2010 Winter Meetings: Day 1

With Werth off the market, Lee and Crawford should get the majority of coverage this week.  But even without big name free agents, the Winter Meetings are always hopping, and the Tigers are no stranger to dropping news bombs this time of year.

Sure, I’d love to be on the hunt for Crawford, Lee, or even Grienke (whom the Royals are openly shopping around), but realistically, those guys are not on DD’s radar.  Lee is definitely going to join the $20M/yr club, and Crawford may be seeking $180M (surely not…right?).  But here is who DD might be honing in on:

1) Maggs – We need someone to hit in the 3 or 5 hole, Maggs can still hit.  He’s probably only good for 120 – 130 games next year, but Guillen could probably fill in the other ABs, and Maggs is still serviceable in RF.  Yes, Crawford is the sexier player, but he just doesn’t make sense for the Tigers.  Not at Werth+ type numbers.

2) Left handed bullpen help.  Brian Fuentes.  You heard it here first.   With Coke moving to the rotation, we’ll need someone to complement Schlereth.

3) A starting pitcher.  Seemingly, the Tigers have their 2011 rotation set at Verlander/Scherzer/Porcello/Coke/Galarraga.  But with the questions marks at 4 and 5 there, it might make sense to make a run at a Brandon McCarthy type to provide some competition in Spring Training.  With Turner and Crosby likely a year away, the back of our rotation is not likely to get much support from inside the organization next year.

4) Jim Thome – for $2M a year, I’m sure we could find 200 ABs for him.  Especially with the lack of power up the middle (2B, SS, CF).  He could be a great late inning bat.  If he doesn’t do it for you, does Manny?  Considering the Tigers let Jermaine Dye sit at home all summer last season, I don’t see Manny as a possibility here.

Thus, barring a blockbuster trade (I don’t think we have the pawns), I’m not looking for the Tigers to make too much of a splash this week.

A few other items of interest:

- Boston was happy about the Tigers not getting Werth, as it all but guarantees that the Bo Sox will get the Tigers’ first rounder next year as compensation for losing Martinez (only Lee and Soriano were ranked higher).
- Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports admits that this is his own speculation, but suggests there could be a mystery darkhorse team that’s in on Lee, perhaps the Angels or Phillies or Reds or Tigers or White Sox.

- Tigers weren’t willing to go 6 with Werth.  Rightfully so.  Here’s what Keith Law had to say on the matter:  “Giving a 32-year-old position player who has qualified for the batting title exactly twice in his major-league career a guaranteed seven-year deal for over $100 million isn’t just a bad move. It’s irresponsible.”

- If you haven’t seen them yet – the 6th annual DIBS (Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes) awards were released last week.  The voters are a compilation of Tigers bloggers.

- Tom Gage had a great column on Friday about why Martinez is a better fit in Detroit than Dunn.

- White Sox making a hard push to resign Konerko.  Seems like slow-footed 1B overkill to me.

4 Comments

  1. Vince in MN

    December 6, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I like the picture: Baseball sponsored by Bank of America. There is great irony there.

  2. Coach Jim

    December 6, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Will I be taken seriously by anybody if I suggest the Tigers get serious on Ordonez, Crawford, and Lee?

    • Vince in MN

      December 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      One out of 3 ain’t bad. ;-)

  3. Vince in MN

    December 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    1) Maggs – pretty good chance to sign. Anyone still dreaming of Crawford coming to the Tigers is, well, dreaming. Factoring in Guillen for anything at this point is also overly optimistic IMO.
    2) LH bullpen help – I think you mean a complement to Brad Thomas. It isn’t obvious to me that Schlereth has a lock on a spot.
    3) SP help – yes, maybe even two, one of whom should be LH. Coke hasn’t started in years, so I don’t think we can count on him for more than 20-25 starts even if the transition is successful. McCarthy as a CHEAP addition to the TOLEDO roster is a chance move I would make, but he has never lived up to the hype, so I wouldn’t count on him to make a difference, but maybe we could get lucky.
    4) Thome – I had hoped they would sign him last year, but since Leyland doesn’t understand the DH concept I am guessing it was never considered. Now with Martinez as our regular part-time DH, it won’t happen again.

    I agree with Kevin that it’s not likely there will be any big trades because the Tigers don’t have the prospects. For the same reason DD is going to have to closely monitor the FA market for roster fillers at Toledo as well as a couple of spots on the ML roster. Last year’s call-ups exposed the thinness of our backups, especially SP and position players (Worth, Rhymes and St. Pierre [;-)] are gutsy but relatively low impact players (think Nick Punto) and Boesch is ?).

    I don’t have much respect for Gage as a writer (Gage is to great writing as Miner is to great spot starting), but the comparison of Dunn to Martinez was pretty good and news to me. Since he kept the psychophantic company line drivel to a minimum it may have been one of his better offerings. However, in setting it up as an either/or choice he neglects to consider the possibility that the best fit for the Tigers was to have both of them. Perhaps I’m being too harsh.