2010 Offseason: Outfield (and DH)

With SS and 3B done, OF and Catcher remain the biggest needs for the boys.  I think it is safe to say that AJax will be starting in center, and the corner positions are up for grabs.

In May and June of last year, Boesch in Left and Maggs in Right helped to form a respectable outfield, and a formidable lineup.  But Boesch’s collapse and Maggs’ constant injuries cast doubt on a Boesch, Jackson, Maggs trio for 2011.

Ordonez had his $15M option turned down by the Tigers, but they are still expected to negotiate with him in the coming weeks.  Keep in mind that he will be 37 next year (older than any of the full time OFers listed below), and his games played have been on a steady decline since 2007, bottoming out at 84 last year.  Boras is already playing his games.

John Lowe wrote on Sunday that the three big bats that the Tigers will chase will be Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth, and Carl Crawford.  Crawford in the outfield with Jackson would be lethal, but Crawford is expected to receive big offers from a number of teams.  Werth and Dunn will not come cheaply either, though at least one MLB.com writer is predicting Dunn to the Tigers.

I’ve seen more than one baseball writer hint that the Tigers might make a play for Jeter, though this was written before the Peralta signing.  Would Jeter play LF?

Damon is a free agent, but I can not imagine a repeat of him at DH, at least not as a first option.  I was shocked to read that Damon was coming off of a “pretty solid season” on ESPN insider yesterday.  Damon hit 8 HR with 51 RBA and a .756 OPS last year.

Another reason why I pass in Damon, is that once you get past the big boys who are DH/OF combos, there are plenty of good options left at DH.  Thome, Matsui, Vlad, Sweeney.  Heck, could Brad Hawpe resurrect his career?  He’s only 31…

Hopefully Ilitch will have some money left after his next purchase.

In the feel good story of the day – the Tigers resigned Max St. Pierre to a minor league contract. Terms were undisclosed.

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “2010 Offseason: Outfield (and DH)”

  1. “Maggs’ constant injuries”; “his games played have been on a steady decline since 2007, bottoming out at 84 last year.”

    I don’t know if that’s a fair characterization. I don’t remember why he missed time in 2008, but he still played 90% of the games that year. The time he missed in 2009 wasn’t so much about injuries as it was benching him due to his lack of production, which in hindsight probably had more to do with off-field issues.

    I would like the Tigers to make a fair offer to Maggs because I think he can still produce, although I’d rather not see them get into a bidding war over a guy who, as you point out, is 37 and coming off a recent surgery.

    1. Okay, I see your point. But let’s remember that he missed most of ’04 and half of ’05 with injuries as well.

      He had one stint in ’08, and I think two in ’09, but he was also dealing with some pretty serious family issues. What would you be wiling to pay him?

      I could do something like $8M – $10M for a year, with a club option for a 2nd. Problem is, will another team out there offer him a 3/$27 or 2/$20 type deal?

  2. I think it is wonderful that we resigned “Crash” St. Pierre to a minor league deal. This will “solidify” our catching depth.

  3. I agree with Vince. It’s always great to have guys named “Max” in your organization, and even better to have people named “St.” something, for instance the great actresses Jill St. John, Susan St. James, and Sue Ste. Marie.

  4. OK, more seriously, I recommend a separate post on DH. Here’s why.

    In the American League, the DH is a position. It is not a place to rest tired players (oh, and guess what? Players too banged up to play in the field aren’t their best at the plate.).

    And this has been for years the weakest part of the Tiger offense; with bottom of the barrel DH performance it’s amazing we’ve even managed average offensive teams.

    For all of the teeth-gnashing over Inge, and how his defense doesn’t make up for his hitting, and how 3rd base is supposed to be a high OPS position, there is relative silence about the pathetic DH production.

    Well how about this: if we could clone Inge and put him at DH, it would improve our offense.

    OPS numbers, 2008 – 2010:

    Inge .719
    DH .713

    Inge .720
    DH .704

    Inge .722
    DH .697

    Pathetic. Get a real DH and then worry about Inge.

    1. I agree we need a “real” DH. However, the prerequisite to getting a real DH is having a “real” manager that knows what a DH is for (that is, NOT a “position” for worn-out, used up, injured players). We’re still waiting on that. That is partly my argument for going after Martinez – we could sneak at least a part-time DH in under Smokey’s nose.

  5. I agree about V-Mart. I wonder how much DD has been an enabler of the DH problem (he did get Sheffield, although if Sheffield is to be believed-always a dicey proposition–he was promised a LF job).

    I have an odd fear that DD gets V-Mart, and then the smoking man platoons him at C vs LHP, and alternates Carlos Gimpen and Don Kelly at DH, batting Kelly 5th of course, because that’s where DHs bat, and because the most important thing in baseball is to have a lineup with alternating RHB and LHB.

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