at 10:52 pm

i saw him on a few fastballs, there’s definitely a ’2-piece’ swing on the fastballs too, although the ‘hitch’ is much less noticeable.

quite frankly, if he was swinging like ryan braun and joe mauer and putting up the numbers he’s putting up, i’d be worried. this ‘hitch’ just means he has to get stronger and quicker with his mechanics……i don’t think there should be any worries, although thinking about the tigers hitting staff and track record with htting prospects doesn’t exactly give me confidence.

jestem December 14, 2009 at 12:00 am

I dig the carousel. You should keep it.

TSE December 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm

The carousel thing is ok, but I’ve never used it. I just use the dropdown box to select the articles in the bookmarks bar. It would also be nice if there was a better way to track messages and search, as it’s not easy to make sure that you aren’t missing or ignoring any replies that require a response. I tend to prefer the forum setups myself and don’t normally get involved in too many blogs, but this one has a decent interface to it.

What are the long term goals of this site, just curious? You have a pretty good setup to your blog that is better than most and could really take this to a much bigger level, you should try to capitalize on the nice early foundation you have in place.

Lee Panas December 14, 2009 at 12:56 am

Despite my dislike for the trade, I am also excited to see the new players. Scherzer should be good right away. Coke will contribute and if he joins the starting rotation, then that might make me like the trade a little better. I don’t have great expectations for Jackson right away. I think it’s going to take a while for him.

Lee

Joey in Portland OR December 14, 2009 at 1:53 am

Great job this week Billfer (as usual) I was really digging the updates as things were happening. I also like the carousel at the top of the page.

And I agree, welcome to the Tigers Max, Austin, Phil and Dan.

Kurt December 14, 2009 at 6:29 am

Thanks Bill. And let me pass the hat-tip on to Mike Rogers for originally finding the Austin Jackson analysis.

Jen December 14, 2009 at 7:46 am

It’s been a great read, thanks for dedicating so much time to it.

Mark in Chicago December 14, 2009 at 9:11 am

good luck getting that contract, Fernando.

Kevin in Dallas December 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Great work Billfer. As dedicated Tigers fans, we’re fortunate to have DTW and your efforts.

Mike Rogers December 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Bill, I don’t even know how you’ve done 4-5 posts per week here, every week for like 67 years! Dedication, holmes. I enjoyed google reading your full time blogging last week.

Shelton December 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Regarding the Bobby Seay contract tender, I imagine offering him a contract and bringing him to spring training will present the Tigers with more value than just outright letting him go. He is a proven lefty reliever in MLB, and guys like that have a good amount of value. They may still need him depending on Schlereth’s ability, Coke’s role, injuries, etc. And even if the bullpen appears to be overcrowded during the spring, they can always try to trade him, or just release him and save on the majority of the contract.

Regarding cost cutting being the impetus for the recent moves, I still don’t believe that to be the case. As many have said before, Granderson and Jackson weren’t slated to receive a large amount of money over the course of their deals, especially in light of the value they provide in return.

I think the days of paying large amounts of money for free agents is dying. Unless a guy started his ML service clock at a young age, most free agents are declining in skill set when they reach the market. The free agents that aren’t declining and are worth signing are generally not practical for most teams. Regardless of how much money Illitch has, they aren’t likely to spend nine figures on a free agent contract. For that reason, I think the Tigers are being pretty smart in dealing guys who are arguably at their peak value (or close to it) and with limited years left (on their current deals). The home town discount is a farce. It will never make a superstar affordable. It might save a couple million here and there, but it doesn’t enable a team to sign a guy they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.

For that reason, getting 22 years of team controlled players in return for 2 years of Edwin Jackson and 3-4 years of 29-33 year old Granderson makes a lot of sense (to me). This obviously wouldn’t be the case if the 22 combined years were of bad players, but I think each player received in the deal is going to put up above average value at their position for the majority of those team controlled years.

It’s certainly possible that the players acquired could provide an equal amount of WAR versus the players they replace in 2010. I’m not sure about the likelihood, but I don’t think it is going to be a huge difference.

I think the real value will come in 2011. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m just not ready to call these moves cost-cutting.

Bill December 15, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Bill: Red Sox blog has lots of talk of Bucholz being involved in a trade for Miguel Cabrera. Any word on that?

ij December 15, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I highly doubt that…Dombrowski said in an interview after the Granderson trade, re: trading Miggy “After making that deal, we’re in position where we dont want/need to talk about trading Cabrera. I think you always have to be in a position to listen to offers…if someone wanted to trade me two Pujols for Cabrera, of course I would listen…but we have no interest in trading Cabrera at this time.”

paraphrased on my part..the interview was live on MLB network.

dredford December 15, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I first want to thank you, Billfer, for the excellent work covering the winter meetings. I was checking it multiple times a day for the latest in analysis and information. I was never disappointed (except when there was nothing new posted). I’m sure most of us don’t have any idea of the work involved in a venture of this sort. So again, well done! I also want to weigh in on the Granderson and Jackson trades following an extended period of time to process the trades and reflect on much of what has been said and written.

As a Tiger fan since 1967, and that agonizing loss on the last day of that season, I have seen many players, and many of them my “favorites,” come and go. I learned very early on that was the nature of baseball (and all professional sports, for that matter). I remember as a young Tiger fan comparing the rosters from year to year and noticing that about 20-percent (give or take) of the team was different from one year to the next. I came to learn to appreciate each of the players both for the moment and for the time they were with the team, because I knew it would not be long before they were gone. Some would be gone next season; some would be gone in ten years. But in every case, and in every way, their time with the Tigers was transitory. When their time with the Tigers was over, in whatever way that happened, I was able to learn to celebrate their accomplishments.

But at the same time some players were leaving, others were on their way to Detroit. Some via trades, some via free agency, and some from the farm. It is this expectation, this hope, that makes February one of the best times of the year: “Pitchers and catchers report” are four of the best words in the English language. Every spring I experience the same optimism I had when Horton, Northrup, and Kaline were patrolling the outfield; when Wert, Oyler, McAuliffe, and Cash ruled the infield, and when McLain, Lolich, Wilson, and Sparma were dealing to Freehan. It’s the optimism that THIS could be the year. It’s the optimism that 2010 could be the year!

So Granderson and Jackson are gone and they will be missed. The memories that Granderson provided (rounding second and headed to third) will last a lifetime. But I am also excited as to what Jackson, Coke, Scherzer, and Schlereth will bring to the team, I can’t wait for spring training. I look at it this way: we had Granderson and Jackson last year and did not win the division. Minnesota, with neither of the two (and a much lower payroll) did. If they can do it, the Tigers can do it.

One more thing, for those who may accuse me of “rooting for the laundry.” I suppose one could look at it that way. But I prefer to look at it as “rooting for the men in the laundry.” I do not have the choice of determining who is, and is not, on the team. But I do choose to root for THE Detroit Tigers. Because, in the end, what choice do I have? I am genetically predisposed both in my passion for the Tigers and my hatred for the Yankees (sorry, Curtis, but I hope we throw a lefthander at you every time you come to the plate in 2010). Go Tigers!

Keith (Mr. X) December 16, 2009 at 12:33 pm

applause

stephen December 15, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Look on the bright side: the White Sox added Mark Teahen and Juan Pierre. Good golly, they are not front-line major leaguers!
Maybe we can win the division next year with 79 wins.

Vince in MN December 16, 2009 at 1:33 am

79 wins – you are indeed an optimist.

RPS December 16, 2009 at 11:46 am

Yeah- Look at what the White Sox lineup is right now:

LF- Pierre
2B – Beckham
DH – Quentin
1B – Konerko
C – Pierzynski
3B – Teahen
RF/CF – Jones
CF/RF – Rios
SS – Ramirez

Their only real plus defenders, Nix and Kotsay, probably slot in as bench guys. The lineup has old man Konerko, currently uninjured Quentin, Beckham’s upside, and aging junk. And not Thome, Dye, or Crede. That staff is pretty nice looking, but even the 2010 Tigers beat this. Hell, the 2010 Royals may well beat this.

Keith (Mr. X) December 16, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Too many names starting with Pier for me to take them seriously.

RPS December 16, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Indians

CF – Sizemore
SS – Cabrera
DH – Hafner
3B – Peralta
RF – Choo
2B – Valbuena
LF – Nope
1B – Marte?
C – Torregas
Rotation – Yikes
Grilli – Present

Royals

LF – DeJesus
RF – *giggle* Fields
DH – *titter* Collaspo
1B – Butler
3B – *chortle* Gordon
C – Pena
2B – Aviles
SS – *full-blown laughter* Yuniesky
CF – *Really? Him?* Maier

Pitchers who aren’t Grienke, Meche, or Soria – questionable at best

Just gotta beat the Twins.

Keith (Mr. X) December 16, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I agree. The Twins are the team to beat, but they have major holes at the bottom of their line-up also. They’re just as bad or worse than the Tigers at 2b, SS, and 3b hitting wise. Their only clear advantage is at catcher and DH. Our starting pitching is better though. It could go down to game 163 again.

Mark L December 18, 2009 at 3:06 am

Grilli – present. LOL

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