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:
– 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.