More on Victor Martinez

Despite this guy’s negativity, I really like the deal for a number of reasons.  (You really should check out that link if you want to see a good example of how to poorly build  an argument).

1) Other than his injury year of 2008, he’s had a WAR of 3.9 or higher (see Fangraphs here) in each of the past six years, and an OPS+ of at least 122 (see B-R here).

2) His middle name is “Jesus” and as we all know, you don’t ___ with the Jesus.

3) He’s a catcher.  And we really, really need a more than a back-up catcher.  I understand that he’s arguably a liability defensively, but what other options did DD have?  I feel that all too often people ignore the available market when talking free agents.  Alex Avila has an opportunity to be a serviceable catcher for a long time, and VMart definitely bridges that gap.

4) He’s a switch-hitter.  How great is that?  Talk about ultimate protection for Cabrera.

5) He’s durable.  In the past 7 seasons, he’s had 538+ PAs in 6 of them, and 600+ in 4 of those 6.  Not too shabby for a guy who squats for a living.

By all accounts he’s a great clubhouse guy, and it looks like he really wanted to be in Detroit.  Several outlets are reporting that Martinez turned down 3/$48 from the White Sox, and a similar offer from the Orioles.  Moreover, I agree with Lynn Henning that DD is not yet done.

Keith Law was pretty neutral on the deal (which means that he really likes it), though he did express concern over the spend to win strategy: “My main concern with the deal is neither its length nor its size, but what it says about the Tigers’ current strategy…this time around, the Tigers’ system is in much worse shape.”  (read the whole article on insider here)

Can’t wait to see what pops up next.  Hot stove is heating up.


  1. Keith (Mr. X)

    November 25, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I like Martinez.
    He’s the best hitting free agent catcher to be available for a number of years.
    I think we now have one of the best catching duos in baseball. Adding his bat and removing Lairds was probably the best way to improve our offense.

    We’re still a few pieces away.
    If we get Maggs back and add an arm like Pavano….

  2. kathy

    November 25, 2010 at 10:57 am

    DelGrippe needs to get a grip. I read that article and could only conclude he’s a Boston, NY, or Oriole’s fan. Ridiculous article. I’m thrilled with the signing.

  3. PJ Lincoln

    November 25, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I totally agree with you, Kevin. I don’t see a downside to the signing of VMart. The only big question remaining is, who do the Tigers get to bat third?

    Do you try to resign Ordonez and hope he hold up, or do you make a play for Jason Werth or someone else. It should be interesting …. also hoping they’ll go after a No. 4 starter. I’d like Coke to stay in the bullpen.

  4. PJ Lincoln

    November 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

    If I’m not mistaken, Coke hasn’t had much success as a starter. I thought he was the ideal lefty out of the pen this season.

    • Vince in MN

      November 27, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      Another potential problem with Coke is how many quality innings he will be able to deliver. How long ago was he a starter? Provided he actually makes the transistion, he may well out of gas in the 125-150 IP range. We need some backup here still.

  5. Andrew in Toronto

    November 25, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I am happy with this signing, but until we either re-sign Ordonez or pick up somebody else, we still haven’t improved the team. We’ve just filled one of last year’s holes but discovered a new one. So, I’m waiting to see what else DD will do.

    (That is unless we can get the first half’s Boesch and second half’s Raburn for a whole season each.)

    • Vince in MN

      November 27, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      Ditto. Cabrera needs more protection than just Martinez and it isn’t yet clear where the best spot in the lineup will be for him. I’d like to see a bigger hr threat in the 5 spot myself.

  6. Kurt

    November 25, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Oh I see the problem. You were reading Bleacher Report!

  7. George

    November 25, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I really hope they resign Ordonez for several reasons: First, he wants to be here, Second, he has performed well for the Tigers until this unfortunate injury, third, we know his skills and can confidently predict his performance (which hasnt always been true with free agents … think Renteria), and lastly, Cabrera and he are friends and a signing would make him a happy Tiger.

    Regarding Keith Law’s comments, funny how when the Yankees and Mets and the Red Sox buy their players, no one citicises their farm systems.

  8. Kevin in Dallas

    November 26, 2010 at 1:14 am

    I think that Ordonez (for the right price) could fill the 3. He makes great contact, still has gap power, and he can go the other way.

    But I also think that Raburn may be ready to fill that hole. His first 1/3 of the season left much to be desired, but once he became a full-time player, he was arguably our best hitter. (yes, his Aug/Sept OPS was better than Cabrera’s. I’m not suggesting anything, just pointing out Raburn’s ridiculous run.)

    I doubt that Raburn starts there, but look for him to end up there. Though I’ll gladly defer that spot to Werth.

    • Coleman

      November 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm

      I think we should consider platooning Raburn and Boesch. No, not a RHP/LHP platoon, but play Boesch pre-All-Star break, Raburn post-All-Star.

      • PJ Lincoln

        November 27, 2010 at 7:57 am

        I could see a platoon in LF for Raburn and Boesch, too, Coleman. I think it would be more like Raburn playing 3-4 games per week and Boesch 2-3.