Your Early 2013 Off-Season Thread

I’d love to write a long piece to recap all the fun we’ve had over these past several weeks, and to celebrate the historic season by Cabrera and what could be another Cy Young entry for Verlander. But I don’t think any of us have forgotten that, and this picture is more reflective of how we feel (at least about baseball for now).

To be honest, I moved my MLB.com and Freep apps off of my home screen on my cell phone today; signifying the unmistakable end of the 2012 baseball season. Dragging an MLB logo into a little digital trash can seemed like a proper ending.

It may be a few weeks before Coleman or I throw up another post, so I thought I’d leave you with a some DTW housekeeping notes, and then a few thoughts to carry us for a bit

1) I’d like to add another regular game poster (or two) for next season. I really liked it when billfer filled the blog with though-provoking commentary on issues outside of the game posts, and I’d like to give that a go if we can get some help on the game posts. Post on here if you’re interested and I’ll reach out to you.

2) I think that the site earns a few bucks from advertising, but I’m certain that billfer still pays for a portion of this out of pocket. There’s a good chance that I’ll ask for some donations in the coming months. Keep an eye out.

3) Thank you everyone for your input, feedback and patronage. DTW is the most acute Tigers’ community around.

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On to the Roster…

Free agency courting started when Cabby stood there like a house by the side of the road Sunday night (taking his cue from the entire lineup), and signings can start after midnight ET on Friday. A quick look at the Tigers’ Free Agents:

Free agents: DH/OF Young, RHP Sanchez, RHP Valverde, C Gerald Laird.

Young is gone. Valverde is gone. I think each will end up with decent offers elsewhere.

Good chance the Tigers resign Laird.

Sanchez will be very interesting. Smyly looks great, he’s under control, and it sure would be nice to have a lefty in rotation. But Sanchez was fantastic down the stretch and may have finally found it. Sanchez will get great money elsewhere, so it’s a matter of how much the Tigers are willing to spend. I expect the Tigers to make a serious play for Sanchez – you can never have too much pitching.

Club options: RHP Dotel ($3.5 million, $500,000 buyout), SS Jhonny Peralta ($6 million, $500,000 buyout).

Yes and…I don’t know. I’m not a huge Peralta fan, but there’s not a lot out there. Now, remember that VMart is back next year, that will help the offense. Since we’re not going to get better defensively at either corner, I’d be willing to sacrifice Peralta’s bat (it’s not bad for a SS) for a SS with better defensive range.

Arbitration eligible: C Alex Avila (1st time), OF Brennan Boesch (1st time), RHP Phil Coke (2nd time), RHP Doug Fister (1st time), OF Austin Jackson (1st time), OF/IF Don Kelly (2nd time), RHP Rick Porcello (2nd time), OF/2B Ryan Raburn (3rd time), RHP Max Scherzer (2nd time).

I’d expect the Tigers to make nice offers to Avila (thank goodness he’s eligible this year, and not last), Coke, Fister, Jackson and Scherzer. I bet that Ricky P gets into arbitration (such an interesting  process, Tigers staff show up with charts and graphs which advance the notion that Porcello is a terrible pitcher), and I think they let Kelly, Boesch and Raburn go. Kelly could find a spot as the 25th guy on the roster, but personally, I’d rather that be Berry. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Boesch turn into a decent player somewhere else, but I definitely think it’s time for him to move on from Detroit.

Gonna be a very interesting few days, keep an eye on the comments for updates from our community.