Hot Stove Talk Part 1

Just to stoke the fire a bit…

Baseball Winter Meetings are Dec 3rd – 6th in Nashville this year.

The potential free agents are all over the board, here’s what I’m finding:

2 guys from CBSSports think that Josh Hamilton will be a Tiger. 1 guy from DTW thinks that this is ridiculous. Josh Hamilton is a drain on the clubhouse and the franchise in general. I don’t think the Rangers are even going to tender him an offer. He’s got more off the field problems than the cast of Broke, and over the past 6 years he’s averaged 1/4 of the season on the DL. Please, please, please, no Josh Hamilton.

– Jim Bowden listed the Tigers as potential matches for Nick Swisher, Angel Pagan, Cody Ross, Torii Hunter and Melky Cabrera. I like Hunter of the bunch, but I think he’ll get overpaid by the Rangers (he lives in the area) or Yankees, and I’d prefer that the Tigers overpay for someone who wasn’t born when “Superstition” was #1 on the charts.

– Prediction: Bondo will get a spring training invite and re-invent himself as a short reliever specialist.

– MLive’s Chris Iott did a nice job breaking down the Tigers’ bullpen today, though he didn’t take a position on the 2013 closer. That will definitely be a big story, possibly through spring training if they want to give Rondon a shot.

– I’ve read that Sanchez is looking at 4 years in the $50M – $55M range. Check out this saber slanted post.

103 thoughts on “Hot Stove Talk Part 1”

  1. Hunter is my first choice, but if the Yankees are going after Hunter, he will be way overpriced. How about Shin-Soo Choo?

    My big concern with Choo is how badly he did against lefties last year; the Tigers have enough problems with lefties anyway.

    Even more interesting…what would you think about Peralta etc for Asdrubal Cabrera etc? Younger, more power, speed, and they could also sign Melky and confuse teams with a lineup full of Cabreras.

    1. Forgot to add defensive upgrade. Throw Boesch in the trade; the Indians will be short in RF if they can’t keep Choo.

      1. You’re kidding about Peralta for A. Cabrera of course. The Indians were dancing in the streets when Jhonny left town. I like the idea of trading Boesch (as a throw-in of course, since that is the only way) to an AL Central team whereby we could laugh at him 19 games a year.

        As for Hamilton and Melky Cabrera, I have the feeling Illitch/DD/Leyland don’t have much tolerance for deviants, regardless of their playing ability. Remember Urbina? And saying sayonara to DY may have had a bit to do with his race “issues.”

          1. I tried to think of a deal for Asdrubal and a deal for Shin-Soo Choo as well, but I think the Tigers would have to give up too much. Would the Indians take Porcello + for Cabrera? Could they be tricked into taking Porcello and Boesch for Asdrubal Cabrera? THAT I could go for, and I’m not even that overwhelmed by AC.

            1. So who are the shortstops of interest? (None of the free agents interest me.) There’s Asdrubal Cabrera, J.J. Hardy, maybe Elvis Andrus, maybe Yunel Escobar. Do any of them really, really improve the team over Peralta? Enough to trade Porcello as part of the deal for?

              Peralta is really kind of a bargain at $6 million, and he’s only going to be around another year, probably… of course he could rebound at the plate in 2013, and then… who knows.

              I saw a deal for Hardy suggested that involved Peralta going to the Orioles to play 3B. Didn’t think much of it at the time, but now…

  2. Hunter is too old and too expensive to be a good buy or strategic move, it’s not an efficient transaction and doesn’t have a long-term upside and we need to start healing our long-term outlook after eroding so much of it away the last few years.

    Every other player I have seen mentioned here in the last week or so I think is a decent player at least but none of them interest me as I think we need to raise our standards and aim higher for higher caliber players with greater upside. Our team for the last 10 years has been overridden by good but not great players. We don’t need to spend huge amounts of millions and trade away other assets for more guys of that type.

      1. No, not really. There’s a lot of guys who could make our team depending on what our standard is for each position, but nobody special that stands out to me. I defer on picking pitchers as I haven’t done an extensive scouting on any of them and I wouldn’t start making giant pitching investments until I knew how our offensive unit starts shaping up, especially since I would expect to use some of our existing pitchers to shore up the offense and then that changes which pitchers need to be examined and targeted that are FAs.

        I would definitely say that Josh Hamilton is clearly the best available offensive upgrade so I would pick him from that point of view, but still that type of investment doesn’t make sense without knowing what kind of profitability the team is seeking and how they want to plan for the long-term versus the short-term. He’s not a good ROI purchase and can only be justified under a very specific type of niche objective.

        However if we redesigned the team and depleted our resources to get quality players from a trade process, then some of those good but not great FA choices would then become qualified for fill-ins, but nobody fits or makes sense as a strong buy under our current configuration. We are full of unspectacular players as we are now and that makes it harder to get a nice leverage off of those types of investments..

        1. Assuming you are talking about profitability in the traditional sense of the word, it’s safe to assume that the team is seeking zero profit for the foreseeable future, and in fact, is probably ready and armed to lose several million dollars per year in pursuit of a World Series title.

          1. I don’t agree that’s a safe assumption. And it’s a terrible goal. There is not unlimited money available and I net zero profit line wouldn’t help the team stay competitive indefinitely for the future. Illitch is getting old and the team could end up getting sold when he dies or in the hands of somebody else that has new financial concerns, and for the sake of the franchise the more profits equals the more opportunities for the future. It doesn’t make much strategy sense to not seek a profit.

            If money was truly that indifferent then there would be no logic in not signing Hamilton since then the goal would be to blow as much money as possible to get the best possible talent available at any cost. The Tigers should then immediately just give Josh Hamilton his $175MM deal and then go get the next guy and so on, but they CLEARLY have monetary limits, that much is obvious. The entire financial picture, for BOTH the short-term and long-term thus need to be fleshed out so we know which moves make sense for THIS season in conjunction with that picture!

  3. I think that the free agents most important to pursue are Anibal Sanchez and either Torii Hunter or Shane Victorino. (I’m on the fence about Nick Swisher. One naysay will probably be enough to get me off of it.) Hamilton is an absolute NO. Of lesser importance would be pursuit of a closer along the lines of Joakim Soria at no better than Potato terms, and strengthening the IF bench with someone like Maicer Izturis.

    Trades: When you exclude the untouchables, the expendables, and the might-as-well-be-untouchables (Jackson, Avila, Scherzer, Fister) from consideration, you’re left with Porcello and Peralta (problematic, I admit) as the centerpieces of any significant trades. Or at least I am. Where would Porcello thrive? Who’s desperate for a SS (an above-average one, all things considered)? Who is Peralta’s defensive upgrade without terrible batting downside? Who’s the best RF or LF or SS Porcello could fetch? Is there a youngish pitcher in a Porcello-like situation elsewhere?

  4. How about… Porcello and Peralta to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Justin Upton and Trevor Bauer + 1?

    1. OK, that’s letting Arizona off too easy unless the +1 is J.J. Putz. I’m not giving them an OF. I already gave them a young pitcher with 4 solid years of MLB experience and solved their SS problem. I’m not even that excited about Justin Upton, Thinking about this deal at all hinges on Torii Hunter.

      1. Some rumors have it that a deal for Justin Upton would involve Peralta and several prospects. I don’t think I’d go any further than Peralta and Garcia for Upton. Losing interest in Upton. I think I’d rather overpay for 4 years of Swisher (though it seems he’s after a longer contract) than overpay for Upton with prospects.

    1. I’ll admit that I have a hard time making sense of all the competing and often conflicting defensive metrics. Explain the above, please. Is Infante included as a SS or 2B?

      As far as I can tell, A. Cabrera has the edge on Peralta both defensively and offensively. Cabrera gets to more balls and makes more plays, and also commits more errors.

        1. I take back all the mean things I said about Infante. All things considered, I’d rather have him at SS than Peralta, in fact, not that this is going to happen and not to say that he isn’t better suited to 2B.

        1. Well, A. Cabrera is the guy who displaced Peralta in Cleveland. Peralta is seen as a defensive liability even within the Tigers organization. No MLB team, least of all the Indians, would take Peralta for Cabrera straight up. Range is important at SS like no other position. Cabrera is likely to improve at SS. Peralta is likely not to.

          Perlata is above average overall, I think. I mention him for that very reason, not because I think he must go, but because he’s one of only 2 Tigers where “replaceable” and “proven value” coincide to a high enough degree to consider meaningful trades.

    1. I agree that Scherzer’s motion makes it hard to fathom a long career. I’d love to see Will Carroll do a piece on this.

        1. I would like to see the Tigers go after Stephen Drew. I wouldn’t mind seeing Garcia and Castellanos in the corner outfield spots next year. Probably too premature but, that would leave Boesch, Peralta and Porcello to trade and all have worth. Jim Price thought Villareal had the stuff to be a closer soon and with Rondon on the horizon I think/hope they could look for upgrades in other places.

          1. I mildly suggested Drew at one point, not because I like him but because he has at least a chance for a higher upside than Peralta or Infante. There would be no guarantee he would do better, but there’s about zero chance I’d leave myself stuck with Infante or Peralta. We need upgrades over both of them in a big way, including Drew even if he was already replacing one of them.

            1. Drew is a plus fielder with range and more speed on the base paths. I heard it would take about 10 mil a year for him but, Peralta can’t be too far from that salary.

              1. Oh well if that’s his market price then goodbye, he’d have to play dirt cheap since he’s not credible after some lousy years lately. He has only had 2 good offensive seasons and they were in 2006 and 2008. And 2006 was a whopping 59 game sample.

                Goodbye Drew.

    1. *yawns*

      Sounds like they will overpay by giving up more of the future for an unprofitable transaction for the long-term for what kind of boost in the short-term? I’d love to see DD’s analytics for how and in what way he benefits the team. Show me the numbers and the logic. DD is not a shrewd deal maker and he gets robbed on most of his deals, and every year we have to tread water and live without the surpluses we could have been building for the future as opposed to handicapping ourselves.

      1. he gets robbed on most of his deals,?
        Ugueth Urbina for Polanco. DD deserves jail for aggravated robbery. It was worse than Glen Wilson for Guillermo Hernandez
        He signed Miguel Cabrera for 1.8 mm. The Dodgers offered him 2 mm.
        Then he traded a broken arm and a one year above average OF for Miguel.
        Casper Wells, Martinez and Furbush for Fister.
        Joyce for Jackson.
        Jackson and Granderson for Jackson, Scherzer, Schelreth and Coke.
        Someone for Peralta (an AS)
        Jurjens? he is a damaged good now
        Huff? blame Leyland for not using him enough to allow Cringe to check his swing

        1. DD’s entire body of work for our Tigers is all I care about and in my opinion he should have to write a check for $100MM or so just to make up for how much he has cost this team and missed in opportunities just as a basic reparation for all the bad he has done and the good he has missed.

          I appreciate the fact that you are a fan, but I am not and feel he has destroyed this team and this city in inexcusable ways. I’m not looking to have a debate war as I’ve already been there and done that for years, but that’s my opinion for the record.

          Maybe he can reverse the trend and finally do some good, anything is possible however. Good luck to him and us on that. Might as well hope for a better tomorrow since that’s really all I can do from here.

        2. I hate hate hate late season trades for rentals. I am old enough to remember the Smoltz trade and hated it then. Especially for a 37 year old pitcher. I am going to be ticked if they let Sanchez go. At least unlike Doyle Alexander is still young.

        1. Good memory there travisfrymanfan on the DD history.

          I thought that perhaps TSE was a friend of mine playing an insanely long and drawn out practical joke, but I’m not so lucky.

          Poke him at your own risk.

            1. Then discuss the game for a change. I have yet to detect any real interest in or knowledge of baseball from you. Please spare us the diatribes and the multi-paragraph meta-discussions of the discussion. Is it so difficult to carry on a friendly, back and forth dialogue about the relative merits of Player X vs. Player Y or This vs. That without foaming at the mouth about how this guy sucks and that guy’s garbage and baseball GM’s destroy cities and the like?

              My own posts aren’t exactly brilliant – mostly a rebroadcast of the fan chatter I encounter and stats anyone can look up as easily as I can – but they are well-intended. That intention is to have an actual conversation about Detroit Tigers baseball with fellow fans, not browbeat them or put on some faux-intellectual display.

              Get real, if you can. Elevate the discussion.

              1. Sorry for being short with everybody on the ? reply. I was just pretty stunned last night when I read this comment and really wasn’t sure how to respond and I just wasn’t really in the mood to write much at the moment.

                But to respond to the critique, well gee Smoking Loon I thought that I posted a lot of comments about the FAs this offseason so far. Even when I said that Izturis sucked in that very recent comment I even broke down his stats for his whole career and pointed to the reasons why I think he isn’t qualified.

                To the comment about the destruction of our city, well those weren’t my words, that’s what somebody else changed my post into and then I defended my comment and position. You didn’t ask any clarifying questions or show interest in the discussion so you didn’t really make any effort there to be part of the discussion or to even attempt to be on the same page with understanding my point, so I don’t see why you are so intent on trying to piggyback off of that comment just so you can trash my opinion but not offer any of your own or any rationale to support why you feel the way you do.

                So I disagree with what your intentions are. You seem to have a lot of hostility and want to spread hate and negativity whereas I only offer honest opinions and constructive advice for the team. It’s not my fault that the people in charge are not doing a good job and are ruining the opportunity, and I as a fan that cares as much as if not more than anybody has a right to call people out for getting paid millions of dollars to do a bad job. What’s fair is fair, and what’s unfair is when fans like me have to get smacked around and treated unfairly and like our opinions don’t count just because we have different ideas about how to do positive things for the team.

              2. TSE, I have no hostile feelings toward you personally. I have been irritated by posts of yours that I find to be devoid of any meaningful Tigers-related content and certainly devoid of specifics as to how the Tigers could become a better team through changes in personnel. Having expressed that, I can let it go.

              3. Ok well I think I’ve made very many meaningful posts and have been highly detailed in a variety of different ways, not only with logic but in even examining some of the numbers. I’m very versatile in supporting my opinions and very clearly pointing out all of the very specific ways of exactly what we need to do to get better.

              4. So show us your 25-man Detroit Tigers roster for Opening Day 2013, the one you feel would improve the team’s chances for a World Series title. There’s nothing wrong with taking a stab at it now and revising later based on all the things undecided and bound to happen between now and then.

              5. My 25 man roster is irrelevant. It is already widely believed that DD is not going to make wholesale changes and my opinion is that we should. There’s no purpose to seeing a 25 man roster that I would build because my ideas are not going to be considered whether you like that roster or not.

                And I already very clearly explained the logic to my opinion that making wholesale changes has an infinite number of possible combinations of configurations. I can’t assume which of the best 50 non-Tigers out there are going to be had for the best deal. The final 25 man roster I would have is based upon an incredibly large number of contingencies and there are lots of possibilities. The concept of my point in what I would do has been very clearly explained, in addition tn not being relevant to have any specifics for any purpose as well. My final roster is based upon negotiations and information I don’t have access to and would be illogical to take a random stab at.

              6. C Avila
                1B Fielder
                2B Infante
                SS A. Cabrera
                3B M. Cabrera
                LF Victorino
                CF Jackson
                RF Hunter
                DH Martinez

                BENCH: Holaday, Santiago, Dirks, Berry

                SP: Verlander, Fister, Scherzer, Sanchez, Smyly
                CL: Coke, Dotel
                RP: Benoit, Alburquerque, Villareal, Below, Downs

              7. I think we would need major upgrades at SS, 2B, and LF from that lineup. I’m also concerned about the investment made in Hunter and the long-term solution for OF as he’s pricey and eats up a lot of resources.

                Also I am skeptical of Holaday as backup Catcher. It would be nice to get a nice catcher addition but those other positions above to make our offense more potent are what I would look for upgrades for first.

                Mainly 2B/SS/LF, that’s our biggest potential for improvement.

              8. 2B: Who’s the replacement for Infante? I don’t see a lot out there.

                SS: Room for improvement, yes, but not a lot of feasible candidates. I could live with Peralta. I could also live with Santiago or Worth. Seriously. It’s a position where I value defense over offense.

                LF: I see RF as the real improvement target. For LF there is Dirks. Victorino is a fanciful idea on my part, but not a crazy one. But I suppose you could put Dirks in RF. I just haven’t seen the LF equivalent of Hunter.

              9. There’s a ton of better SS’s out there. And Infante can be replaced by quite a few people, he’s not a very good offensive contributor. Just go to the stats from last year and sort all 2B by different stats such as BA/SLG/OPS and you will see a fairly good sized list of guys that outperformed him for a handful of candidate choices.

                You have to check all of the stats cause a guy like Chase Utley shows up under him for BA but over him on SLG, so you need to use all of those filters to make sure you don’t miss somebody that would be better to have. And just because one guy might be lower than him on one stat it’s advisable to check the career numbers and make sure it wasn’t a freak down year or something like that.

                We need to get the GMs of ALL of those teams on the phone and get the upgrades to the positions I mentioned. And there are also some prospects out there or lesser known players beyond just what last year’s stats show and if we can get the next up and coming player that’s a possible choice too. Infante has virtually ZERO upside and nothing special to offer that he’s easily upgradeable by a ton of guys.

              10. The trouble with upgrading SS and 2B through trade (the only way at this time), as I see it, is that the Tigers don’t have enough to offer in return. Boesch and a couple prospects (from a well that isn’t that deep) isn’t going to do it. The guys other teams would be looking for above all are Fister, Scherzer, Avila, and Jackson, and there’s no surplus there, no one just waiting in the wings to replace them. Even Porcello isn’t a trade chip until and unless they sign Anibal Sanchez.

                I see the choice largely as keep spending or stand pat (with some increase in payroll nonetheless). If a conservative approach somewhere in between is taken, you wonder what they would take a pass on, Sanchez or the OF. My guess in that case would be no Sanchez and anyone from Hamilton to Upton in the OF.

              11. Well the problem you speak of is we often have traded away pieces of the future for unqualified chances to win in the past. We didn’t have nearly a good enough foundation to justify mortgaging the future. At some point in time we should start managing the team smarter and in a way such that we load up on assets for the future and that creates for more overall value and flexibility on a permanent continual basis. The nature of a baseball franchise is much different than the nature or life cycle of a player. A human player only has a certain number of years before they go away, but the team lives forever, and we have a bad imbalance of managing team assets such that we are treading water every year. We need to start making profits for the long-term instead of paying premium penalties. And we can’t justify every single year by saying this isn’t the year to look to the future otherwise we will never get out of this trap. It’s like a drug addict that says they will quit tomorrow because the pain is so bad today, and all they do is get into an even deeper bigger hole with a further dwindling of assets or further accumulation of debt. There is no time like the present time TODAY to start treating the sickness.

                That being said yeah it’s not as easy as just creating assets out of thin air to build a perfect team, but we still can make small gains of efficiency if we make shrewd moves that also make it easier in the next year to build off of that. We have an army of pitchers and minor leaguers to get those 3 upgrades I’m talking about. We have a 25 man roster and if you take our top 3 superstars, say Verlander, Cabrera, and Fielder, well that leaves up to 22 guys we have that are potential trading chips along with all of our prospects. So you seem worried that we are short on assets but we aren’t, we have nearly 30 guys to work with that we can deal around. That doesn’t mean we have to extinguish all of them, but some teams also value financial relief. So the combination of those 30 men and actual cash are a LOT of opportunities to get 3 upgrades. It’s more than enough. Not only could we easily get those 3 upgrades but we could repackage those assets and get other prospects or other offensive players or pitchers. There is also a rule 5 draft that you can use to buy replacements.

                The key point is that in order to get to where we need, we have to look at every single possible option and route and map out and plan a solution that doesn’t mortgage the future yet enhances our odds of winning a title this year and every year. It can easily be done and we have a lot more to work with and a bigger budget than most teams. Nobody can stop us from winning if we make smarter decisions and use our power to our advantage to find an efficient path to a better overall team. I see endless combinations of how that could go down that would put us in a better position than we are in today.

              12. You’ve mentioned SS, 2B, and LF as key positions to upgrade. Could you start there with specific players to deal for? You mentioned Chase Utley at 2B. Shrewd move? How do you see it happening?

                SS is my key position (RF has been spoken for or soon will be, it appears). Can’t think of a good deal for one so far.

                I think the Yankees could be interested in Jhonny Peralta. I don’t know how much good that could do the Tigers, though.

              13. Well I mentioned a few outfielders already in a previous post. I picked out McCutcheon, Braun, and Trout. There are a TON more OFs though that I would rather have than Hunter, so that was just 3 guys I picked out to give somebody specific for the previous poster that asked for some.

                Chase Utley is one I like because he’s not super young and has some mileage and injury concerns in addition to a kind of hefty salary, so he might be a guy that could be had for an interesting bargain while still being a super upgrade to Infante. But like I said there are at least 20 2B players that are either proven or hot prospects that I would target as an obvious upgrade, so it just matters on which team will give us the best deal for the best price.

                To get Utley I see it going down by picking up the phone and offering anybody on the team they want not including Verlander, Fielder, and Cabrera and starting there. Like I said we have 30 guys I’m willing to move so I want to find out what is the largest quantity of guys we can give them that they can use or put towards another trade, and then finding out what positions they are looking for players or prospects and then networking with the rest of the teams to coordinate a package trade or series of trades since every single team we would need to have the same conversation with for their players or prospects that I’m targeting. Every team in the league has both types that I want and after all of them tell me what they are willing to take and I find out the prices for all targets, then the puzzle takes shape and one moves makes the next move easier to pinpoint and so on.

                After all teams are spoken with the net result is those 30 guys will be gone and a new team will emerge, and possibly with a few left holes to use Rule 5 acquisitions on where it might make sense to take that value as an assumed replacement depending on who and what we have depleted to get all of the targets I want that we can possibly get. This process can actually be extremely simple during the Winter Meetings when everybody is nearby and I can process the proper exchanges. I am extremely confident that a lot of teams will overvalue several of our players and several teams will mistakenly undervalue some of theirs.

                I have a different system of precisely evaluating talent that I know from experience how these teams evaluate a player’s worth where they are going to make huge mistakes, or in other words disagreements in opinion on what a player is worth, and I’m particularly shopping for the guys where I find that difference in opinion to be the greatest and that’s advantage our team.

              14. Or another way to look at that might be more simple, say I could list the Top 100 non-Tigers in terms of most valuable players and I had to list them from 1-100. Every team should have at least 3 players or prospects we could theoretically want, if not more. There would then be 100 different opinions of what each of them are worth, granted some teams might find a nearly identical evaluation even though they use completely different methods to get that evaluation, but after 100 opinions are found out, there will be 10 of those opinions that are the Top 10 in difference of opinion in our favor. Those are the 10 that would get executed as trades for first because those would be the biggest steals for the best prices, and the back end would be guys that wouldn’t ever have a chance of becoming a Tiger by trade.

              15. The system you outline is a great way to do your homework on possible trades and acquisitions, no fault there.

                You mention McCutchen, Braun, and Trout, but be realistic. There is NO WAY the Tigers get those guys. There is no way the Tigers even go after those guys. I know we’re giving ourselves some leeway as to personal preferences and opinions, but let’s draw the line at selecting All-Star teams or fantasy baseball rosters. Not only are we not – in the name of realism – replacing 88% of a World Series team, but it would TAKE 88% of the team to acquire one of the above.

                The Tigers, in my opinion, don’t have a single player (besides Verlander) who is best in position in the AL. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the same (Posey as the exception) could be said for the Giants relative to the NL. These teams had that unpredictable winning combination of players to get to the WS. Guys like Gregor Blanco and Quintin Berry DID contribute and are not to be dismissed as irrelevant. The trick, of course, is knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.

                I think there would have to be tremendous undervalue/overvalue misunderstanding and lots of good luck involved in dealing Fister, Scherzer, Jackson, or Avila and ending up ANY better than you started. Unless the trade was of the magnitude of the Yankees offering Robinson Cano, I wouldn’t even start talking about those guys with any team.

                I suggest concentrating on a few key areas of possible need. It’s not realistic to plan more than 2-3 years out no matter how much information you have. Unless you’re rebuilding and have no hope whatsoever, positioning the team to win the WS the very next year is the top priority of the postseason as I see it.

                Would you rebuild the Tigers at this point? I wouldn’t. The core of a good team is already there. With an unlimited budget, maybe it could be a better team, maybe just good enough to go to the ALCS and get swept. (Yes, getting swept in the WS is better.)

              16. Well it’s easy for you to say there is no way the Tigers could get those OFs, every player has a price, and like I said there’s a TON of other OFs out there. Those are just some of the top choices. Also Jose Reyes was a possible Peralta upgrade, and Miami just traded him to Toronto as a massive salary dump. Check out that crazy trade.

                And to answer your question, yeah of course I would rebuild the team, I am completely opposed to our team structure and the vast majority of players we have because they are guys that I consider to be of far less value than what DD thinks of them. So if I was the GM for another team, this is an example of showing you how one GM can have a much higher opinion of our players than I do, and to me that’s an EASY way to get a bunch of free spoils.

                Izturis is another example, if he was on our team it’s a guarantee I could have sold him for a profit because the contract he just signed was for way more money than I thought he was worth, that’s one example of a team having a much higher opinion of that player than I did of that player, and to me that’s an opportunity. I think we could easily exchange the totality of our 30 players and get something worth a lot more and that gives us a greater chance to win in the next season as well as future seasons.

              17. The price is too high for McCutchen, or Braun, or Trout.

                I checked out the crazy Marlins-Blue Jays trade, and thanks for mentioning it. Consider how you could have convinced the Marlins to deal with your Tigers instead of the Blue Jays. Who would you have sent to the Marlins as a better offer? Your point is taken that crazy trades are possible, but you still have to have what the crazy team is asking. In this case, the Tigers don’t. But in fairness, in others they may.

                The Jays are certainly getting a lot that the Tigers could use. COULD USE. Need? Except for Reyes, no. I’d love to have Buehrle, fan of his for a long time, but I’d take Sanchez over him for the price. Then again, Josh Johnson… Is the Marlins management team on drugs or what? You can almost imagine that they might have taken the West Michigan Whitecaps 2012 bench in exchange. The literal bench, not the players on it.

                Tell me who else might be salary dumping and I’ll try to dream up some crazy trades.

              18. Well I don’t know that the price is too high for those players. You have to understand that I reject this Tigers team as being unqualified, it’s totally unacceptable to me. I wouldn’t be paying a high enough price to make the team worse, as I firmly believe that what I would be transforming us into is a nearly unbeatable team that can also stay dominant on a perpetual basis for decades to come. There are 100 potential players out there to look at that could be possible upgrades over current players and I’m going to find the very best out of all of those guys that are the very best price/value acquisitions. That’s what it’s about for me regardless of which of those OFs I can obtain for the best price.

                The Marlins have a long history with DD and he’s done trades with them before, so i’m really not sure why he didn’t investigate a trade if he didn’t get involved in the conversation. What would I have offered? Well that’s a moot point because right now we haven’t made any trades and we have 30 guys they can choose from, and it’s up for the Marlins to tell me what combinations of those 30 are choices they would take. Maybe they can come up with 5 different combos they are happy with and then I can pick the best of those 5, or maybe they want a slew of other prospects and I can save those 20+ current big leaguers to replace those prospects or still deal for the OF and 2B upgrades we need once we got Reyes. There’s endless possibilities but that’s up to the Marlins to do their part in participating in the conversation and I can’t speak for them.

                And any team could be salary dumping. All teams have guys they wish they wouldn’t have signed. Even the biggest spenders like the Yankees would be more than happy to unload that A-Rod contract, but they aren’t going to find many takers. No team in baseball could even afford that contract straight up so they would have to give money or a player just to get some team to take that contract off their hands. Every team has big contracts they would either like to shed, or that wouldn’t cost much material if they were happy with the contracts even but just barely. That’s why I said a guy like Chase Utley who they might be happy with the contract but only to a tiny degree can thus lower the cost to obtain him. They might not want to deal him straight up for Infante, but if they have another guy on their team they are miserably unhappy with, then they might be willing to take the hit to downgrade to Peralta in order to save money elsewhere or get young players, just like the Marlins did with Reyes and they downgraded in talent to Escobar. They did that for a financial benefit plus an acquisition of several prospects. And that’s how you get a guy like one of those premier OFs by adding in the stuff that burdens that franchise as an incentive to humor you in naming their price to pry a star. You just need to investigate the options and invent the deal opportunities with those teams and then you can open up your options to getting guys that aren’t on a trading block. All it takes is the shrewdness of a GM to make it happen and find a way to connect the dots as there are 30 teams out there all looking for different things with many different issues going on and you need to sort through that to invent the trade opportunities for what you want to do.

                And what we should want to do is find a SS (like Reyes or better) and an OF or two, and a 2B and more. And we need to find deals where we can give up less than what teams will give us in return and they are easily out there once you find a team that has a difference of opinion in the value of groups of players. Such as in this recent big trade where Toronto loved what they got and the Marlins liked what they got more. Every single team out there is going to see things differently than what our team sees things as.

                The problem with us is DD doesn’t know how to evaluate players properly and thus we miss all the good opportunities that you never know could have existed. Half the guys in the league he thinks are more valuable than I think they are, and another half he thinks they are less valuable than I think they are. Some portion we might agree on but to me our problem is he doesn’t understand what a player is worth and that’s why I think our team is in bad shape and could easily exchange the assets we have for a MUCH better and more efficient configuration.

              19. Well, Dave Dombrowski is a real baseball GM, whereas I’m just a pretend GM. I keep that in mind. Even in the context of exaggerated fan talk, I like to keep my critique somewhat tethered to reality.

                There is no rigorous formula for creating a winning team. One way or the other, you buy potential and hope for performance. I feel quite safe in asserting that a team put together to be the “most unbeatable” by virtue of statistics would, on the field, very rarely emerge as the World Champion.

              20. Yeah I understand what you are saying, and I’m just coming from a different place because I think he does a really bad job and I believe that if I was the GM that we would be nearly unbeatable and I’m highly confident in my opinion of that. There’s nothing unrealistic about making lots of trades, he has a completely different viewpoint of how to do things and he thinks it’s best for us to stand pat whereas I think it’s best for us to make near wholesale changes.

            2. I admire your self-confidence. If I may make a suggestion, the more specific you are in naming players and outlining the moves it might take to get them, the more it might liven up the discussion here. Then again, it might not – we seem to be the only two around the stove here most of the time. Still… the specific is more interesting than the abstract.

              No reason to dismiss the unlikely that you could still make a case for. It’s food for thought. I’m still beating the drum for Shane Victorino.

              1. Well like I said there are at least 100 possible players we could go after that would be better than current guys on our team, that’s very easy to know. But we all know that DD is 95% set with the team and not rumored to be investigating trades so I don’t think we should expect any. I don’t see any one trade that can make us a dominant team overnight so there’s not much purpose to coming up with a single trade for prediction of what we might do.

                To me it’s not fun to try and guess what DD will do, it just doesn’t have much appeal. I simply advocate that the franchise should go in a completely different direction but that has about a 0% chance of happening. It’s not unlikely it’s downright impossible that DD will all of a sudden go crazy and do the things that I suggest, which is a complete transformation.

    1. Umm, before I click the link you want to state the minimum guaranteed salary associated with the jobs or a basic rundown of how the compensation works?

      Otherwise it’s unwanted spam with nothing of value if you can’t quickly sum up the point of the pitch.

  5. Maicer Izturis to the Blue Jays. If the Tigers were interested, I don’t think they were 3 years + option interested. Good pickup for Toronto, wise of the Tigers to pass on those terms.

    I infer that there’s a good chance the 2013 infield bench is Ramon Santiago.

    1. 3 years 10 million is way more than he deserves, he sucks. 9 years in baseball and only ONE time was he over .415 SLG with a whopping .434 for an easy disqualification on one metric alone. BA, OBP, OPS, they all suck too.

    1. Sanchez hasn’t earned that kind of payday by a long shot. He was an add-on, and he’s still an add-on. I can’t see the Tigers chasing him beyond 4 years/$50 million. It’s getting harder to see them chasing him at all, and I should rethink Porcello’s “expendability.”

  6. The Strategy Expert: I appreciate the fact that you are a fan, but I am not and feel he has destroyed this team and this city in inexcusable ways.

    Did not realize baseball GM was responsible for destruction of Detroit! Thanks for clearing that up!

    1. Well it doesn’t sound like you see my point very clearly at all actually. Doing something bad is just one of way of losing value, and we have had great opportunities missed to achieve great profits in monetary ways and to gain the respect of the nation. Detroit is famous for the automobile industry and it could have been famous for baseball and the upside of our potential through playing the game the right way and achieving gigantic success would have improved our lives in various ways. DD has done bad things that have caused damage AND missed opportunities for huge greatness, and I didn’t delineate or itemize out both ends of that spectrum and as such you have misinterpreted my point.

      I don’t know of anybody else that has the same vision that I have for how great our town could benefit from doing the right thing in approaching baseball the right way, so I’m not surprised that you can’t clearly see the wonderful vision that I have for our city through baseball success, but hopefully this post clears up some of the disconnect on what I was trying to say so that you can see the basic idea of how I look at it.

        1. Well it wasn’t an obvious troll post to me so I gave him the benefit of the doubt as I do just about every time! 🙂

          1. TSE, I post here occasionally, and I have yet a lot to learn about the game. I enjoyed this discussion board here so far because people are very knowledgable and to the point. I am sorry to say that your posts made it less fun for me to post lately.

            I appreciate that you love the game, but please (1) check older discussion board entries to get a gist of the general vibe of the posts and (2) try to make your posts more concise. No one wants to read endless posts with nitty-gritty details that oversample your arguments.

            1. If my posts are commonly too long to read or if you feel they are long-winded and not worth anything then just ignore them, but not sure what you mean with the #1 suggestion?

              1. Stephen isn’t a troll, just a cynic with a sense of humor (always recommended). Don’t get him started on Brandon Inge, though.

  7. TSE: ‘I don’t know of anybody else that has the same vision that I have for how great our town could benefit from doing the right thing in approaching baseball the right way, so I’m not surprised that you can’t clearly see the wonderful vision that I have for our city..’

    Good times.

  8. If anyone can think of a trade for Asdrubal Cabrera, J.J. Hardy, or Justin Upton that makes sense and does NOT involve Nick Castellanos, THAT would be interesting. I can’t, and I’m finding harder to see the Tigers as being in a good position to make meaningful higher-level trades.

    My latest choices, ranked, for players the Tigers should acquire:

    1. Torii Hunter (spend the money)
    2. Anibal Sanchez (spend the money, but no more than 4 years)
    3. Nick Swisher (if no Hunter)
    4. Asdrubal Cabrera
    5. Justin Upton (not for Castellanos)
    6. J.J. Hardy
    7. Shane Victorino (maybe if and only if Hunter or Swisher come aboard)

    1. Yeah we have to be the favorites I would think. The Dodgers could use him but they are way over committed on huge salaries for next year, so that would be a big surprise to me if they would match the same amount that we could pay. The Yankees are also a top contender but they also have a more overextended payroll than the Tigers. And the Red Sox should be focused more on a traditional rebuilding structure than a ready to compete contender like the Tigers.

      I’d be pretty surprised if Detroit didn’t get him especially considering we already have shown that we want a veteran OF and we had one in Delmon Young that we replaced for seemingly a heavy desire for an upgrade, and Torii is a clear upgrade over DY.

      1. Well if they want Hunter bad enough then they will outbid the Rangers, or they are going to go with their second option to pay even more to get Josh Hamilton. I’m fairly convinced one of those 2 will be a Tiger, and that’s why I think DD wants Hunter so bad because he has a desire for a minimum caliber of upgrade and he doesn’t want to spring for the much more expensive option.

        Obviously there are other OF FAs that are choices too, but it seems Hunter is the preferred choice of all of them, so it’s either the supremely expensive Hamilton, or it’s the favorite choice of the next tier now seemingly being Hunter.

        1. Getting Hunter for 2 years also gives more flexibility in signing a potentially expensive Sanchez if they decide to make a push for the rotation. I don’t think brass will go for more than one high buck player this year, and a very long term contract, which is what it will take to get Hamilton, doesn’t make much sense to me after last year’s 9-year deal with Fielder. Despite Illitch’s getting old and wanting a WS win, he isn’t the Yankees, who when they blow tons of money on bad contracts, just seem to print more money. On the other hand, I was totally taken aback by the Fielder signing last year, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised if they do something similar again.

          1. Well if he was willing to make a big splash last year to get a WS win by picking up Fielder, then you would think his time remaining is even less, so the odds of us being a team to splurge for a high buck player to really go for the gusto immediately seem to be pretty high to me. Somebody is going to give him big bucks and everybody is afraid to do so, and the Tigers are still a top contender with room to spend now that a few bad contracts are out of the way.

            Hamilton could finish his career out in Detroit with about as much time left as some of the other star players we have, so it fits like a glove for the timing of what Illitch blew all of this other money on to set up. He’s only 2 years older than our other star players, yet 6 years younger than Hunter, so he seems very much in play.

            1. Most of you have probably read this cautionary tale on Hunter:


              Me, I’ll still be ecstatic if the Tigers sign him. Delmon Young with defense plus walks? If Delmon “October” Young could play the outfield, I’d be glad to have him back even without the walks. But the comparison falls apart (to begin with) if you look at platoon splits.

  9. Congrats to Trout on his Rookie of the Year Award, that will do it for me. I feel, as I assume most of you agree, that the MVP is Miggy!

    1. See Detroit Tiger Tales for a convincing argument that Trout is the MVP. Nothing against Cabrera (of course), but I consider Verlander the Tigers’ 2012 MVP and right up there with Trout for the AL honor.

      1. Yeah the Tiger Tales argument is very good and I fully agree. To me it’s a longshot easy victory by Trout and Cabrera doesn’t sniff his value provided by each of their last seasons. I think Cabrera will win it though since I think the voters will justify their decision some other way. We shall find out on Thursday!

        1. Yeah, I think Cabrera wins it. No complaints. He’s our guy, plus no one claims it’s absolutely a stat-based decision or even close. But Trout, man. They don’t have a simple name like “Triple Crown” for that kind of season. Imagine the pressure of trying to live up to THAT kind of rookie season.

          1. Which is my main misgiving of The Fish getting the MVP. He is a Rookie! He may be Joe Charbonneau or Mickey Mantle, who knows? Let him have a couple three seasons equal or just below what he did this year ( and a complete season too!) and I will jump on board, although the Angels of the OC organization is my least favorite Cali team.

            1. Good point, but on the other hand, it is the season just played that is in question. The MVP isn’t a lifetime achievement award.

  10. Maybe the Indians are next. Perhaps they’d like to give the Tigers Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Masterson, Chris Perez, and Carlos Santana in exchange for Porcello, Peralta, Boesch, and a few prospects. And then move to the AL West.

    1. Interesting idea, but Boesch is coming off a down year, there was a time in the past he had much better stock and we should have traded him then if our plan was to trade him. This is about timing and you need to sell guys high and buy guys low, or you waste the player for nothing at all. We can’t go back in the past now but still I’m not confident that we know how to determine exit strategies for any of our players the right way. So you either trade Boesch in the past or you vouch for him if his stock crumbles and hope he picks it up, and that’s what DD chose, so not sure he would find a trade now or even get a deal on it.

      Cause that’s what I would do if I was on another team is I would be calling DD right now and finding out how many peanuts I could toss at the Tigers to get Boesch now and hope he can improve in the future. We don’t want to trade him if we are going to get virtually nothing in return. That’s a potential disaster move. We need to spend our time finding the Boesch’s on other teams as well as the proven players or hot prospects on other teams that we can pry away and take advantage of them on.

      1. I agree, not the best time to get max value for Boesch, a time which may have passed.

        An interesting question is this: Which tradable Tigers (liberal definition of tradable) are at max value right now? It’s very possible that 4 of them are guys I’ve mentioned more than once as not tradable. That hinges on whether Fister, Scherzer, Jackson, and Avila are likely to get better. All 4 isn’t the most likely answer, but neither can you say any one of them is likely to go downhill from here. Certainly not the latter 2. Scherzer and Fister, well… Hate to give up good starters on speculation about durability issues. You hang on to pitching like grim death until there’s a surplus. No surplus at the moment, far as I can tell.

        1. Well there’s max value but there’s also 29 other teams out there so ANY teams that simply value ANY of our players more than what we value them at are guys we seriously need to consider dealing. That could be any and all of our players since that’s 29 other opinions on each one. We’d have to value a player more than all 29 to be dead set in wanting to keep them and there’s strong potential that we could move most of them. The only question is which couple of guys are we highest on that we don’t want to trade and everybody else could go because we can get something of more value. We just don’t have many good keepers and we need to create action. So to answer your question there is no Tiger on the team who is proven to NOT be tradable at this point.

          It’s not necessarily about trading the guys that have max value now, because say you were to say that AJax is worth $100 and Boesch is only worth $10. That doesn’t mean you want to trade AJax more than you want to trade Boesch necessarily. If the best offer for Ajax is $110 dollars but somebody would give us $25 for Boesch, then we can get a better overall net and proportion for trading Boesch. It only matters on differential value of what other teams perceive. So the key is to think about this in advance so instead of waiting until today when Boesch is worth $10, it simply would have been better to trade him when his stock was higher say at $30 so we could find some team willing to offer $40, because $40 at that time is an even bigger gain than the $25 can get today, and we simply would have had a bonus profit from the timing.

          But we can’t worry about the past now and we just have to trade the guys we can get a good margin on, or vouch for them that they are going to be worth more in the future to continue to use or trade later. So right now it’s not about trading one guy for me, it’s about trading all 30 of those guys, give or take the small few that I can’t find a big margin on that I’d rather hold onto for a better time in the future.

          So here we are in great position to make wholesale changes, and 30 guys are a surplus of potential winners to trade, and which couple we don’t trade or shouldn’t trade it doesn’t matter what their names are, we should just find out. But that’s not what our team is going to do and I don’t really foresee or expect any trades, so not sure what the point would be in trying to figure it out since we are apparently set for standing pat mode.

          1. I simplify things more than you do. Not saying it’s better, just my way. To me there’s no point in starting from “everything conceivable” and narrowing it down. And I start from what “I” (the Tigers) have and don’t. Then I see who else has what I want and try to guess what I have that they want, with the assumption that they won’t be under- or overvaluing anything to my advantage. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that the Tigers aren’t in a strong trading position and don’t really need to be, but I continue to speculate because it’s fun, and also because I know there’s a good chance that when I’m thinking there won’t be trades, there WILL be trades.

            If the Tigers sign Torii Hunter, it will be the first time in history that I’ve correctly anticipated anything the Tigers have ever done (except for “calling” HRs, Ks, whatever, during a game). I’m giddy with excitement.

            1. Yeah that’s pretty awesome, sounds like you have a great chance to get a team you like and believe in and that you might have a prediction come true. And if they do nothing more than just add Hunter then they’ll still be one of the top favorites to win it all. You will probably have a rather enjoyable experience with the team next year and find it very exciting!

              And I heard that Hunter visited the team tonight but did not leave with a contract offer, although the rumor is that the Tigers might be the top team that he wants to play for the most. So if the Tigers have any true interest in him then it seems like it should be a formality unless they have an even better move lined up.

              1. I remember a former teammate of Hunter’s referring to him as a six tool player… the implication being a certain prowess with the ladies, so if I may I would like to paraphrase Jim Bouton: “check for your wives and daughters! There’s a ballplayer missing!” I feel he would like a change of scenery, and the chance to get out from under micro manager Mike S., so let’s rent him for the season or two…

              2. Jim if Torii is going to come here and steal all of the ladies then that sure doesn’t make me want him any more!

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