Tigers find enough in the cushions for Valverde

The Tigers today managed to scrounge up $23 million and invested that in Jose Valverde. The deal is reportedly 2 years and $14 million plus a $9 million option for a 3rd year. For a team looking to be more fiscally responsible and acquire cheap young high end talent to build for the future this move makes no sense.

Valverde is a pretty good pitcher. He fans better than a batter an inning with moderate control making him a 3.47 FIP pitcher for his career. He also brings some experience to a very very young bullpen. There might be some value in that. In short, the Tigers are better than they were yesterday. But…

This is a team, that depending on your take on the situation, was either:

  • Trying to get younger and build for the future. Or…
  • Trying to shed payroll

Which makes spending $7 million a year the next 2 years for 120 innings perplexing to say the least. Throw in the fact that the Tigers spent the 2008 draft acquiring college relievers who were close to big league ready, and that they insisted on Daniel Schlereth being part of the Granderson/Jackson trade, and none of it makes sense.

The Tigers based on run differential were a .500 team in 2009 and they have moved the wrong direction this year. Even in a weak division I don’t see Valverde being the difference between contending and not contending meaning that Valverde is more luxury than necessity. A luxury that not only costs them money, but also Detroit’s first round draft pick. The kind of pick that would probably be in the top 5 prospects in the Tigers system.

Valverde has accumulated 6.4 wins above replacement in his career. Curtis Granderson accumulated 7.1 WAR in the last 2 seasons, one of which was supposedly so awful the Tigers just had to move him. I just don’t get the Tigers current method of resource allocation.

Image credit: cobalt123 on flickr

181 thoughts on “Tigers find enough in the cushions for Valverde”

    1. Waste of money when the Tigers have many relievers already in their system. Closers usually come out of nowhere so there really is no excuse for paying that much for a specialist in a specialist role that only has a marginal effect on winning games.

    2. What gives you the impression that Valverde (who pitched in the NL last year) won’t have you on the edge of your seat? It’s not like the Tigers signed Joe Nathan or Mariano Rivera here…

  1. So do they package up some of that now-excess big league ready talent for a bat?

    There has to be an upside. I was kind of looking forward to seeing how Perry, Zumaya, and Schlereth did.

  2. Well, this move is indeed incomprehensible. I guess at least they grossly overpaid for a good player instead of a bad one this time. Maybe they saw the White Sox get way worse, the Indians and the Royals tread water, and the Twins improve only marginally, and decided that maybe this isn’t a rebuilding year after all. I accept this move only if a good lefty DH and/or a solid lefty back-of-the-rotation starter are next.

  3. Holy butchering of SABR Batman!

    EDIT: Who has a higher WAR the last 3 seasons? Jhonny Peralta, or Mariano Rivera? I think the answer is obvious.

      1. if i may, i think its the difference in salary. Rivera @ $15m a year, vs whatever JP makes (which i’m assuming is muuuch lower, but am too lazy to look up).

  4. Good to see ya back Bilfer. Yeah, this move really makes no sense after trading Granderson, but I have to say, it feels good to see our boys add someone that I think can help. Now, we have the potential to have an outstanding bullpen, which is never a bad thing.

    1. ditto this. Maybe slight overpay since it was just us and the Cardinals in on him, and the Cards said they weren’t close to paying the amount we paid.

      1. can’t wait to see Brandon on his new knees!. That’s something for you to look forward to, stephen:)

      2. I just think along the same lines as DD/Leyland. Baseball people that know what they’re doing.

        New Years tip: There is no crying in baseball. Write it down.

        1. If there wasn’t crying in baseball then it wouldn’t be as important as it is. Yeah, I cry for baseball.

  5. I think it’s a little early to come to a conclusion on “the plan” and whether we like/understand it given that DD knows a little more about what’s going on. I’m guessing there’s still more to come before the team heads north.

  6. The Tigers allowed more runs then they scored last year and are a weaker offensive unit in 2010. I don’t think many tigers fans will be on the edges of their seats in the ninth inning this year, unless they wager on the over-under for valverde homers allowed in the DH league. This is a ton of money and draft opportunity spent in the least valuable place for a 75-80 win team.

  7. Rivera, Gossage, Smith, Eckersley,Hoffman . All they belong to the Hall of Fame and you think closer are overvalued.
    Rodeny saved 37/38and you wanted him out
    Jones saved 300 for the Tigers and you wanted him out. As he said as soon as i save the game , they can hit what they want
    The 1984 Tigers MVP was Hernandez ,a closer. Trammel and Fielder were robbed of the MVP so he was the last MVP for the Tigers
    WAR so what….

    1. the Tigers already have enough decent hitting defense-challenged outfielders – adding Damon to that mix wouldn’t help… and Damon, who’s in the twilight of his career, definately helped his ’09 stats in a hitter-friendly Yankee stadium (Comerica, probably not so much)… and finally, Damon’s agent is Boras – and both of them have a narrow view (well to the north side of reasonable) when it comes to assessing contract value.

  8. I’d rather sit back and watch how it all plays out by the time the season starts than try and figure out what a good/bad it is before spring training even starts. I know all ya’ll are excited…but…RELAX! Dombrowski knows what he’s doing or else Mr. ‘I’ would’ve gotten rid of him a long time ago. He’s turned the entire organization around starting at the bottom (minor league teams) and put a team in the World Series…give it a chance to work itself out!

    GO TIGERS!!!

  9. Great…they just went from a 78 win team to a 81 win team, and it costs them $14 M and a first round pick. I can see the rational for the Granderson trade and the Polanco non-signing, but not this. If they were going to spend the money anyway, they should have just used the cash on Polanco. I am ususally a DD guy, but this move is very confusing.

    1. What I don’t get is why some people want to keep that #19 draft pick, but don’t want to play our top prospects when they are obviously ready for the majors.
      Polanco wasn’t offered arbitration because Sizemore is more than ready to play in the majors everyday at 2B. We got to play the rookies. We haven’t had a rookie position player since Granderson in 2006.

      I would of liked to sign Polanco and play him at 3B though. That’s kind of like what the Red Sox did by getting Beltre when they already had Lowell. We’d still be heavy with right handed hitters, but Polanco would probably be better than Inge anyway you put it. Moving Sizemore to 3B is the only other option. Sizemore will probably be our lead-off hitter. He’s got a good eye and will be getting on base at a better rate than Granderson or Polanco did last season.

      1. Sometimes I wonder if DD was worried that Polanco was 1 year or an injury away from being another Ordonez or Guillen. Plus I really bet they didn’t want to commit to more then a year or two if they could have brought him back. Polanco go 3 from the Phillies. I agree give Sizemore a chance.

      2. All I am saying is either go young (and cheap) or don’t. I don’t think giving Sizemore a chance is a horrible idea (since he is so much cheaper), but then why not likewise give a Perry/Schlereth/Zumaya a chance to be a cheap closer. Dropping Polanco but signing Valverde seems contradictory. If the money was going to be spend, I would rather have Polanco (don’t trust Sizemore’s glove).

      3. Sizemore is so ready for the Majors that he’s only #10 on the latest evaluation of Tiger’s prospects.

  10. To be fair, he does have a career 8.4 WAR according to Rally’s website and has posted a WAR of 2+ in 2 of the last 3 seasons. He has pitched very well with men on base his whole career and Fangraphs WAR undervalues him a bit b/c of that.

  11. As I said above i’m not going to get worked up over any of these moves I think DD has a plan. But this does make me wonder if one or two bull pen guys will be moved soon.

    1. His plan is that he knows he can’t depend on his offense to score and he is hoping that somehow we get a favorably lucky draw of close games if our pitchers can impress to their best potential, and he’s hoping to hammer in as hard as he can to make sure he has his depth and flexibility to use pitching and defense to nail down these games and win them instead of with offense. He doesn’t want to say all game long, we just need 1-2 runs to tie and win, but rather we just need to stop the next 1-2 runs from happening. He’s going to hope that we can dominate a tier of games that can be all won with pitching across all levels. Whether it’s a game where you have one guy in a long time, or many guys, we have pitching outs to win every type of game that is close. If we juice ourselves to the extreme to capture an unusually high percentage of these types of games that we can win with pitching and if there is enough of these games that come about, then there is a Venn Diagram overlap where we can weasel our way into a strategic corner.

      1. Maybe your right, kind of reminds me of the way the Twins try and win baseball games. Although I seem to remember Santana not wanting to come out of games a few years ago because the game was tied or he was down by 1 run in the 8th or 9th.

    2. Nick,

      There’s no doubt that DD has a plan. The question is: Is it a good one? And that goes directly to your point that a couple of guys in the pen might be moved.

      What bothers me about DD’s plan — to the extent that I can decipher it — is that is so focused on building the pitching staff while ignoring glaring holes among position players. Aside my Maybin, DD has focused the draft on building pitching talent. And then he goes and trades one of our best position players and one of our pitchers and three of the four players we get in return are pitchers! The only position player he got filled a hole created by the trade itself.

      Now part of the problem is that contracts to Willis, Robertson and Bonderman have eaten up payroll without contributing to a surplus of pitching. So the key question with regard to DD’s plan is this: Will he ever get to the point that we have stockpiled a surplus of good arms that will permit him to trade for the next Aurelio Rodriguez or Alan Trammel? Do we finally have more good arms in the pen than we can use, permitting us to fill some other holes?

      In the end it doesn’t matter if you have good pitching if you don’t have a core of position players who can support those pitchers by both scoring runs and playing good defense.

  12. It seems odd that the cost of our pick to give up was higher than the others, yet we valued him that much higher that we were able to pay the money to not only outbid the other teams, but to also give the material advantage of the difference between our pick and the next highest bidder’s pick. I guess DD figures those other teams in the bidding must be undervaluing him considerably.

    If I’m DD I almost feel comfortable using the 1-5 other GMs lesser opinions of Valverde as a check and balance against myself from possibly having a misread on his evaluation. Considering some of the logic mentioned as common objections to this move and the dynamics involved, for DD to make this transaction you would think he’d want to feel darn close to 100% sure that this deal would reward us. Well, if DD is THAT sure that this is going to get us into the playoffs this year, then ok, fine with me.

  13. Billfer-
    There is no tiger blogger i respect more, but i continue to be puzzled by your frustrations. i understand if you don’t like spending a bunch on a closer-that is a point that is debatable- but i really disagree with the part about connecting everything back to curtis g. i still think none of these moves were as much about “the money” as some do. with valverde here and maybe even damon? coming, it seems increasingly like the $$ was an overstated reason, mostly media speculation. if it isn’t about the money, than it is simply a matter of dombrowski liking some players over others. valverde more than rodney or lyon. 4 players (plus maybe damon) more than grandy and ejackson. those are moves to discuss and maybe disagree with, but based on performance issues, not payroll,don’t you think? i just don’t know about the finances angle. i think national writers who just assumed detroit was poor forced that idea on the fans. i never heard dd say it.

    1. I have to agree here, I think premise that the Granderson trade was all about money is false, which means that spending $7 million on a closer isn’t inconsistent. If DD truly believes that trading Granderson for Jackson (basically) makes the team better, then he has to make the trade.

      The loss of the 1st round pick isn’t devastating, they have compensatory picks from Rodney and Lyon signing elsewhere, and from what I’ve read this isn’t an overly deep draft (although 2011 is). The Tigers would have picked 19th.

      I like the signing, I think it gives us the best bullpen in the Central and one of the better ones in the AL. It’s debatable whether spending $7 million on a closer makes sense, but remember that Todd Jones made $7 mm in 2008 and Fernando Rodney just got $5.5. By those measures, it’s a good deal.

      1. Well the way that the Grandy premise fits is from a different perspective.

        Look at pitching and offense as separate. Think of the Valverde signing as having nothing to do with Grandy, but rather we needed an extra man there because of the quantity of arms we lost in Rodney and Lyon. Yeah we have other pitchers from other sources, but those guys are replacing other counterparts too. So if we lose the draft pick, we actually save money from that pick, plus we saved some money from not signing R&L, and that just went to Valverde plus we might net some savings depending on how you pair up the replaced pitchers’ counterparts.

        So what if all of this pitching rigamaroll happened before the Grandy trade, then you could use this move as showing the TIgers as downsizing their pitching payroll a tiny amount or keeping it near the same, and the Grandy move is also about money. Overall we have to spend a certain amount to cover all the positions, and we will have that in the end, but we will also have a much lower overall payroll in the end. This reduction in money can be applied to whatever names you feel like attaching to them for accounting purposes, but whatever perspective you use, the average player on the team was downsized into a less expensive player. So whether we got the bulk of our money savings from deal A or deal B, we needed some overall plan to get reduced in the end. The Grandy trade was a huge part of that process, thus the premise does appear that it could have indeed been all about the money. i.e. The Tigers want a “x-y” salary this year, and they gain the bulk of that “y” value from in fact the Grandy trade. From this angle it sure seems plausible that it could have been “all about the money”.

      2. I think your on target Mark.

        At the least, this settles the debate about whether the Tigers view themselves as re-builders or contenders. I look forward to DD proving himself correct with the accumulation of this offseason’s moves.

        I do love that the Tigers are a pitching heavy team. 2008’s softball slugging lineup was a heartbreaker.

        Good commentary all, best Tiger site Bilfer, peace.

      3. well stated Mark – i feel the Granderson trade was more about getting better/younger/years of contract rights than a “salary dump”… the ‘money aspect’ of the Granderson trade had to do more with his back-end loaded contract he’s going to get in 2011 and 2012… and maybe its just me, but a guy with declining numbers since 2007 and who only hit a-buck-80 against lefties last year is not worth the $21M they’d have to pay him in 2011 and 2012.

        Had DD stood pat and relied on the Zumaya, Perry, Schlereth or Seay or a contingency to ‘close’, many of the same people bitching about this signing would be questioning DD’s decision not to bring in an ‘established closer’ – which, like it or not, this guy is. If Valverde pitches like he has his entire career (with the exception of 2006), he will be a big improvement over Rodney, Lyon, Jones or the closer by committee approach.

  14. It seems to me that some people are letting their emotions (related to Granderson being moved) override their better judgment.

    I don’t remember the Tigers saying they were cutting payroll in 2010. I do remember them saying they weren’t in dump mode. The payroll shedding was more of a long-term issue. The Granderson and Jackson trades were done when those players had maximum value on the market – coming off all-star years and still reasonably priced (though not for too much longer).

    Where they trying to get younger? Clearly. And while Valverde isn’t young, its not as though he hinders the youth movement significantly by pitching “120 innings”. Clearly the Tigers felt none of the kids were ready to be closers. Maybe there is some questions about Zumaya’s health we don’t know about. But even if there isn’t, no one’s development will be significantly hindered by Valverde.

    This is a good signing for a number of reasons:

    1. For 2010, the biggest team need has been addressed. As many people have mentioned, the Central is weak and the Tigers have a shot going into the season. Pitching is, as always, the key and Valverde makes the bullpen MUCH better.

    2. Reasonable contract, only 2 years. No major commitment

    So, if the Tigers turn out to be contenders the move works. If not, you have an extremely marketable asset. Every year playoff teams want quality relievers more than anything, besides elite starters (who aren’t exactly easy to come by for $7M.) With Valverde available as a trade chip you can probably get a prospect equal in value to the mid-late first rounder.

    On that note, lets not pretend the 1st round pick is a big deal. The Tigers can take that money and spend it on getting more expensive talent in later rounds. OR, if you want to take the millions it would take to sign a 1st rounder and deduct that from Valverde’s salary, you can do that too.

    I don’t see what there is to complain about. The Tigers are trying to get better without making the mistake of committing long-term to players who are going to be overpaid. We’ve already seen what happens with Easley, Higginson and other solid, but not great players. Sell high, buy low. Seems like a shrewd philosophy to me.

  15. I see only one compelling reason for this high priced signing: DD is trying to lock down Verlander long term. There is nothing more demoralizing for an elite pitcher than to throw 7-8 innings of 2 run ball and then see the W slip away because the bullpen can’t hold a lead Zumaya was just too risky and Perry too young to meet that objective.

    1. Yeah that’s a nice benefit. But we could have just used all that money to grossly overpay Verlander and give him all the reasons to stay! Thus, the majority, at least 90% of the value of the contract is justified for other reasons rather than to give us an edge at re-signing Verlander. If you look at the value of Valverde and use 10% to justify the Verlander edge, well that amount of money then mind as well be tacked onto Verlander’s actual contract amount to represent the true cost. The more we attribute Valverde to Verlander, the more we are throwing money into Verlander’s pile (but money that Verlander forfeits to Valverde). If I had to guess from DD’s point of view, I think he would believe in his own mind that this had 5% or less (in terms of his justification logic) to do with Verlander, and 95% to do with building the team the way he wants it built for the short-term.

  16. To me, this signing says: the Granderson trade was a baseball move, not a financial one. DD thinks that Scherzer/Jackson/Schlereth are going to give him more bang for the buck than Granderson/Jackson. I think that’s totally defensible, if a bit of a gamble. I’m not wild about Valverde but he’s not getting paid a ridiculous amount, and perhaps he has something to teach to Perry/Schlereth/the 2008 draft class, like his splitter.

  17. First of, Granderson and Polanco were my favorite players on the team. But I somehow understand why the Tigers didn’t keep them. Polanco will be on the decline from now on. Regarding the Tiger’s history of overpaying players for past accomplishments, and Sizemore being ready to play in the Majors, it made perfect sense to let Polly go. Granderson on the other hand, was the only player to get some value out of. Although I had liked to keep Grandy around and I think we could have gotten more for him than Jackson, Schlereth and Coke, I could still see the rationale of this move.
    But this Jose Valverde signing is something i don’t really get. Yes, Valverde is a good closer. If you want to sign a veteran reliever like him you have to slightly overpay, because the rest of the league does so. That’s just how the market works. But did we really need him that badly? And if so, why sign him for three (!) years? Signing him for one, probably two years would’ve been enough to develop a closer from within our own system. Also it would’ve likely gotten us the first round draft pick back. I doubt that Valverde will still be ranked Type A in three years. And now it seems DD is pursuing Johnny Damon. Well, i like Damon as a player. He is experienced and would make a very well leadoff or #2 hitter for the Tigers. But he is a lousy outfielder. We already have the same issue with Carlos Guillen. Letting Damon and Guillen compete for LF, basically pushes Ryan Raburn out. So why don’t sign Valverde for one year and take the rest of the money to get a veteran player who can do both, play solid outfield defense AND hit at the top of the lineup? That making it possible to give A. Jackson more time in the minors if he needs it, and full time DH Carlos Guillen.
    Finally, I’m not one of those guys who turns his back on the team when their favorite players are gone. Of course i will still be rooting for the Tigers and I’m excited for next season and the new players. I say let’s give them a chance. But all in all, i still feel a little confused and uncomfortable with this offseason’s moves.

  18. I like the move ok. They did slightly overpay by a couple mil but there is no way they will exercise that option so look at it as a two year deal. You use him this year, and see who is going to step up of perry, schlereth, maybe even weinhardt. Then the market for a hopeful shutdown closer on a 1 year 7 mil deal doesn’t sound so bad.
    Losing the draft pick does hurt, but with the compensation picks allows us to potentially spend on guys who have dropped because of they are asking for extra dollars. I see the move as taking advantage of the market and shoring up a question mark.

  19. skippy- i see where you are coming from, but a couple things- pretty sure valverde is 2 years w/ a 3rd option. i’ve read player option and i’ve read team option, pretty sure team. that would be better. also- even at his age, damon is a way better bet than guillen now, i think. injury factor, power, and even though damon’s defense isn’t very good, it’s way better than guillen’s.

    1. Alright, if it is a team option, things look a little different. But then again, I don’t understand going for it in the first place, as team options usually raise the salary of the guaranteed years in negotiations. Also I think, the Tigers could’ve gotten Valverde for 1 or 2 $ million less per year. Not that I would care about that money. It’s not my money, and if the organisation feels they can afford it, they can do whatever they want with their money. It just gives me the impression of the Tigers officials being not so tough on negotiations, and that kind of bothers me a bit regarding future moves.
      About Damon: Of course he is a better defender than Carlos. He would also be a very nice addition to the lineup. Like I said, I like Damon as a player. Looking at the market he could be a bargain for us.
      To make it clear, i don’t totally dislike siging Valverde and pursuing another veteran bat. But to me it looks like there would have been way better options. Like going harder on someone like Podsednik in the first place, or waiting out the market for just a bit more. From what I have read, the Tigers were the only serious suitor for Valverde. It’s just that the timing and the circumstances of those moves don’t seem right to me.
      Still I’m not that pessimistic than most of the Tigers fans seem to be. Maybe it all plays out well and we go to the playoffs out of what appears to be a weak division. I would be fine with that. As I said, I don’t care that much for the money since it isn’t mine.

  20. I don’t think it’s a bad move. Remember, we could compete next year – but only because the Central is weak and the rotation has the potential to be dominant. At the same time, we really need a bat or we’re going to see teams pitch around Cabrera and pick apart the rest of our weak lineup.

  21. Is everyone convinced this is the last move? What is the chance that they are stockpiling pitchers/relievers in anticipation of moving some of them for another position player?

    1. Which of those relievers do you think can be traded for some value (except for those we just got)? Going further: for whom do you think we could get an adequate leadoff hitter who can play outfield defense?

      Of course I expect more moves to come. If the Tigers sign Johnny Damon as it is rumored, i would be more than fine with that. It doesn’t adress our problems in the outfield, but at least we would get a top of the lineup hitter.
      I still don’t see how that would make the Valverde signing more reasonable.

  22. To me its MAYBE a good deal at one year. While we have a weak division, 2010 was largely a lets get ready for the future year. All the guys we have to get ready cant get ready if someone else is pitching. I don’t want to hear about money anymore from the Tigers. I think this is a complete waste, to be clear a COMPLETE waste. If we are close at the end of the year we could have added someone then as a rental, if we are not, everyone gets more experience in the pen.

    All in All bogus move, D+ for DD

    BTW Happy New Year to all. I see a bunch of new posters here. Also was tired of the Laird thing being the only post. Hey DD >> How about investing in a catcher that can hit, instead of something we don’t need>> More on that later

  23. Sure, it’s a good move. But completely unnecessary regarding the Tigers actual situation. Remember, we handed extensions to a bunch of relievers, signed Brad Thomas, and traded for Coke and Schlereth. The Tigers already had a nice pool of proven veterans and top-prospects in the bullpen. Relief pitching already was the least of my concerns. If the Tigers organisation still thought they had such a bad need for a veteran closer, with Valverde being the only option on the FA market, I’m fine with that. But then why did they get relievers in the Grandy trade in the first place? Why not a leadoff hitter or a back of the rotation starter?
    I honestly doubt DD has a plan at all. Sure every single move of it’s own was ok. However none of them seems to fit in the bigger picture. But probably I’m all wrong, and DD is a genious.
    At least the signing of Valverde shows us, that the Tigers have a great owner who is still willing to spend the big money on big guys. After all that’s something to celebrate.

  24. I think the fume’s point above, billfer, is that WARs are slanted towards everyday players. That Grandy has a better WAR than Valverde is expected. I don’t think anyone on the face of this earth would argue that Peralta is as valuable as Rivera.

    And I’m in line with the the majority of the recent posts. If Grandy had a rap sheet, we’d all be holding hands and singing we are the world in a loop until opening day due to the recent moves.

    I’m getting more excited by the day. (Note, the sting of 163 is still there. Still there.)

    And a final point – billfer, you really have built an empire here. Anxious posters bombarded a Jose Valverde signing with 50 posts in 14 hours.

  25. “The Tigers based on run differential were a .500 team in 2009 and they have moved the wrong direction this year.”

    I think that reasoning is unfair.

    Last season, when Verlander and Porcello started the Tigers run differential was +42 runs (318/276).
    When Jackson started the run differential was -6 (132/138)
    What hurt them most were those games that Galaragga, Washburn, Willis, ect pitched like crap. The 4th and 5th slot had a -38 run differential (293/331) .

    Scherzer and Bonderman will at least break even in run differential no matter how you slice it. They have some pretty good upside between them. They are breakout season candidates to say the least. Most baseball people are quite high on Scherzer having a big break out year. His peripherals support those theories well. Bonderman was having a breakout year in 2008 before the blood clot slowed him down. I wouldn’t count him out.
    Our starting pitching and bullpen should be better. Last year, we had a 4.29 ERA. That could easily dip down to below 4 with steady improvements from our young staff.
    Our pitchers would give up 47 fewer runs if the ERA did drop to 4.

    Why did the Tigers have problems scoring runs? Here’s why:

    1) Granderson had a .327 OBP. For hitters batting 1st, he had the 2nd worst OBP in the American League.
    2) Polanco had a .333 OBP batting 2nd. Polanco’s strength was moving base runners over, but with Granderson, Everett, and Laird batting in front of him his bat became dead weight.
    3.0) Clete Thomas batting 3rd (enough said)
    3.1) Ordonez’s epic hitting slump in the 1st half
    4) With nobody on base, how is Cabrera supposed to drive in runs?
    5) Guillen being injured and on the decline.
    6) Injured Inge had a .260 OBP in the 2nd half (.314 overall)
    7)Thames/Josh Anderson/Aubrey Huff didn’t help any.
    8. Laird had a.306 OBP
    9) Everett had .288 OBP

    How they’ll score runs this year?

    1) Sizemore will likely bat 1st. He has more pop in his bat than Polanco and had a career .383 OBP in the minors. This is a significant improvement at the top of the order. If he has a .350 OBP, thats +.017 higher than Polanco’s last year.
    2) Jackson’s OBP was .355 at the minor league level. He’s a good spray line-drive hitter that hits for a decent average and that should translate well at Comerica Park. I guarantee he hits at least .249 with a .327 OBP (what Granderson did). He should be batting 7th though. + 0 OBP. I’ll be conservative and say he just matches
    Grandy’s OBP, which ain’t hard to do. Even Clete Thomas had a .324 OBP last year.
    3.0) The Clete Thomas experiment is likely over. Yesterday, DD was speculating that Casper Wells, Brennan Boesch, or Ryan Streiby could make the team.
    3.1) Ordonez will hit. Had .376 OBP last year. +0
    4) Cabrera is a masher and will continue to be. Just needs more RBI opps. +0
    5) Guillen probably gets screwed. Raburn or somebody else steals his starting job in LF and he moves to DH. +0
    6) A healthy Inge can only be better. +.015 OBP
    7)Ryan Raburn. Right now, I think that we’ll see him bat 2nd. He had a .359 OBP last season. Anywhere he bats helps though. +.036

    8. Alex Avila will be coming off the bench and will keep Laird rested. With more rest Laird may bounce back to career norms with his bat. In seasons where he’s played less than 120 games, he’s actually about a .270 hitter with a .320 OBP. This spot in the line-up from our catchers should improve. +.014 in OBP
    9) Nothing is going to help Everett hit. 9th is a huge hole in the line-up when Everett plays. He started in 118 games last year and I expect to see him in fewer games this year. Santiago has a .346 OBP over the past 3 seasons. It’s an instant minor improvement if he splits time evenly at SS with Everett. + .012 in OBP

    Last year the team had a .331 OBP, had 6233 Plate Appearance, got on base 2063 times, and scored 743 runs. 36% of our base runners scored.
    I see that OBP going up to about .339, that’s 2112 baserunners @ 36% = 760 runs or +17 more runs we score.

    We’ll lose some runs because we’ll be missing Polanco’s defense and Granderson’s power. I’ll be fair, give Polanco +15 runs over Sizemore Defensively. I’d give Granderson’s power +25 more runs than Jackson also. That’s 40 runs we’re losing because of Granderson/Polanco’s departure.

    It was at +64 runs (47+17) from earlier, but we’ll -40, so we’re at +24 runs from last season. This improvement might or might not be good enough to win 1st place, but it should keep the season interesting.

    1. Correction about Bonderman, it was in 2007 when he had the strong 1st half where he started out 10-1 with a 3.50 ERA.

  26. Let’s just hope Valverde doesn’t spend too much time at the local Boys and Girls Club or visiting sick kids in hospitals.

  27. Well, as I already said earlier, I’m thrilled about getting Papa Grande. I will NEVER forget that game Edwin pitched last year against the Blue Jays? only to have pre-getting himself together Lyon come in and give up several hits and HR’s. He eventually got himself turned around and did a great job for us the second half of the season. But, he didn’t want to stay here. We were very lucky that Fernando stepped up his game, but he didn’t want to stay here either. Papa is a proven closer. He relishes the role.

    Being a Tiger fan for many, many years, I’ve been through the heartbreak of losing favorite players. Grandy loves challenges, and I think he will thrive in NY.

  28. Hey all…

    A couple things to like about this deal:

    a) Valverde has been in the NL his whole career, so most AL batters won’t have a “book” on him. This could work the other way, so take it for what it’s worth.

    b) I don’t think this move blocks all the young arms, but gives them a definite leader at the back end to take the pressure off them. If it all works out, the 7th, 8th and 9th *could* be locked down.

    c) Another thing for what it’s worth from baseball-reference, some of the comparable pitchers to Valverde at age 29 include: Trevor Hoffman, John Wetteland, Eric Gagne, Robb Nenn and Keith Foulke. By comparison here are Rodney’s: Mike MacDougal, Danny Kolb and Brian Boehringer.

    So I dunno, the money seems odd, but it looks like the Tigers got a pretty good steal. Sure, they have a lot of question marks across the diamond, but the back end of the pen looks sterling, which can only help what figures to be a severely offensive challenged team.

    1. How did the Tigers get a steal when everybody in MLB could have bid for him as well, and there apparently weren’t too many teams, if any, that came remotely close to our offer despite just about everybody having to give up less draft material, and they still didn’t want to pay more money than us? I don’t see how you could possibly define this as a steal unless there’s some information critical here that I’m not privy to.

    2. How did the Tigers get a steal when everybody in MLB could have bid for him as well, and there apparently weren’t too many teams, if any, that came remotely close to our offer despite just about everybody having to give up less draft material, and they still didn’t want to pay more money than us? I don’t see how you could possibly define this as a steal unless there’s some information critical here that I’m not privy to.

      In that line of thinking, we should just steal Derek Jeter. We could vastly improve our team by swapping Everett out for Jeter. Let’s offer the Yankess our entire farm organization and $20MM in cash. Is that a steal too because of the sudden boost in this year’s player talent? All of this talk about Valverde getting a low priced contract is irrelevant to Valverde’s skills. He got less money because teams had to pay draft picks. You can’t look at the dollar amount of his contract to justify wanting him here, you have to look at the whole cost.

      Do an analysis of the next 5 years or however many years you think that this impact could affect the team in some direct or indirect significant way. Obviously we should be better the next 2 years with him rather than without him, but HOW MUCH better could he have been if we chose a replacement add-on at some other position? You don’t grade Valverde by saying his contract is fair for his talent, you grade him by comparing him to every other player in MLB that we could have traded for and we look at the rankings of the top guys in baseball that would have helped our team with a trade. Is Valverde around 1 on that list, or 10, or 100, or what? That’s what needs to be determined to know if we went out of way to create a good move.

      In my opinion, this doesn’t even hit the radar screen in terms of HIGH IMPACT players we could have sought and pried away from another team. So let’s look at our other options, as well as what this change over those next 5 years or so, and then determine what our net gain is in terms of number of games that we can probably win, or playoff experiences we can expect. On first glance, I don’t see any upside to this move anywhere near strong enough to consider it. That doesn’t mean I don’t think we can have a great year if our pitchers pan out and Valverde closes them up, but making a bad strategy and business decision isn’t justification for juicing a short-term playoff odds increase. Sure we might get lucky and happen to hit a very small region where we make the playoffs with Valverde, but not without him, but I don’t think the price paid reflects the fair value for what this does to our statistical dynamics over the long-term. Maybe if you could take another 2 million off of his contract I would consider it, but at this price he is being paid too much, cause the money isn’t all he’s being paid, he’s being paid our 1st round pick too, just that he can’t pocket that value and has to lose it because of the system.

  29. I like the move for many reasons.

    1) The Tigers haven’t given up or decided to trim payroll. Yes, they gave up Granderson, but I think that he has plateaued and will never hit lefties. He’ll be an occasional All-star (more so with the Yankees than with the Tigers), but will not be a superstar player. More of a Chet Lemon or Micky Stanley than an Alan Trammel or Al Kaline. So the Tigers flipped him and a sure free agent loss in Jackson for four major league level players, many of whom will help the team next year.

    2) The Tigers are becoming a defensive orientated club, which can be a much cheaper strategy and therefore more sustainable. Drafting young college arms, keeping them through arbitration years plus a few extra and filling in with cheaper veterans on short term contracts with strong (not great) prospects in the field.

    3) They may not win next year but they should make it interesting. That will help the younger players get a taste of pressure situations late in a major league season. The following years when the team loses a lot of bad contracts (Guillen, Willis, Robertson, Polanco (wait, that’s the Phillies bad contract)), reenters the free agent pool to fill holes left by leaving veterans (like they’ll resign Inge), and more young players come up (Ramirez, Wells, Iorg), I think that they will have a stronger base.

    4) I see them turning Valverde mid-2011 and handing the closer’s role over to one of the kids (betting Perry). This should gained them at least one prospect equivalent to the draft pick they lose.

    5) The run differential is a non-issue for me. No one had a career year. No one! The list of Tigers with off years: Guillen, Ordonez, Granderson, Caberra, (yes, Caberra). One or more of these players should contribute more. Throw in possible improvement over the last half by the hard to figure out Inge, a larger role for Avila, and more rest for Laird (which should help his offence), they will score more runs. They should also allow less or stay the same with a strong young bullpen and a good core of starters plus the return of an at least capable Bonderman.

    1. “The run differential is a non-issue for me. No one had a career year. No one!”

      I hope to be proven wrong, but it’s possible that Verlander had a career year. He set personal bests for starts, innings, wins, ERA and strike outs. I don’t think you can automatically assume that he will top those numbers this year.

  30. Any time I am mystified by a move (like signing Valverde when they let Rodney and Lyon walk away) I suspect “chemistry” turmoil. Sometimes two people just can’t work together and something has to give. I’m just saying maybe personal reasons, and not baseball reasons at all, account for some of the inconsistencies we perceive this off season.

    1. I definitely agree… Not that there is a specific chemistry issue, but there’s dozen’s of other personal issues that we have no clue about (and will never come out). For example:

      -Everyone wants to spend the money on Holliday (for example). No one here has any idea if Holliday already told his agent “no al teams” or even “no detroit”.
      -Leyland believes a solid bullpen is critical for the emotional well-being of the players. He thinks Rivera is the MVP of all baseball. You may not agree, but an unhappy mgr isn’t fun for DD to deal with either.
      -We really have no clue who was bidding against whom. I’m sure it’s not shocking to anyone that sportswritters and bloggers and agents don’t always deal in facts.

      The manager and the players are not a constituency that we on the internet have to worry about. All those personal issues and behind-the-scenes stuff is messy and really difficult to put into sabermetric terms. We don’t have to deal with it, but the team does.

  31. View the net of this trade as Rodney, Lyon, and the 1st pick for Valverde and 2 sandwich picks. That’s not bad, esp. considering that Rodney and Lyon were walking anyway.

    Using the WAR as a yardstick assumes the team has an average replacement, which it doesn’t and which wasn’t on the horizon. Therefore, I’d judge that having a solid reliever instead of reliever roulette is worth more like 10-12 wins, at least for this year.

    This deal provides stability and role clarification within the bullpen. This is critical with guys who are still developing. See what Jim Tracy did for the Rockies last year. They went from sub-.500 chaos to the playoffs last year because Tracy defined roles well. In this case, Zumaya gets the 8th, Perry gets the 7th, Seay or Schlereth contends and/or covers for Zoomer as soon as he hits the DL again. No one is overreaching.

    Seeing if one of these guys could step up into the closer role might have been entertaining, but more likely a disaster. If one of the young guns blossoms this year or next, you have the option of moving someone or just reveling in your riches. If one of them doesn’t, you’ve probably averted disaster.

    1. Using the WAR as a yardstick assumes the team has an average replacement, which it doesn’t and which wasn’t on the horizon.

      Wrong. We have a ton of average replacements. What we didn’t have was a legit major leaguer.

      Harkening back to last week’s column, the replacement player is NOT league average. The replacement player is a AAAA player, a waiver claim, or a Rule 5 guy that has somehow made his way to the major leagues. He is cheap and eminently replaceable, a player that costs your team two wins by playing him over a league average player. He is Matt Belisle.


      Therefore, I’d judge that having a solid reliever instead of reliever roulette is worth more like 10-12 wins, at least for this year.

      I don’t think there are more than a handful of players in the world worth 10 wins, if that. There definitely aren’t any relievers worth 10 wins.

      1. If someone is a shutdown reliever, he could easily save 10 more games vs. closer by committee. If he provides role clarification in the bullpen, there are intangibles there that could be worth more.

        Again, I refer you to the other team I see a lot of, the Rockies. If you look at the difference between when Huston Street was named the closer and the mess they had before that, it was night and day. Without him, they wouldn’t have been (and weren’t) a .500 team. WIth him, they go to the playoffs.

        Another lesser example is Willie Hernandez in 1984. As I remember, in 1983 they didn’t have that role filled well. In 1984, he was the MVP and they won everything.

        Maybe 10 is too high, but if I was going to spend a silver bullet on one player, it would likely be a closer. He’s in night after night with the game on the line. It’s hard to imagine any other player on the team having that much impact (maybe the catcher who makes all of his pitchers better, but I digress).

        If Valverde delivers, IMHO they will have the potential to be 10 games better than if he wasn’t on the team.

        1. You switched from WAR, which is based on win-shares, to saves. It’s a very different measurement and I think you’ll find most people here don’t put as much stock in save totals as you seem to.

          1. I sure don’t. People often have the problem of viewing the 9th inning as more important than it is. There is nothing magical about the 9th, special and clutch yes, but it’s not as important as people perceive it to be. A run in the 9th counts as 1 run just like a run in the 1st. If you need to hold on to that 1 run lead, well you could have had a 2 run lead if you hit better in the first 8 innings, or pitched better. Is converting a lot of saves great? Yeah sure, but even better is converting these close games into comfortable leads before we even see the 9th. That’s the best thing, and a move that can give you more overall +/- run differential is better than saying you have a good closer. Oh well, at least have a good closer.

  32. “looking to be more fiscally responsible and acquire cheap young high end talent to build for the future”.

    Who ever said this was their goal? Certainly plenty of speculation in the media, but I have never any team official make these statements.

  33. Well it could be worse, the Giants signed Aubry Huff. What in the world are they doing?. Matt Millan to the rescue there.

  34. Steve: you gotta love the Giants–they already have Renteria at over 9 million per year (and are perplexed that somehow, “surprisingly,” he has been disappointing with both bat and glove.

    Now this year they not only sign Huff, but say they plan on batting him 4th to “protect” Sandoval. Heh heh…I recommend replacing Leno with Sabean, there’s some good material there…

    And Huff, by the way, explained his Detroit problems by saying he wasn’t expecting to be platooned and that was hard to adjust to…more good material…

  35. There’s nothing wrong with this deal. Valverde is an upgrade. The money is what they saved by not signing Rodney and Lyon. The 3rd year is a club option. If they can contend for the division Valverde will be a major part of the puzzle. If they stink, he will command some major trade value come July.

  36. I’m not totally against the deal. I always like to see the Tigers improve their roster. I just don’t know if he improves their chances of winning enough to warrant giving up a first rounder.

    I share Billfer’s concerns about the transactions made this winter. I have been mostly supportive of Dombrowski’s moves in the past but I see no real direction to the moves being made this winter. I’m sure he has a plan but it’s not making a lot of sense to me.


    1. I’ve just come to the conclusion that “the plan” doesn’t make sense yet because there’s one more major deal that DD will make before the end of spring training. I’d guess it will be some variation on the Tigers giving up two young bullpen arms and either Everett/Inge for a prime prospect who can bat leadoff and play SS or 3rd for the next 5 years. This would require a trading partner who (a) has a leaky bullpen; (b) has a good prospect blocked by an all-star at SS or 3rd; and (c) would be willing to take Everett/Inge as a utility infielder. Or instead of (b), a variation could include a team with an established veteran at one of those positions who’s about to be pushed aside for a prospect — like how we got Polanco from the Phils when Utley came up.

      Does this sound plausible to anyone?

      Does anyone have any idea who such a trading partner might be?

      1. With Fields, Iorg, Nunez, Ciriaco, and others waiting in the wings….


        More likely, DD will trade Verlander for some over-valued pitching prospect. Or some other idiotic move that will finally cement the structure of his “plan”: chaos.

        1. Waiting in the wings? Fields is a kid and Iorg is a washout. The other two are question marks. Is there a reasonable expectation that any of the guys listed will be in Detroit’s starting line up in the next three years, let alone bat lead off in 2010?

      2. All I can say is that if it was up to me my first phone call would be to the Marlins. After much thought, I firmly believe that we could find a trade that makes sense for both teams. Hanley could be a Tiger by simply willing him to be a Tiger. Of the teams that spend money in this league, we are the top team in MLB that doesn’t have a SS by far, and that gives us the unique position to be able to buy Hanley off of Florida. It just doesn’t add up for me on how they could keep him over us. Bottom line our team is willing to spend a LOT more money than Florida is, and if we reshape our pieces, there is a leftover discrepancy that forces Florida to a lower breakeven point in terms of how much they value Hanley, thus when rearranging the quantities, those things that cancel out will cancel out, and leftover is nothing but the Tiger’s willingness to pay more overall money. If things are shaped right, Hanley almost becomes our player by default. But we have to configure properly to do just that, so that the overlap fits just the right way to make the capture. It can be done and it should be done, like yesterday.

        1. That’s an intriguing thought. But it’s not doable for the price or in the time frame I was suggesting. Some of the bad contracts would have to expire before you could start to think about a deal with that kind of pricetag.

          1. Not sure what you mean by the “timeframe” not working out? The price and the time to get him make sense to me to do right now. The whole point is to not wait for our guys to expire, but to let them play for other teams while they are in the process of expiring, that way the teams that use them as rentals will give us some of that value back. There is a balance that would have to be struck in terms of how much money will we pay people to take on bad contracts. Nobody wants all of these bad contracts, so we have to give them money. We have to pay a big bag of money as an incentive in the process. But the money isn’t that big because it’s sunk on these guys anyhow. We just have to manipulate our sunk cost amounts into a proper payoff amount such that we can get out of these deals and let them bring short term value to other teams that will give us long term chips.

            1. I guess I see the economics of this differently. The problem we have is the overhang from a bunch of bad contracts to Willis, Robertson, Bonderman, Guillen, Ordonez, etc. I don’t think any GM in his right mind is going to take on those contracts unless we pay 90% of the freight. That doesn’t free up enough $$$ for a deal for someone like Hanley Ramirez. As I see it, the only thing DD has to deal right now that can bring value is a potential surplus of bullpen arms. And that — along with questions about the back end of our rotation — won’t be known until deep into spring training. So I only see opportunity for more incremental success in filling holes at SS or 3rd until the majority of those contracts clear in 2011. I just don’t see the economics for a deal for Hanley Ramiriez penciling out in this timeframe.

              1. 90% of the freight or 88%? Or 85%? Or 50%? Or less?

                It’s not the same freight for everybody. What do you think Maggs would get on the FA market? How much exactly do you think is overpayment? When you are talking about those percents, it makes a big difference if you are averaging 90% across the lot of those guys than it is if you have any other number. I think that you see the economics differently because you haven’t gauged the dollars and the percents yet, cause that’s what I have been doing, and I see a very favorable way to financially incentivize our bad contracts with cash in such a way that we can spin them for material.

                The bottom line is the money that is sunk is the money that is being paid over what the players are worth. We have to deal with the 50% of the teams who estimate valuations in a complementary fashion (assuming equal chance of a difference of opinion +/- in any direction), and not the 50% that have a different accounting viewpoint. After you filter out the sunk cost amount, the leftover notion is that we have many players whose usage times between this year and next year have value, and whatever that value is, I’m collecting that and putting it into the Hanley Ramirez fund. The only question is how much sunk dead money needs to be peeled off the deal and then how much cash needs to exchange hands.

                But the sunk amount is gone either way, that money is promised and is overpayment, so you can’t worry about those dollars, and those dollars are a HUGE % chunk of the money we pay out, and the most relevant dollars to watch are the dollars that are over and above the sunk amount, and that’s where you are not seeing the percentages as being efficient (and of course if a team has a different accounting perspective, that number could actually decrease in our favor for half the teams, yet increase if we chose to deal with the other half of teams, so we hope Hanley falls in the cheap half and that our price tag of the over and above money is held to a reasonable and electable choice). I assure you that there are bigtime value plays to be made by selling out these 1-2 year rentals TODAY. It’s imperative that we do that. If I was the GM I would consider myself as having failed to accomplish my primary mission if I’m not able to negotiate all or most or part of this type of house cleaning and transformation. As long as I’m secure that I achieved the maximum amount of deals towards this endeavor possible, then I will find comfort that I’ve done my job in Stage 1.

  37. Well for one, again, I like the move. It solidifies our bullpen easily. Making sure the 9th innings are very solid. It brings a AS Closer to a very very young bullpen. Helps to give the young guys a mentor of sorts.

    I think with Kurt’s logic (over at BYB), and to some extent Billfer’s logic, i think the fans are made at the signing because they dealt away our beloved Curtis Granderson. We are so mad that no matter how long ago it was or how much it did or didn’t make sense we are still mad. And will continue to be mad with ANY move the front office makes because of it.

    First off, you cant REALLY and LITERALLY use the logic of us NOT getting younger, because for the 9th inning we traded Rodney for Valverde who IS younger.

    Second off shedding payroll. I do agree, if the Granderson dealings were to shed payroll then this move makes no sense. I’m beginning to get the feeling as is Doug and ‘Gator’ Anderson on 97.1 are, that Granderson and Jackson were on the way down and wanted to get the HIGHEST value for them. Thus it technically wasn’t for payroll shedding like originally thought.

    Now if we all can get over or Granderson obsessions (And I did like him but cant now since hes a Freaking Yankee) we need to have a clear non bias look at the deal. Now the Valverde signing was a bit much for only one team in on his sweepstakes. But the cost wont outweigh what he provides. Which is a lights out 9th inning. Now losing the 19th pick over all does suck, it however does not really matter since we get 2 compensation picks AND only like 5 of the last 19 tiger first rounders have gone on to make a difference in the organization. So from that perspective its ok to lose the pick.

    Finally, talking about draft picks in the minors, half of our minor leaguers are relievers. That to me is very worrisome. I think that they are either not ready, cant find the strike zone (Ryan Perry) or not panning out. That is not good. As for Schlareth, Perry and Zumaya, they are all not proven or in Zooms case injury prone. This is also worrisome.

    If we were to trust in our rookies in the bullpen and not spend money we would have looked like a little white flag to be put up at Comerica from day one of the season as we surrender cause I and many others hate closer by committee its like a surrender flag. Not only that rookie positions such as 2B and CF are getting blasted because they aren’t proven. Well if you want a 2B who is on the decline to man second be my guest but don’t complain about getting a closer veteran if you want a 2b veteran. Same with Jackson, I’m SURE he wont be Granderson in the field or even in the batters box and I would definitely feel better with Damon, or some other CF veteran but again if you want to get ‘younger’ this is how it is.

    1. I think Kurt and Billfer are perfectly capable of separating their appreciation for Granderson from their analysis of other moves made by Dombrowski. Dombrowski has made a lot of good moves as GM but given that they have one of baseball’s biggest payrolls and play in a weak division, the Tigers have not done as well as some expected the last three years. And this year’s strange off-season is leaving some people scratching their heads. It’s not 2006 anymore and not everyone has faith that every move Dombrowski’s makes is going to work out for the best. He’s still a pretty good GM but he has left himself open to criticism.


      1. I think DD should be moved to another position within the organization. He could be very valuable in certain ways, but to have him make strategy-based decisions is beyond ridiculous at this point. He isn’t even close to appreciating the ramifications and consequences of making bad decisions, and he doesn’t know how to gamble when the pot odds are lopsided in his favor.

    2. It has nothing to do with appreciation for Granderson as a personality.

      For me, it is disliking the Tigers creating a giant hole in the lineup and center field in exchange for a couple relief pitchers and a center field prospect with serious holes in his game. And then they follow that up with paying another relief pitcher.

      Meanwhile the center fielder will more than likely be a rookie, and Austin Jackson has issues. He strikes out too much, doesn’t get on base enough, and has little power. He’s been benefitting from luck and from inferior defenses in the minor leagues.

      I felt like the Tigers created bigger holes than what they filled, so I do not like the deals of this offseason one bit.

      and no matter how many times I repeat that, people insist on ascribing other motives. I can’t change what you or anyone else thinks, but I can tell you that you are 100% wrong.

        1. then why is it wherever you go for analysis that doesn’t come from Tigers fans, heads are left being scratched about the Tigers moves this offseason?

          1. Wherever I go, Tiger fans are not scratching their heads about the offseason moves. I don’t move in your circles for the most part. Therefore, I’ve heard many positive responses to the moves.

            1. Kathy, no offense, but that’s not what I said. I said people with no ties to the Tigers do not like the moves.

              ESPN’s Rob Neyer: this strikes me as a monumentally poor use of $14 million and a first-round draft choice.

              USS Mariner and Fangraph’s Dave Cameron: How do you justify dumping Curtis Granderson to save money, and then use that money (and more!) to sign a flyball reliever with command problems who has never pitched in the AL?

              Therefore, when someone claims I am just some pissed off Granderson fan, it makes me kind of confused. Is Dave Cameron a pissed off Granderson fan too? Why should he even care?

              1. I think the premise that Granderson was traded as a money move is false, which undermine the arguments of USS Mariner and Dave Cameron. It was a baseball move, nothing more, nothing less. Whether it was a GOOD baseball move remains to be seen (my sense is we catch the short end of the deal, at least in the near-term). Maybe DD was tired of seeing Granderson flail against a lefty reliever in the 8th inning of a close game. Maybe he thought Granderson’s defensive skills were better suited to a corner OF spot in 2-3 years, but he doesn’t want to block guys like Boesch and Wells. Or maybe he was just selling high on an asset that he felt was overvalued (Keith Law calls him a platoon player, for example). There are plenty of logical reasons outside of money to make the trade.

                As for Neyer’s analysis, the Tigers pick 19th in what I understand to be a very thin draft, so losing that pick isn’t suicide. I look at it this way: If the Tigers contend for the divsion, chances are they will need Valverde to do it. If they don’t contend, they can trade him for a very solid propsect; bullpen arms are always in high demand at the deadline. This is not a huge dropoff from a draft pick.

              2. OK. I still respectfully disagree. I’ve read numerous articles saying this was a good move for the club. Almost everything I’ve read, except from a few bloggers, have high praise for the acquisition of Valverde. There are stil mumbles and grumbles from some of the fans, but lots of positive press regarding the Tigers offseason moves. As far as Grandy, I’ll miss him. But, he’s gone and I’m looking forward to what we have in CF. I think we’ll probably all know one way or the other come June.

              3. Well most of the articles don’t really dissect the Valverde move that much. All they look at is we don’t have a closer and now we do, that’s great! But if we could have had Hanley Ramirez instead of Valverde, how good is it then? I don’t like the move not because I don’t like Valverde, I don’t like the move because I can invent other things we could have done that are better.

                Show me an article where somebody backs up getting Valverde in favor of getting Hanley from a trade? Then you will have an article that you either disagree with, or one where the person writing it has conceived of the other options and evaluated this one against them. Show me where they list our ENTIRE team for this year and every year for the next 10 years, and they show a side by side comparison of what our team looks like with this Valverde move and w/o this Valverde move. If they saw this chart they might rethink wanting to support this move. Until they specifically mention these alternative moves and start showing why the Valverde option is a good one, then they really aren’t covering their bases and looking at all the ramifications. That’s what I’ve done. I’ve looked at the totality of how this affects everything, and my analysis shows that this hurts us more than helps us. It’s going to cost us some deviation from a much more brilliant plan that exists in theory. Thus I submit that any article in favor of the Valverde move is just an inside-the-box and narrow viewpoint.

      1. Kurt, I’m with you 100%. Every time someone criticizes the Granderson deal or any other deal it’s because “you love Granderson and can’t see what a great baseball trade it was” It’s fine if people like the trade and are very high on the players they got in return. However I don’t like the trade and it has nothing to do with Granderson’s personality.

        As for the Valverde trade, The Tigers used a bunch of high draft picks on relievers in 2008. They traded their starting center fielder and acquired two more relievers. And now their only big acquistion of the year is another relief pitcher. Looking at the Valverde signing in isolation, it’s not a bad move. Looking at the big picture, the whole off-season does not make sense to me.


        1. You can never have too many arms in the pen. Just look at how the season ended for the Tigers in 2009. It was game 163, in the 12 th inning and Rodney was coming out for his 4th inning because we had nobody else available.
          If the Tiger fans want answers on why we’re stockpiling RP’s, look at the last week of the season and how it unfolded. Complete utter collapse of the pitching staff. Why were we counting on guys like Nate Robertson, Eddie Bonine, and Alfredo Figaro to carry us? Edwin Jackson was worthless too. We didn’t get more than 6 innings from any of these 4 starters and that’s something that our bullpen wasn’t prepared to handle.

          This season, we’ll be depending on the pen even more. I don’t see us getting big innings from Porcello, Scherzer, Bonderman, or the 5th starter. We might get quality innings from these guys, just not quantity.

      2. Isn’t Granderson the one who created that hole in 2009? He hit .183 vs lefties, had 141 strikeouts, and a .327 OBP.

        1. If every player was disqualified on account of one bad hitting season, then you wouldn’t have enough players to go around to even fill all the team rosters.

          1. What about 2 seasons? or 3 seasons?

            His big year in 2007, he hit .160 with just a .225 OBP vs Lefties.
            In 2006, Granderson hit .218 with a .278 OBP vs Lefties.
            That’s 3 out of 4 seasons he was piss poor vs Lefties.

            Most people in his shoes would be put in a platoon situation. He’s a good player vs righties, but he should be sitting on the bench about 2 games per week vs those lefties. A team would need a good 4th outfielder to replace him in those games.

            Platooning Granderson is something the Tigers couldn’t afford to do because we already have late inning situational nightmares in LF and RF with Guillen and Ordonez. We’d need to carry a 6th outfielder in order to platoon Granderson. That’s not going to work because we need an extra arm in the bullpen instead.

            Austin Jackson is going to be the full-time CF. He’s not the perfect player, he does have some holes in his game, but he also has many strengths. This guy can hit, he can field the ball, and he can throw the ball well. I think Tiger fans will fall in love with him once they see what kind of player he is.
            He has a nice resume:
            1999- Baseball America #1 12 year old in the nation.
            2002- Baseball America #1 15 year old in the nation.
            2005- Declined basketball scholarship at Georgia Tech to sign with the Yankees for $800K. Had the largest signing bonus ever for an 8th round pick.
            2008- Baseball America #2 Yankees prospect.
            2009- Baseball America # 1 Yankees prospect.

            Here’s a video with him playing basketball. He was a high flying dunker back in high school.
            Here’s a good article about him:

            1. Great, so he’s ONLY one in a million? That makes him sound worth less than I previously thought. So he’s one of the 6,000 best baseball players in the world? Oh how privileged we are.

              1. That’s one in a million for one baseball scout. He was the best of all the young players that this one scout has ever seen.

              2. Keith, I was being facetious. Also I didn’t read the whole article, but I didn’t catch where he said it’s the best prospect he ever saw? And he’s a can’t miss player? Not sure what that even means, cause if he can’t hit then he can’t play to begin with. What did this scout see that suggests he’s going to be a good hitter? Or maybe this is the type of scout that also would have like Adam Everett. That scout could have said Everett is a can’t miss player and today he could say he’s right because he’s holding a roster spot every year for a million dollars per. But to me, I see Everett as a total miss. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

            2. Great info, by my overall analysis says Granderson is a very valuable player to have. You have to take the bad with the good and make practical projections, and Granderson rates favorably in my opinion. AJ does not. I don’t know much about him so I can’t count him out or say he can’t be good, but I don’t see any evidence that encourages me to think his odds are that high of being a great player. I’m not interested in him becoming a mediocre CF by the MLB statndard. I wanted the best team, and we need a top CF, and we had a top CF, and now I would be surprised if we do. I mean this guy has played 565 games in the minors and he still hasn’t shown that he can even hit.

              1. His splits showed that he could hit AAA pitching, but just not for a full season.
                April: .371 BA, .444 OBP, .912 OPS
                May: .339 BA, .419 OBP, .841 OPS

                He’ll need to learn how to maintain consistency for a full season, but just not at the AAA level. It could take a few seasons. He’ll have his ups and downs until then. He’s going to be a solid .300 hitter, much like how Derek Jeter is, but without the walks. Ground ball / line drive hitters like them, hit for high averages year in year out.

              2. Indeed. I do see it as possible (struggling to see the positives of his stats and reviews) that he can develop and become a good baseball player. I just wouldn’t want to take the gamble if there was a way to side-step it. And there are lots of ways to side-step it. We could trade AJ now before we play him and not take the risk that he lowers his stock, or we could have simply not made the trade in the first place. I like sure things, and when there is a gamble, the odds and the percentages have to line up favorably, and I don’t see a sweet spot in playing this AJ game show.

        2. this gaping hole you see had the third-highest OPS on the team among regulars, so what’s that say about the rest of the lineup that the Tigers failed to address?

          1. I’m just pointing out that the hole in CF already existed, mainly vs Lefties.

            How would you suggest that we make the rest of the line-up better? Most of these players we have are difficult to move. You can’t just dump salaries either. Which Free Agents could make the hitting and defense better for $7 Million a year? The free agent market was void of any cheap good all-around players.

            I will say that it was Leyland fault’s for not utilizing Granderson correctly. He should of been hitting behind Cabrera. Batting him 1st, hurt the team because of his low OBP, but it was also a waste of his HR power.

  38. I’m in! Anything’s better than having to deal with a season of Rodney.

    Let’s get Damon and start playing baseball already!

    Go Tigers!

      1. I don’t think even the king of fuzzy/no math can convince me that a guy without a contract is overpaid.

        1. LOL. I’m speaking relative to his previous pay bracket and talent range. In other words, Johnny Damon has received more money in his most recent past, than the baseball production he has given in return. And in a way I’m speaking in advance of whatever his future contract is from the position that I will think he’s overpaid. I’m I’m wrong and he signs for less than what I suspect he will be able to get from some team that overpays him, well then that would put me in error here at present day. But if I’m right and he does get overpaid, then I think I’m off the hook here on a technical level.

  39. Some of Dombrowski’s first words after that last loss of the season were that there would be repercussions. My greatest concern about this team is Guillen. I loved him 4 years ago and still do, but he is not the same player he used to be. He’s a weak link on the field.

    1. Couldnt agree with you more. Raburn in LF everyday I think would be even better then Guillen out there. Too much of a weak link. (And Health Risk)

      1. I totally agree with all of you. My expectations for Guillen are very very low this season. I’m not sure he has much left in the tank.

        I think he was a brilliant player and want him on the team to help the younger players, so I will make exceptions for him getting some PT these next few years. He was a good switch hitter who had nice power, had a good eye, and once could play any position on the field. Keyword: HAD. When he was healthy, there wasn’t a finer all-around player in the organization. If there is a player that can bounce back and have a 2nd wind in his career, he’s the type of talent that can do it. He really is that gifted, but still playing LF at Comerica Park on a daily basis is way too much of a task for him. It might even be too much of a task for a younger player, like Raburn. IMO, Guillen should be in LF occasionally and DH most of the time, kind of like how Markus Thames was the past few seasons. His playing time really depends on how well he’s hitting.

  40. Imagine this. Carlos’ knees are doing great. He has wonderful side to side range and returns to playing shortstop. He bats .308 with 18 HR and 88 RBI.

    How’s that sound? Is it spring yet?

    1. Imagine this. In 4 weeks we’ll be getting reports from Lakeland. Very, very curious to see how Austin Jackson looks out there in CF.

  41. I don’t know why everyone is shocked that Granderson was dealt..I see the new season of Psych is starting up on USA and he’s got to get back to play Gus!

  42. A Mgoblog.com poster who lives directly across from Brandon Inge said there is a “FOR SALE” sign posted in his yard, as of this morning. Looks like there’s a chance he is being moved in the immediate future. Or, just moving to a new neighborhood.

    1. Did he say how much the asking price was and how much was originally paid for the home? Or anything useful that gives us any clues?

      1. No clues. He’s not even a Tigers fan. He just wanted people to know that the sign is in the yard.

        1. It’s just not a good time to sell houses for what I would guess to be his situation with that property. Sounds like a convenience matter of not wanting to own a house in a state that you don’t expect to live in in the near future. I’m excited! That is if we get fair value for him because he’s a good candidate for being worth more to ride out as a player than what you can convert him into via trade considering how his season tailed off and in conjunction with an injury. But if some team is less risk-averse, then that’s where a nice trade can be consummated, and this is what I’ve been eluding to when I talk about a transformation. Inge is one of the guys on my list that we can strategically transform away from.

          1. I wouldn’t get too excited about a trade in the works just yet. The housing market in Michigan is terrible, and so a period of 9-10 months on the market would not be unusual. It could just be Inge putting the house up now in anticipation of selling later this year. Perhaps he is getting the notion that DD & Co. won’t be offering him a new contract after season’s end and he’s preparing to play elsewhere.

            Or, maybe he just hates his neighbors. Or wants to get his kids into a different school. It could be anything, people move all the time.

  43. Is the return of Carlos to 3B? He’s no Brandon Inge, but he did better than league average* the year he played there.

    * Based on fielding percentage and range factor, which is just chances per 9 innings. It could be he got a lot of extra chances because batters thought he was lousy and tried to hit it his way on purpose.

    1. Fine with me. I don’t care what position Guillen plays so long as it’s not the outfield. Put him at catcher if you have to, but keep him in the infield or don’t keep him on your team. Or we could just make him solely a DH and start calling him Conan Guillen?

  44. Hey guys, I’m mostly a lurker around here, but I was wondering what everybody’s thoughts were on the Felix Hernandez deal. 5 for $80 million seems like it would be advantageous to us in our attempt to lock up Verlander long term. I don’t know all that much about the details on contracts and all that, but I would think that Hernandez would have higher value on the open market than JV. Given what King Felix got, what do you think Verlander might get? 5 for $70, 6 for $85?

    1. IMO, Verlander has a very strong case to get exactly what King Felix got.

      Stats from 2006 – 2009
      Verlander: 26 years old, 65 W, 41 L, 828.2 IP, 3.88 ERA, 739 K’s
      King Felix: 23 years old, 54 W, 37 L, 820.2 IP, 3.53 ERA, 733 K’s.

    2. Yeah, I think that the King Felix contract and the Lackey contract pretty well pinpoint what JV’s contract would have to look like. $16 mill or so per year for five or six years. So 5/$80 or 6/$96 or thereabouts. Given that Verlander has what are generally considered to be sound mechanics, and has never really had arm problems except for the ‘tired arm’ after his overuse in 2006, he should be easily insurable against catastrophic injury, and I can’t really see him falling off the rails over the next six years if he remains healthy. I think signing him now makes sense for both sides.

  45. Sounds like Cabrera has quit drinking. He’s spent the last 3 months in an alcohol abuse treatment program in Miami. God bless him!

    1. Sweet, now I want to trade him cause his stock just went up. If he stayed down I would have kept him, but now that he has his act together we need to ship him out of town! 🙂

    1. Terrific baseball shape, or does somebody have a crush? You are going to have to beat out my sister who’s in love with him too.

  46. Late to the party here, but how can anyone say they don’t like this deal? Outside of Rivera, K-Rod and maybe Papelbon, this guy has proved to be the best closer in the game. For a team concentrating on pitching and maintaining leads once they get them a closer is ESSENTIAL to this team. Rodney is not a closer, Zumaya is not, Perry is not yet, so who are they going to go with? If they would have gotten a run of the mill closer, there would be more griping about how the Tigers are cost-cutting.
    There is no salary dumping going on here. They are cleaning house. In return for two players that we sold high on, we got in return version 2.0 (Jackson) and quality arms, ALL under team control in regard to contracts. Jackson via Boras would have shot the moon on us, and Granderson although a great roto player is a TERRIBLE lead-off hitter; a guy with an above-average defense ability (minus the arm) who with his low batting average and production is a 6-hole hitter. Great moves on both parts.
    The 4-power positions are 1B, 3B (sometimes) left and right field. We could use a 35-110 guy in left, that’s for sure; we have our 1B; 3B is low in batting average of course but 30 homeruns at 3B is a nice number; and RF is covered due to we can’t be sitting some guy on the bench making 18 million a year. It would be nice to have one more power bat, and one more for average (HATED seeing Polanco go, but age and salary numbers just don’t match up), but every team has wants and desires.
    Yeah we are definitely going to have problems scoring some runs if Sizemore and Jackson are not as good as advertised, but I still like our chances, barring injury, to be in the hunt in the Central.

    1. You should start by reading all of the posts attached to this article. Anybody that didn’t like the move pretty much explained their reasons, there shouldn’t be any mystery as to that question.

      Your comments about Granderson don’t make much sense to me. I never viewed Grandy as a leadoff hitter, so just because Leyland illogically used him as a leadoff hitter, that doesn’t mean that affects Grandy’s personal value in any way. That’s like saying $100 isn’t worth $100 because one guy chooses to light the money on fire, while another guy uses it to buy $100 worth of stuff. Grandy is worth $100, and it’s not his fault if his manager chooses to not get full value out of him. So whether we use him right or not, we should assume the Yankees will use him right, thus we should make the Yankees pay $100 or more since that’s what he is POTENTIALLY worth to them if they theoretically optimize his value. We were paid less than $100 as a result, probably because we cut his full market value down to our team realized value, thus a margin of inefficiency is born, so I disagree with your sentiments for liking the Grandy trade.

        1. TSE is of the Chicago school of applying economics to everyday living. Hey man check out the New Yorker article on Posner (and if you don’t know who I am talking about, well, stay away from economic theory in your posts). Chicago school is dead.
          So in your Rube Goldberg style of hypotheticals, I guess you mean that Granderson was worth more than we got. Granderson’s value to the Tigers is not equal to that of the rest of the baseball world, and we made out better. If he were a 3, 4 or 5-hole hitter, with the dead wood we had surrounding Cabrera for most of the season last year (Gullien out, Mags slumping) don’t you think Leyland would have dropped him down in the lineup to protect Cabrera? He didn’t, and in fact platooned him against lefties, but his roto appeal, and his penchant for the ESPN play of the week trumped up his value nicely for us. He is not a leadoff hitter, strikes out too much for a guy batting only .240 with 30 HRs, and is not the kind of guy to build around. He will do much better in pinstripes because he has a lineup where he will see a lot of fastballs. The Tigers’ lineup, and DD/Leyland’s chosen philosophy of defense, pitching and scratching out runs is not conducive to a guy who watches first pitch fastball strikes and swings at everything in the dirt. What we got in return matches his value. Sure, he was a fine player, but his value outside of Detroit far outweighed it in the organization and we got a steal.

          1. You write like as if I supported Grandy as a leadoff hitter. That pissed me off for years. I would never ever have had Grandy playing leadoff for us, the batting order has better “economic” efficiencies by keeping him out of #1. Not to mention that Grandy would not strike out as much if I was involved. Striking out is optional for some of the strikeouts and any GOOD hitting instructor would know how to help Grandy get on track. I know for a fact that I could do it easily because it’s obvious to me to see solutions to problems that professionals can’t figure out on their own time. Our hitting instruction is a joke, and nobody on our team that has any power (DD/Leyland) have the right mindset to teach our players to behave differently. They have our players trained to play some kind of warped style of baseball that Leyland likes, but it’s not the right type of mindset, tactics, instruction that lead to efficient run production. I’ve been complaining about that for years and people don’t want to hear it or acknowledge that it’s true. LOL, I’m sorry you don’t appreciate economics, but I’m not preaching economics, I’m preaching logic, and logic can sometimes use economics as an analogy to paint a picture, so I’m of the school of brilliant thoughts and sound reasoning.

            1. Okay, if he is not a lead-off hitter as you say immediately above, and he is not a two-hole hitter–Polanco was A-1 exemplar of a 2-hole hitter, i.e. around .300, lots of contact, fantastic hit and run hitter, very few strikeouts, and bunts well. Granderson does not fit that bill at all–and he is not a 3-5 hole hitter as I stated above (specifically a guy hitting for power and/or average, and if he strikes out alot, it had better be both and although 25 to 30 home runs is a fine number, it’s not 3-5 hole power numbers), then applying your “school of brilliant thoughts and sound reasoning” (that’s an awesome statement, btw), where is the next spot for him? That would be the 6-hole or lower in a light-wood line-up like the Tigers, no less.
              So, as I stated in my original post, we traded what is essentially a 6-hole hitter for Granderson 2.0, a damn fine lefty bullpen ace who may become a starter, and also as a corollary to the deal a fine young right-hander and a potential lefty bullpen stud.
              The Yankees may try him at the 2-hole for a bit, or they may think to hit him lead-off (and that is a very strong possibility since Brian Cashman is terrible in picking sub-superstar talent prospects), but my guess is he will bat 6-9. Perfect for the Yankees because they have money to burn. We don’t and what DD got in return was some fantastic work as a GM. And as for your theory on Leyland teaching him efficient run production, don’t you think that includes the possibility that Leyland said one time or another, Hey, Grandy, could you lighten up on striking out so damn much? Apparently that did not help.
              Yes, Granderson was good, but to get value you need to trade value, and in the end the Tigers are on top in this deal.

              1. Well under your premises, then yeah the 6 spot is fine. You are assuming he fails at hitting successfully or for power to DQ him from the top 5 spots. So I guess if he fails, well he fails, and yeah 6 or lower you have no choice. I am not going to assume he will fail though. Granderson to me is a SOLID hitter. I’m the guy that’s a stickler for everything, but yet somehow I don’t waver on Granderson, that should tell you something, cause I don’t vouch for very many players. I don’t lose on my reputation for vouching for crappy baseball players. I vouch for the guys that you can depend on, and Granderson’s hitting you CAN depend on, and to have a player like that brings a nice sense of security in knowing you’ve got a guy that is going to be a highlight reel film in CF with good defense and fantastic hitting. I don’t give 2 craps about his recent struggles with strikeouts, previous strikeouts don’t count in future games. When Grandy strikes out to an abysmal rate on MY watch, then we have a problem. But I have no intention of letting Grandy fall apart on my watch. I’m going to GIVE him what HE NEEDS to be successful and I’m certain he’s going to hit well with flying colors as a result. He’s fantastic hitting clay.

                I’m not sure what you mean with the hypothetical conversation of Leyland asking for less strikeouts, it doesn’t work that way. If it did, why wouldn’t he just forget the strikeouts part and just tell everybody on the team to hit 50 HRs. If everybody on our team did that we’d be awesome. But you can’t make somebody come up with a certain result. Leyland has DIRECT orders in place on hitting tactics that affect when players swing in certain situations plus he influences the program of the hitting coach. It’s not Grandy’s fault that Leyland and the hitting coach are giving him bad advice and improper instruction, and it’s not Grandy’s fault when Leyland can’t identify when hitters should have green lights, red lights, or yellow. He has our entire team of hitters messed up with his flawed ORDERS and INSTRUCTION. As far as predicting what the Yankees will do with Grandy, who cares. They might want to use him as a leadoff hitter because they have too many other potent power hitters and so an unnatural Grandy fit at the #1 spot might make sense for their team, although I haven’t spent any time trying to analyze what I would do with the Yankee’s lineup structure.

    1. Then why didn’t he do that with Polanco when I was screaming every day for YEARS on getting ahead of the Polanco curve? Answer: Cause DD doesn’t know how to think and optimize and cover all his bases. He’s irresponsible.

      1. How do you know he didn’t try? How you know he didn’t solicit offers and determine (possibly correctly) that they were not sufficient?

        When you’re trying to contend on an annual basis — which we’ve been attempting to do, albeit with limited success –, you’re not going to trade a key component of your team — which Polly has been for the past few years — unless you’re going to profit by the deal. There are only two ways to profit: Trade from a position where you have a surplus of talent — 2B certainly didn’t qualify until recently and even still it’s a gamble to put the rookie in — or trade someone that your counterpart happens to overvalue. Aside from Philly, everyone has a pretty good assessment of Polly’s value, so the opportunities to profit by moving Polly probably weren’t there.

        Your constant assumptions about things you couldn’t possibly know are tiresome. You have this little echo chamber going on in your head where you assume that DD is incompetent and you therefore fill in all of the question marks with the assumptions that cast DD in the worst light. You complete the circle by using your newfound conclusions to reinforce your previous belief.

        It gives you the ability to string an impressive amount of words together, but the bottom line is that the entire thing is built upon a miniscule foundation. I could easily assemble an equally unsubstantiated case that DD is an incredible GM.

        When you something of substance to offer, please do so, but if you’re just in the mood to beg the question, save it for your local sports bar.

        1. I know for a fact he didn’t try because Polanco was a good player and worth something in return. He was vastly overrated early on and the getting was good. DD didn’t trade him because he was one of the fools that thought Polanco was a great value to have, while I saw him as a extremely exaggerated value to have and a great value to trade. It was one of the biggest trade no-brainers in team history. It’s extremely difficult to find a player that the vast majority of people are overvaluing, and you HAVE to find a way to exploit those profits. DD just isn’t a shrewd baseball strategist.

          And then you on and make a false assumption. When you are contending you don’t trade key parts of the team? Maybe you don’t, but I sure do. That’s because I have a logical mind and not my head up my ass. Why is year 1 worth more than years 2 though infinity? A year is a year, if you take a hit in one year then you get a bonus in another. So does a 1984 WS mean something more to you than if it was a 1985 WS? How about we trade a 1984 WS for a 1986 and 1988 WS win? I’d rather win MORE WS’s than less. And I’d rather not miss the playoffs any chance I can get. DD has relegated us to a weak position and we are easily the biggest underachievers in the 4 major sports with what we have to work with and what we SHOULD be accomplishing. We could have had the greatest baseball team of all-time on our horizons in the near future, that’s how epic of a failure DD has been in this position. I just find his contributions to the team to be deplorable and utterly sad.

          1. So, what does everybody think about the Yanks signing Randy Winn? Damon is still out there but I hope we don’t sign him.

            1. So so, move for the Yanks. I guess they view Winn as a 4th OF and speed off the bench. He hit very poorly vs lefties last year (.158 avg), which is probably why nobody else wanted him. This kind of shows that the Yankees have no plans on sitting Granderson vs Lefties. They’ll probably get away with it because the rest of their line-up is just incredible. Hard to believe, but Granderson is probably the worst hitter in their starting line-up.

              The most curious move was the Twins picking up Jim Thome. It’s perfectly fine by me if he steals at bats away from Kubel and Mauer at the DH spot. They also plan on using him as a pinch hitter. How used this way helps them, I don’t know. I think the roster spot could be utilized better if that’s how he’s used. But if they plan on benching Delmon Young and putting Kubel in LF, then this might just be a decent move for the Twins. If they are going to have a defense liability in LF, it might as well be Kubel. I’d take Thome over Young in the line-up any day of the week.

            2. I think the Tigers are content with Raburn/Guillen in LF for now. Raburn was one of the few bright spots in LF last year. He certainly surprised me, so I’m not sure he can repeat the year he had. He deserves the chance to prove me wrong and I hope he does prove me wrong again.

              I do think Damon is a better option than either of them, but we just don’t have a roster spot to spare for a guy like him. I’d much much rather have the Tigers go after Filipe Lopez and try to get him as a super utility guy at 3B, SS, and 2B. It would be nice to see less of Don Kelly, Santiago, and Everett.

              1. Felipe Lopez? Not too expensive, either, Can play multiple positions? I’m heading over to fangraphs and compare his stats.

              2. Well, he had a pretty good year in ’09, but that was at 2nd base. Strikes out alot, though. Awful at SS, so I don’t think that’s even a possibility…..too many errors. According to fangraphs his WAR is higher than Polly’s if I’m reading it right.

              3. I take that back on SS. Carlos was a worse SS that Lopez. I don’t know. He’s a switch hitter, too, but I don’t know how to separate his batting stats from both ways. This is when we need billfer or someone else who could analyze this guy and know what their talking about.

              4. Felipe is far from an extraordinary player or a must have player, or a money player, this is a guy that can do nothing more than be a short term solution that gives you ok results. This team is disgustingly short of premier hitting talent in the infield positions. Felipe is a guaranteed non-spectacular player and is the type of guy you want if you want to play conservatively and play it safe and he probably gives us a nice fortification to secure 2nd place so if that’s all you seek then he’s your guy, but he certainly is not the type of guy you want if you are interested in “getting ahead” or being a long-term dynasty powerhouse. He doesn’t fit into that equation, but he does fit for any team that isn’t looking for premium long-term results. As far as I’m concerned he’s a waste of time. The only way I can see him being of any use to us is if he’s willing to drop down closer to Everett’s contract price and that we can then bump Everett off the team. I’d rather have Everett and the $2MM of savings because neither guy makes any sense to possess for a franchise of our potential. He would give us a fair chance for a tiny increase in overall production.

              5. I watched Lopez his entire career. He’s a former 1st round pick for Toronto. He was considered one of the top SS prospects during his minor league career. Had a tough time breaking into the majors. His breakout year was in 2005 for Cincinnati, where he was instantly the talk of the roto community.

                He’s was an aggressive player with a fiery attitude. Some fans may not like him because he’s covered with tattoos. He’s been bouncing around from team to team also.

                He had a rough 2 time playing for Washington, but since leaving, he’s been rather terrific with the bat. Last year he posted a .310 batting average and .383 OBP. His fielding peripherals improved also.

                He’d actually be a good fit for Minnesota at 2B or 3B. I’m sure he’d rather play at one position full-time, than be a utility guy.

              6. John Paul Morosi says the Tigers are looking for more of an infield type of guy. You know……in case Inge’s knees aren’t quite right or Sizemore and his ankle don’t agree. We’ll see what happens.

          2. I know for a fact he didn’t try

            No, you don’t. You’re an aspiring GM yet you’ve already admitted you have no meaningful contacts in the business. There’s no way you know anything about what goes through (or has gone through) DD’s mind (or any other GM for that matter) “for a fact”.

            Yet you constantly prattle on as if you do. There’s a constant theme amongst those that are respected on this board: humility. You’d be much more interesting if you had a dose of it.

            P.S. Reading comprehension seems to be a recurring problem too. I said, “When you’re trying to contend on an annual basis…, you’re not going to trade a key component of your team…unless you’re going to profit by the deal.” (emphasis added). I then went on to discuss what it would mean “to profit” and why such an opportunity might not have been available.

            1. “You’d be much more interesting if you had a dose of it.”

              As I’m sure TSE is only too aware, if he were ever to drop the “superior logic” act, there really would be nothing of interest to his posts.

  47. Not to change the subject, but I was thrilled to hear Verlander say he loves Detroit and wants to stay here. He was quite emphatic about it and that’s the first time I’ve heard him say something like that. I hope his wish comes true, because I’d like to see him stay, too.

    Yesterday, I had an appt in Detroit and on my way back home, I saw the Tigers’ big van heading west probably back to Detroit from Marshall. Sure wish I was at Tigerfest today.

    1. Agreed!

      A Verlander extension would make this winter feel a little warmer. I was starting to dig that whole “pitching angry” thing last season (not that I advocate living angrily, in the interest of emotional well-being). It kind of reminded me of my favorite contemporary hurler, Randy Johnson. The swinging K’s also embellish the motif (at which point the analogy breaks down quickly, but I digress).

      Please, lock up J.V.!

      1. There’s really no hurry. He’s still locked up for 2 more seasons before he can become a Free Agent.

        I’d make him sweat this season out before extending his contract. So far, every pitcher we’ve locked up beyond his arbitration eligible years has screwed us, those being Bonderman, Willis, and Robertson. Verlander will be getting considerably more dollars than each of those guys. $88.25 Million is what those 3 guys combined will make with their contracts and that’s about what Verlander will be expecting.

  48. Tigerfest main stage activities will be streamed live exclusively on tigers.com! WATCH LIVE

    TIGERS OUTLOOK –11:15 – 12:00
    Segment will focus on the Tigers off-season activities and preview the 2010 season.
    MIKE STONE (host) DAN DICKERSON (host)

    Discussion will include interviews with current Tigers players, coaches and Vice President & Assistant General Manager Al Avila.
    MIKE STONE (host) DAN DICKERSON (host)

    HITTING CLINIC –1:10 – 1:30
    A special hitting clinic featuring Detroit Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon and various Tigers players.
    ROD ALLEN (host)

    PITCHING CLINIC –1:40 – 2:00
    A special pitching clinic featuring Detroit Tigers pitching coach Rick Knapp and various Tigers players.
    ROD ALLEN (host)

    TIGERS “FAN” CONFERENCE –2:15 – 4:00
    Numerous Tigers players will visit the stage for a one-of-a-kind two-hour press conference style Q&A session
    MARIO IMPEMBA (host)

  49. Today is probably Grandy’s last trip to Detroit for awhile. There was a picture of him on my newspapers front page Saturday. He visited Marshall, MI, a town close to where I live. Evidently there was a drawing contest involving his book and the winner lives in Marshall. The team also made a stop in Marshall the same day. Now his charity event today (Sunday). I got to thinking how both of these events were planned to take place the weekend of Tigerfest where he seemingly would be in Detroit. Maybe he was just as shocked as the rest of us with the trade.

  50. Oh, Billfer. I knew you were bummed out about the trade, but maybe it’s a blessing. I’m hoping you can find a way to keep the blog going, but no matter your decision, your family always has to come first.

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