Hot Stove Talk Part 2

Carrying over the previous thread (and this is over a few days, so some of the news is from Monday).

- Open letter to TSE, dude, you gotta start making some specific recommendations. You’re turning away readers. I implore you, suggest a few actual deals. Everyone who reads knows that I let just about anything go here, other than cursing, but I don’t want to lose readers. On the other hand, if you are one of my nemesis (or is that nemesi?) and this is an incredibly long and brilliant prank, bravo!

- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweeted on Friday that the Tigers aren’t looking at Rafael Soriano, and that Rondon will have a crack at it come spring training. Early reports from the Venezuelan Winter League are strong.

- Sanchez’s price may be going up – apparently his first ask was $90M over 6, and his latest was $100M over 7, according to Jon Heyman.

- Torii Hunter is in Detroit right now and is saying all the right things. Looks like it’s between Detroit and Texas – and Hunter lives in Prosper, which is 20 miles north of Arlington. With all of his son’s troubles, I would think that he wants to be closer to home, but hopefully we’ll see him roaming left in Comerica next year. Hunter’s presence in the clubhouse could really help with all of the young OFers we have (I think that Berry is the oldest who will make the roster next year, no?).

- Lynn Henning thinks that the Tigers might flip Peralta to AZ (where he could play 3B) and that Worth should get the shot at SS. Replacing Rayburn/Boesch/Young in the lineup will definitely allow us to sacrifice some O for D next year.

A few other notes:

- The Freep is putting out a book on the 2012 season – could be a nice stocking stuffer for the Tigers fan with average expectations on your list.

- Cabrera and Fielder won Silver Slugger awards last week.

- FanGraphs takes a look at Avila and wonders if 2011, or 2012, was the aberration.

 

138 Comments

  1. The Strategy Expert

    November 14, 2012 at 12:58 am

    I have one suggestion that just commented on at Tiger Tales. I suggested that Torii Hunter is too old and has too many red flags and I suggested that we should trade for Giancarlo Stanton instead of 2-putting for an OF solution by investing into Hunter and then a guy to replace Hunter in the near future. I saw Lee of Tiger Tales mention that over at Motown Tigers and I’m all for it as one of the best single trade ideas we could do from here with a team that might want to deal.

    Check the Torii Hunter thread at Tiger Tales for more specifics on the reasoning behind this. And I already Tweeted Giancarlo asking him what his trade value was so I’m way ahead of you and already trying to broker a deal as we speak! :)

    • Kevin in Dallas

      November 14, 2012 at 1:21 am

      Check out these tweets re: the Blue Jays/Marlins trade: http://www.jacksonsun.com/usat.....NTPAGE%7Cs

      • The Strategy Expert

        November 14, 2012 at 1:35 am

        I personally thought it was a great trade for Miami, but I’m not sure why they coughed up the $4MM. Personally I would negotiated harder to try to keep that cash too and then it would have been a brilliant trade. Although if push comes to shove I would have paid the $4MM anyhow, that’s a great business move for the Marlins and gives them a lot of flexibility and some stud prospects. The only way to not justify the trade is to suggest that they didn’t negotiate hard with all of the other teams to find an even better deal, but since they took the deal I have to give them benefit of the doubt that they found the best offer to dump that salary and get a handful of young players.

        Giancarlo should be pissed because they won’t be as competitive to win in the short-run, howevr if he’s a shareholder in the Marlins team then he should be happy. Oh, he’s not a shareholder? Well then he should respect them for making a smart move and just understand that’s how the business of baseball works. Next time he signs a contract he should vet the team’s plans if he’s not happy with them being prone to making a smart deal in the interest of their franchise.

        • stephen

          November 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

          “I personally thought it was a great trade for Miami,”

          Best sports troll ever! Reminds me of film critic Armond White who argued that later period Eddie Murphy movies were actually not terrible but works of genius.

          Try again.

          • The Strategy Expert

            November 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm

            Seems like you are the one trolling me with a “try again” response to all of my opinions. You don’t like the trade for Miami? How come if I may ask?

          • Coleman

            November 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm

            Jerry Lewis is considered a genius in France; perhaps the Marlins are geniuses there also.

            • Smoking Loon

              November 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm

              It occurs to me that the Marlins should have dealt with the Chicago Cubs instead. A complete swap of teams could have transpired. Instantly, the Marlins are 1 year ahead in the rebuilding, and the Cubs have a .500 team. Win-win. Why am I not consulted about these things?

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm

                Well that’s an interesting suggestion, but my theory is that Toronto was the best team to deal with. I think they were extremely foolish to give up a bunch of stud prospects and commit to some seriously massive salaries on those guys. It’s super high risk and terrible value. I don’t think any other baseball team would have made a similar deal of that kind of salary absorption plus prospect value for that crew, and that’s why the deal was made possible.

                It’s a horrendous deal for Toronto and there would be a lot better ways they could have used massive cash and prospect value to make the team better in the short run while exposing themselves to such massive long-term risk. It’s a funky deal that concerns me and the Commissioner needs to investigate what Toronto is doing and what the long-term considerations to see if he can identify any concerning shenanigans.

    • The Strategy Expert

      November 14, 2012 at 1:29 am

      Also I’ve already mentioned a trio of OFs we should target, Chase Utley at 2B, and for SS I’d rather have Jimmy Rollins than Peralta, he’s getting up there in age and salary and wouldn’t be tremendously expensive to acquire in trade. Or if we want to go younger I’ve always had my eye on Starlin Castro and Hanley Ramirez. Josh Rutledge would be a super young SS we could go after, Troy Tulowitzki would be really nice if we want to pull off a blockbuster. Or for a couple of SS wildcards I’d even throw out Ian Desmond or Pete Kozma.

      So that’s 7 SSs I like offhand, but there are still more than that I would rather have than Peralta.

      • Brad

        November 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm

        Hanley Ramirez is a head case.

        • The Strategy Expert

          November 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

          But he produces fairly well and has a long career ahead of him. And being a head case makes his price lower to acquire him than if he wasn’t. And maybe our team can figure out how to help him with his head case issues or make them tolerable. It’s a great opportunity for many reasons to look at Hanley. Cabrera had some terrible alcohol related breakdowns, but now he’s seemingly on a good track. Maybe he can help inspire Hanley to say in line as well and seek any treatment or assistance that could help him.

      • stephen

        November 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm

        “I’d rather have Jimmy Rollins than Peralta.”
        And I’d like to be driving a Mercedes convertible rather than a RAV4.
        Try again.

        • The Strategy Expert

          November 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm

          I listed 7 SSs. Which SS do you think would be most attainable in trade from that list? If nobody is possible to acquire, then we could always stick for Peralta, but I’m suggesting we shoot for an upgrade and those are just 7 of the possible choices and my personal favorites.

          • Jeff Molby

            November 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm

            So what if you listed 7 SSs? Any can point to a talented player and say, “Duuuude, we should totally try to get that guy.”

            Make specific recommendations about what you would give up in exchange for those guys or just shut up.

            • The Strategy Expert

              November 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm

              How do you deny that there are over 100 players that could be improvements over current players on the team? I don’t think anybody wants to see 100 trade proposals to cover every possibility. The other poster tried to shoot down my idea by taking the position that one of those SSs is unattainable, or at least that’s the inference I gained due to the lack of specificity. I asked him to pick out who the most attainable SS is rather than throw a glut of 6 proposals of which he might laugh at and not even take seriously.

              If I can’t confirm that he will fairly look at even the most likely trade scenario of those 7, then it doesn’t make sense to try and sell him on 7 scenarios. That’s not what other people want to see and I’m trying to have an efficient conversation to show a possibility to improve that position. I can make endless specific recommendations and I was waiting for a reply to engage on one of them at the moment, otherwise I’m talking to myself about endless possibilities for no purpose.

              • Jeff Molby

                November 15, 2012 at 6:09 pm

                Of course there are a lot of better players out there. Most of the guys on our 25-man roster aren’t All-Stars, so obviously we’d be better off if we replaced one of them with an All-Star.

                The question is “How?“. Nobody’s asking you for 7 scenarios and you don’t even have to state your reasoning if you’re crunched for time. Just state one SS that you’d go after and what you’d be willing to give up to get him.

                That would constitute a “substantive post” and would be a welcome change from your normal hand-waving.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm

                That’s what I’m doing, and I’m picking the one that the other person thinks is the least ridiculous, again he didn’t seem to take a posture for a serious conversation and he might say ALL 7 are impossible to obtain. If they are all impossible to acquire in his mind then it doesn’t matter what I think might be a good trade for them.

                I think most people get the idea of what I’m looking to do. I already stated what’s on my tradeblock and what I’m trying to acquire. We have at least 30 guys on the team or in development that I’m willing to consider moving in order to get a great 2B or SS.

                And I’ve already stated one of those possible paths, of which there are many possible paths, is to use VMart packaged with Peralta or Infante to get somebody better than Peralta or Infante. And we can use prospects or other non-starters to sweeten the deal, or cash.

              • Jeff Molby

                November 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm

                More hand-waving.

                Which prospects would you trade for Jimmy Rollins?

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm

                If you represent the Phillies you tell me. I have a team full of non prospects I’m looking to move first. I don’t need a SS until I can move Peralta, so i’m assuming the Phillies will take Peralta. I don’t know if they prefer prospects or cash or other non prospects along with Peralta, so that’s up to them to talk with me about it or somebody to represent them in negotiations. I’ll give up my prospects after I’ve moved some of the other players I’m looking to part with first, and if I have to come back to the Phillies then I can wait. Jimmy is not my #1 SS target anyhow so make a good offer including Peralta or I’ll further the negotiations with other teams first.

              • Jeff Molby

                November 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm

                They want some prospects and they don’t want to pick up any of his salary.

                This is my last attempt to treat you with even a modicum of respect. Assume they would drive a hard bargain and present your absolute best offer in exchange for Rollins. Make it specific. Or just shut up.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm

                I don’t have prospects in trade for Jimmy Rollins. I have Peralta for trade. If I want Jimmy Rollins then I’m going to clean house by giving up our MLB players for more prospects first to then get Jimmy. But Jimmy isn’t one of my top targets so it’s pointless to manufacture a trade from this position since we don’t have what they want yet. That would have to come as a subsequent trade, but I think we can get a better SS from somewhere else.

                So the Phillies will have to wait until I get more prospects, or I will get a better SS from somebody that desires prospects less than other types of assets for now.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm

                Also that link says the prospect requests were not large, they were looking for more cash in a deal, so that’s not accurate what you claim. They are looking in part for salary relief like Miami was with Reyes. That’s great for us and works out even better if I can also find another team that wants to take on salary for other bodies. Then I can dump salary with a team looking to do that and have extra cash to pay off the Phillies.

                But that’s only if Rollins emerges as the most logical trade target, which he might not be in the Top 3 of best values to trade for. I’d prefer somebody younger than him with more upside for the long-term and we have assets to get somebody even more exciting than Jimmy Rollins as well.

              • Jeff Molby

                November 15, 2012 at 10:50 pm

                So your best offer is a straight up swap of Peralta and Rollins? I think it’s safe to say that that wouldn’t happen, even if you involved a third team to convert Peralta into prospects.

                So let’s talk about the top of your wishlist. Who’s your top target and what’s the most, specifically that you’d be willing to give up for him?

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm

                Well if the team that has the top SS target wants prospects then we aren’t going to discuss it very efficiently because the timing of that trade would have to wait until I could clean the house up first.

                And I’d be willing to give up a lot. There is no way to define that with a number but to talk about a package of players/prospects/money. I can’t make up the wish list for another team otherwise if you want to play games with me you can just rebuff anything I say and call me a hand waiver and I’m not looking to play games like that.

                I listed most of the top SSs that I like, and I’m confident that the 30 guys I already mentioned on my trade block are plenty enough ammo for exchanging to get other players or prospects that can lead us to consolidating those assets to get some higher caliber players. I’m also not looking for just an SS, I want a new SS/2B/C/OF, so I’m looking for teams that will take packages of current players for one of those positions or prospects so I have that for all of the teams that won’t take current players. Whatever I can cash in our 30 least valuable players that have any trade value starting from the weakest working my way up is the basic road map of cleaning house of guys I don’t vouch for in efforts to get players I would be happy with, such as the listed SSs.

                So if you want to play mock trade negotiations with me, then pick an SS I can deal with without giving up my prospects first, otherwise you have to use your imagination and convert our MLB assets/cash into other prospects first and then we can work from there, or if you can’t debate an SS trade under those circumstances then we’d have to look at an OF or 2B or C that you will look at MLB assets/cash first as the driving force for the trade.

              • Jeff Molby

                November 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm

                In other words, all you have are dreams.

                Wake me when you’ve analyzed the appropriate teams and figured out a specific proposal that you think you could get done. One realistic proposal. Just one.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm

                Yes they are dreams because I want 30 guys exchanged and consolidated for new material and that’s the complete opposite strategy of what DD is doing. I also now have Torii Hunter on the list because he’s not even worth the money we gave him and if I can get some team to take his salary commitment off our hands that’s good to because that’s an anchor on creating an efficient team for the long-run that can also compete in the short-run.

                So back to a trade proposal I can’t make up 7 trades to humor you, if we are talking Jimmy Rollins then you first have to confirm if you are fine with taking no prospects because we don’t have proper shapes to make that move today, plus that’s not even getting us to a radically different team like we should be focusing on anyhow, so I’m not interested in debating a Jimmy Rollins trade with you until you can first solidify a foundation for why you need to prove that you and I can agree that it’s possible to acquire him. The Phillies clearly are interested in some salary relief and already discussed him as a possible trade so there should be no doubt we have enough ammo to pull it off. If the Phillies don’t like our non-prospects then it’s simply a matter of finding a 3rd party team that can help each side complete the deal, and we need to exchange other players with other teams anyhow.

                So you tell me which of the teams of those 7 SSs are willing to take non-prospects now and we can go back and work out a trade in theory, otherwise I’m not going to make up a trade only for you to say there’s not enough prospects in the deal because that’s an irrelevant rebuffing point.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 16, 2012 at 12:04 am

                Please allow me to interject.

                Jhonny Peralta, Brennan Boesch, and Avisail Garcia to the Phillies for Jimmy Rollins and Antonio Bastardo, Tigers pick up all of Rollins’ salary. That’s a defensible deal, though Asdrubal Cabrera strikes me as a more realistic and possibly better target for SS.

                TSE, all Jeff and others here are asking for is something specific that can be debated on grounds more down to earth than, well, the more exhaustive and abstract. Took me 10 minutes of research to come up with the above, and I don’t know the Phillies from Adam. Of course, maybe it shows that it only took 10 minutes, maybe it’s not so great. But it’s SOMETHING. You don’t have to have an airtight case that dovetails with all the other possible moves just to throw out a specific proposal. Right?

              • Jeff Molby

                November 16, 2012 at 12:27 am

                TSE, Loon is exactly right. I don’t give one whit about Rollins or any of the other SSs out there, because I’m pretty happy with the teams DD has been fielding, so I have no interest in scouring rosters for potential trades. I’m happy to let the man do his own job.

                You, on the other hand, spew endless streams of criticisms and insist that you could do it all so much better, but you never back it with anything concrete. That makes you an extremely annoying blowhard.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 16, 2012 at 12:41 am

                Interesting trade, but that’s not how I saw it. Jeff started off by declaring some pretty demeaning characterizations of me that I think are way off base and inappropriate. Any deal that comes from me was liable to be used as an opportunity for him to try and play games in something that didn’t seem to be about negotiating a baseball trade.

                I already very clearly stated the concepts of what I was looking to do in cleaning house and getting some key upgrades, and I wasn’t getting the feeling that there was any point into trying to come to terms on what is the fair compensation for Jimmy Rollins. He’s not even close to one of the most expensive people to trade for and the guy that laughed off Rollins first was taking a very clear trolling posture of which Jeff was following up on.

                So the key point is what difference does it make if we come to an agreement on the material needed to get Rollins? It’s either what you suggested or something close to a package of similar value. It doesn’t seem to me like that was what this conversation was about. There should be no mysteries to the concepts I suggested and I have addressed any question sent my way but Jeff is trying to suggest that I’ve been insufficient for 8 years when I seemingly had zero unanswered objections in that time and have no outstanding clarifying questions about anything that is still a mystery regarding any of my positions or ideas.

                So we can go over any specifics anybody wants to, but there has to be a logical foundation for the discussion. You can’t say what would you do to get Jimmy Rollins and expect it to make sense to me. I’m advocating a complete redesign of the team and DD is doing something else. So for one are we playing with me as the GM or with DD? That’s a big difference because we might only have one move to make and that’s it, but in my strategy there are many more steps and contingencies and I don’t know to read the mind of the other person to figure out what they want to truly talk about, or if they are just looking for an opportunity to spew out some negative hate based comments so they can feel more secure in trashing me without fair and proper substantiation, which is what was indicated by both Stephen and Jeff with some insincere and inappropriate banter. That’s not a good starting place to play trade debate games.

                So now going back to your trade, I would hold off on that. I don’t want to trade Boesch since his trade value is low and unless I’m clearly getting overpaid for him I would rather gamble on him since his cost is low and upside is high relative to that. Rollins is getting up there in age and is expensive, and he hasn’t had a very good offensive season for about 5 years now. If we had Rollins right now in place of Peralta and nothing else was changed, then I’d be advocating ways to get younger and better than Rollins still. I think we have the ammo to aim higher at that position and I wouldn’t make that trade until I investigated the better SSs first. If they are giving up value because Boesch is in the trade, then I want to know what they will give me straight up for him so I can see how their valuing him independently, that way if it’s not much there’s no sense in giving him away for free. I also don’t know what Bastardo’s value is offhand since he’s a new pitcher and I’d have to research him more so I can’t comment specifically about him other than it seems like he’s not a major piece, so for a theoretical discussion there’s no reason to keep him in the trade mix to complicate the proposal with a low value piece of ambiguous and uncertain value.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 16, 2012 at 12:47 am

                And to Jeff, there’s nothing I have ever spewed that I can’t back up and I have left no questions unaddressed that have ever been sent my way. I can’t read minds and know who is on the same page with me and it seems pretty clear to me what I’m trying to do in most of my posts, so if there aren’t any clarifying questions asked then I can only assume everybody understands what I’m saying.

                I think it should be abundantly clear to anybody who has seen me post for the last 5 years that I would have done better than DD. I have posted on many places about moves he made that I have rejected that most people agree in hindsight were bad moves. The stuff I say before future knowledge comes about is far more often supporting my strategies and ideas than they are for DD. If I had the job in place of him it seems very obvious to me that we would be talking about well in excess of 100 million dollars of net profit and increased franchise value. I live my life every moment and I’m privy to 100% of my thoughts and ideas and I’m well in the clear for substantiating things with logic and making good choices and there are constantly things that continue to verify this belief on my end. I stand by anything I post and can back up anything I post as being fair and logical.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 16, 2012 at 1:33 am

                I’m just going to illustrate my reasoning regarding my little devil’s advocate trade for Rollins. “I” and “the Tigers” are synonymous here:

                What I do I want? A better SS than Peralta. Who’s better? Rollins is one. A bit expensive, but only 2 years of expensive. What do the Phillies want? I think they could use a 3B and some OFs. Peralta has played plenty at 3B. Boesch could help them – he’s got some pop they could use if he lives up to his potential. Garcia could quite possibly REALLY help them. He’s a “prospect” and then some. Do the Phillies want more? Castellanos? They can’t have him. They want prospects? Garcia, there you go, Do the Phillies bite? Of course they do. They’ve wanted to move Rollins and his salary since mid-2012. Do I want Rollins THAT badly? No. Not without more from the Phillies. What do they have tons of? Pitching. So I want a pitcher, a young pitcher, a bullpen guy with closer potential. Antonio Bastardo. The Phillies say: Come on, dude – Bastardo? I say: Look, we’re getting you off the hook on ALL of Rollins’ salary. The Phillies say: OK then.

                I’m fine with DD and know that I couldn’t do his job. But the speculation about imaginary trades and acquisitions stretches my baseball brain and elicits useful information and opinions from other fans, so I find it both fun and useful.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm

                SL – Well I definitely like your very interesting breakdown of the trade, that was very colorful and you did make that one a fun read! :)

                They only have Utley for one more year too, now if you could replace Bastardo with Utley and rationalize that trade to get 2 infield upgrades at once then that would totally be a heck of a lot of fun, especially if it happens!

              • Smoking Loon

                November 17, 2012 at 12:55 am

                TSE – thanks. I don’t think I can swing a deal for both Rollins and Utley. I’m not thinking overhaul like you are, and I see SS as the last of the desirable but not absolutely necessary improvements. I’m OK with Infante at 2B, all things considered.

  2. StorminNorman$

    November 14, 2012 at 11:38 am

  3. Kevin in Dallas

    November 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Word is the Hunter has agreed to a 2 year deal…details coming soon.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      November 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Beck just posted this: http://beck.mlblogs.com/

      • The Strategy Expert

        November 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        Smoking Loon’s prediction came true! What’s the next prediction now?

        • Smoking Loon

          November 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm

          Well, I’m delighted that Hunter is a Tiger and that I was on target matching my assessment with that of the Tigers. I’ll stop short of calling it a prophesy. We all knew he was a prime candidate.

          No predictions, don’t wanna press my luck. Signing Sanchez is the only thing on my wish list I’d call likely. An interesting trade may be lurking ahead, but not one I’ll try to predict just yet.

          • The Strategy Expert

            November 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm

            Well one thing we definitely need is a backup catcher. It has already been declared by DD that he is very interested in Gerald Laird again although Laird is testing the market right now. I wonder if we would be so bold as to go after Mike Napoli. Napoli might be expensive, but there is quite a shortage of quality offensive catchers in MLB now, so he’s an interesting player to consider. He’s more of an ideal fit for a team that is looking for an extra DH or perhaps even 1B, so due to his price tag and the presence of Victor Martinez I wouldn’t expect a move like that.

            However if there was a way to use Victor in a trade, then Napoli could be a good C/DH option. We might have to send some cash with Martinez and some other players to turn him into interesting trade bait, but I wouldn’t mind combining him with Peralta or Infante to get an IF upgrade.

            • stephen

              November 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm

              Insane. Napoli is going to get starter money. Try again.

              • Coleman

                November 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

                And starter status. Although Avila would make an excellent backup.

          • The Strategy Expert

            November 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm

            Agreed that Avila would be a good backup. Napoli gives flexibility and he might be the same price as Victor Martinez who is just a DH. And again to Stephen it only makes sense for us if we have a deal to remove VMart, and Napoli simply replaces the same salary amount, so there isn’t much financial change.

            • Smoking Loon

              November 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm

              Read an article on Avila recently, can’t find the link. Those of you who have also read it will recognize the part of the title: “Disappointing, or just bad?” In reference to what to make of Avila’s 2012 and what to expect of him.

              I’d like to think that 2011 was closer to the real Avila, but in any case, I don’t see the Tigers doing anything more significant at C than bringing Laird back or going with a slight offensive upgrade over Laird. I think I’d like to see Holaday, myself. It’s good to see a new face from within the organization once in a while. Go ahead, laugh. Remember that 3rd-string C with a funny name called up from Toledo who hit a triple against the Mariners (or someone) in 2008? It could happen again. That was exciting.

              • bada bing

                November 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm

              • Smoking Loon

                November 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm

                That’s the one. Thanks.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 14, 2012 at 10:49 pm

                The solution to the Tigers catching problems is in Coleman’s avatar. Check it out. A good defensive catcher joined at the shoulder with a guy who can probably hit lefties. Hopefully one of them folds away for easy storage while the other is in use. Talk about a utility guy.

  4. KW

    November 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Can someone explain to me why we’re supposed to give any credence to what TSE posts? Is he really a “strategy expert”, or just a self-appointed one? If it’s the latter, might I suggest ignoring the troll?

    • Coleman

      November 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Captain Picard endorses him. Ignore at your peril.

      • The Strategy Expert

        November 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm

        I have been using the Picard avatar for about a decade now and Patrick Stewart still has not sued me FWIW. ;)

        • Coleman

          November 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm

          Well there you go!

          • Smoking Loon

            November 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm

            I wasn’t aware that it was just an avatar. How could I be so naive as to think it was you, really YOU, Captain… MY captain…

            I’ll be all right.

            • The Strategy Expert

              November 15, 2012 at 9:30 am

              The Picard spirit is within each of us and can be channeled at will for strength in principles and strategy. His inspiration and leading by example makes it possible.

    • Jeff Molby

      November 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      He has no credentials. He’s the prototypical arrogant, Monday-morning quarterback. He alone has vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals. He’ll issue long-winded critiques of everybody’s opinions and decisions, but in my eight years of hanging around this site, I’ve never seen him make a single concrete recommendation. All you get from him is the sort of vague hand-waving that you’d expect from a cheesy psychic.

      I wouldn’t call him a troll, though. I think he’s honestly deluded about the quality of his posts.

  5. stephen

    November 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Tigers now have a 330 pound first baseman, a 270 pound recovering alcoholic 3rd baseman and now a left fielder with a son at Notre Dame. Athleticism RIP. (And yes I know Hunter is a Gold Glover–hey just like Jeter!-but his defense is well passed his prime.

    • bada bing

      November 14, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      Right fielder. And, yea, golden domers are annoying.

    • Smoking Loon

      November 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      They could play the Lions and win.

      • bada bing

        November 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm

        You are… incorrect.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm

        The Tigers, I mean, not Notre Dame. The answer to the other question is “both.”

  6. stephen

    November 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    This is worth reading: Torii Hunter signs two-year, $26M deal with Tigers, proving once again that “flashy” play matters in the outfield: http://mjm.ag/TJCRgu

  7. Coleman

    November 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    BTW stephen and Smoking Loon, it’s good to see your names popping up again! Although Loon, you are much less eerie than your namesake. And stephen, you are one of a handfull I can’t count on to pick up on my subtle humor. So y’all stick around, ok?

    • Smoking Loon

      November 14, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks, Coleman. For my part, it was good to come back and see that you and Kevin in Dallas were not only still around but writing game posts (and whatever they’re called now that there aren’t any games… “blog entries” sounds kind of clinical). I was a bit freaked out early on when I was trying to figure out what happened to Billfer and then read something from Kevin about “missing his old friend,” but I take it Billfer is still alive. Which is a good thing.

      I still recognize a few of the old stalwarts (hey there, Ken in that city in Ohio I can never spell but now in Vegas thank you much easier), but things have thinned out here since 2008, haven’t they? I find that odd, because this is a great blog and it’s been one of the Golden Ages of Detroit Tigers baseball for at least 7 years now. Then again, I was mostly gone for a few years there myself. But I’m hooked again now. A World Series will do that, even a losing one.

      Eerie? Oh, you must mean the call of the loon. No, I’m not so eerie, though I’d consider moving to Erie if the climate was any better than Chicago’s. I smoke, I love birds, I cracked up when I first saw an ad for Smoking Loon and then loved the wine when I finally tried it, so Smoking Loon fits me to a T. Aside from the haunting call and my complete lack of talent at diving for fish in cold, deep lakes.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        November 14, 2012 at 11:47 pm

        Good stuff Smoking Loon, I’ll do an abridged history of DTW over the winter for our newer friends.

        • Smoking Loon

          November 16, 2012 at 12:28 am

          Kevin, an abridged history of DTW sounds interesting. A recap of the 2012 season might make an interesting series of articles, too. I’ve been looking back on it myself, and a funny contradiction emerges. In retrospect, the Tigers were clearly overrated to begin with, and yet as you go through the season game by game, you still get the feeling that the Tigers could have and should have done better than 88-74. And the postseason was like a mirror (reverse) image of that. Heavily favored in the WS and then swept, it seems more incredible that they got through the ALDS and ALCS with such relative ease.

      • The Strategy Expert

        November 15, 2012 at 9:45 am

        Yeah it is kind of odd, but to have huge membership and activity on baseball blogs or message boards is easier said than done. There are sites out there I have seen that have tons of members, but hardly any activity, then there are sites with few members but higher activity. The configuration can be key because most sites aren’t really set up for optimal communication mngmt and creating a community to keep growing the audience takes a lot of work and ideas, such as reply notifications and being able to have member to member messaging etc.

        It should be more popular here as this site and Tiger Tales are my 2 favorites to check out for new topics. There’s lots of places to get information but I happen to like the types of stories and perspectives that originate here and always get excited to see the new posts that these guys come up with!

        • Smoking Loon

          November 16, 2012 at 12:53 am

          I have no idea how many readers DTW might have. Probably lots, maybe more than ever, but it seems to me based on casual observation that there are fewer posts than there used to be. Especially during games.

          I think I discovered DTW in 2006 or 2007. Made a shy, dumb comment or two, and then just lurked, feeling out of my depth. I don’t think I felt knowledgable enough or bold enough to post much until 2008.

          I like the tone (the arguments can get heated without descending to the moron level) and look of DTW. I don’t like blogs where the avatars and signatures and whatnot are total distractions from the content. When the discussion is active here, it’s a great place for info + opinion, a great place to connect with other Tigers fans (especially if you don’t live in Detroit or even Michigan), and when I drift away from the Tigers, DTW is the first place I go to get back.

  8. Coleman

    November 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    OK, that should be *CAN* count on. Although I confess I was considering leaving it as was, and hoping some subtlety would be divined therein. But such are the vagaries of posting by phone in the Ohio backwoods.

    • stephen

      November 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Ohio backwoods. Intriguing.

  9. Tom in Lakeland

    November 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Ohio backwoods?? Perrysburg??

    • Coleman

      November 15, 2012 at 11:29 am

      No…I’ve only seen Perrysburg from 75, and it doesn’t look to backwoodsy from there. At the moment I am down toward Cincinnati.

  10. StorminNorman$

    November 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....gns-Braves

    presents the Tigers with an opportunity to bring in someone who might provide a bit more motivation for Avila to improve upon last year’s disappointing year…though good hitting/fielding catchers are few

    • The Strategy Expert

      November 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      Well if you want somebody good then the only FA Catcher is Mike Napoli, and if we don’t figure out a way to fit him into our plans by swapping out DH Martinez’s salary to keep our payroll down, then the only halfway tolerable choice remaining would be A.J. Pierzynski. He wouldn’t cost too much money and if not either of those guys then we need to make a trade or fill the spot in-house with one of our prospects. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        November 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm

        Napoli is a liability defensively, and VMart should decline more gently than Napoli (both are past their peaks). Even if we suspended reality and assumed that we could swap a salary under contract for a free agent (the transaction costs to put the moves together to do it would be prohibitive; this isn’t the NBA), it would not be a prudent move.

        I would rather take our chances with Avila and a back-up.

        Pierzynski would be a solid backup and could probably teach AA a few things.

        • The Strategy Expert

          November 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

          The key question is how much does AJ cost, because he averaged $4MM per year over his last 2 years, although his last year was $6MM and the market for competent catchers is weak in a world of rising salaries. He’d be the most expensive backup catcher on the market and to me there is a better efficiency for the dollar invested to improve 2B or SS by incorporating a trade. So I think it’s more cost prohibitive to buy a competent back up Catcher than it is to seek a value at upgrading a starting infield spot.

          The Napoli move would give us BOTH the upgrade at an infield spot and a strong backup Catcher value, and is far more cost efficient than buying AJ to be the Catcher backup and then to find an infield upgrade the next best way or to ignore that upgrade.

        • Smoking Loon

          November 16, 2012 at 2:05 am

          I’d like Pierzynski for full-fledged platoon partner if he was a RHB. As it is, he’s kind of the Über-Avila at the plate without the gun behind it.

          • The Strategy Expert

            November 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm

            Yeah and he’s not exactly the cheapest player on the planet. He’s the only FA Catcher that has much chance to bring any offensive help to us other than the very expensive Napoli. So if we don’t go after AJ then we have to look at a trade or one of our minor league prospects.

  11. StorminNorman$

    November 15, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Cabrera rec’d 22 of 28 1st place MVP votes… so not even that close… which i didn’t think it should be – though i’m biased.

  12. Jim Eggers

    November 15, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    If we had champagne or even sparkling cider up in here , we would be popping some! My bride ( who was dropped on her head a lot as a child!) is a Gints fan and so her Buster won, and of course MIGGY IS THE AL MVP!!! The vote was not even close for MC, and I am happy for all of us in the fan base. In the irony category, my nickname in my career as a professional firefighter was Buster! (involved the opening of doors that may or may not have been locked)

  13. The Strategy Expert

    November 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    WOW one person actually gave Beltre a 2nd place vote for the only single vote that didn’t go to MC or Trout as top 2. I’d love to hear the rationale for that.

  14. Smoking Loon

    November 16, 2012 at 1:53 am

    http://www.blessyouboys.com/de.....ers-future

    Another interesting question. At first I thought, trade him. Then I thought, trade him only if Sanchez gets signed. Now I’m not sure at all, independent of Sanchez. He’s 23, he’s not terrible by any means. Do you give up on a young pitcher who has been solid on the whole for 4 years? I think I’d want a lot for him in trade, more than I thought initially. Moving him to the bullpen sounds logical on the surface… but then doesn’t.

    • The Strategy Expert

      November 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      I would love to trade him. Depends though on finding a team that will pay well for him because he’s another guy whose stock was higher in the past at a point and it’s going to be tricky to get a great value for him. I think we have more holes and concerns on offense right now so swapping some pitching talent to get better hitters is something we need to stay open-minded about and look at every trade chip we have available, and Porcello is one of those possible chips. If we doesn’t command much in return, then play him and hope for his stock to rise and deal him later, we can’t afford to give anybody away.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 17, 2012 at 1:02 am

        Porcello’s misfortune is that he’s average. Average players often seem to be more expendable than they turn out to be. I’m thinking “keep” at this point. Irrespective of Sanchez. Fister was down early in 2012. Could happen again, Could be someone else. Smyly could tank.

  15. Smoking Loon

    November 17, 2012 at 1:14 am

    The OF situation. Start Dirks in left? I would. Starting. No platooning. I’d rather go out and get an everyday LF if I didn’t think Dirks could handle it. So what’s the bench? I think Berry’s worth keeping. One more spot. Who? Either the Tigers have to acquire that player, ideally a RHB with some power (hey, Delmon Young) or… give that spot to Brennan Boesch. I’m actually leaning toward the latter. I don’t see the former out there, but that could be because the guy who could fill that role is under my radar.

    Oh, Garcia? I think he should really be getting regular playing time in the minors until calling him up is either necessary or the promotion he’s earned.

    • The Strategy Expert

      November 17, 2012 at 1:20 am

      As long as we can throw away money like it’s candy corn, then I’m for signing Josh Hamilton and trading away the rest of the multimillion dollar contracts to help offset the cost. He’s consistently a massive offensive producer for average and power and would give us a killer OF.

      • The Strategy Expert

        November 17, 2012 at 1:22 am

        If we can give $13MM per year to Torii Hunter, we can afford Hamilton for his price and we have gotta be on that. Or something doesn’t make sense, cause then it would make more sense to only get Hamilton and tell Hunter to take a hike.

        • Smoking Loon

          November 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm

          Does anyone have an inkling of what the Tigers’ internal debate over whether Andy Dirks is an everyday player might be about? I’ve read Dombrowski’s comments as reported by Beck. Not quite getting the connection with Garcia and Castellanos.

          • Smoking Loon

            November 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm

            Also, adding to the confusion is the “door being open” for acquiring a RHB to platoon with Dirks. That doesn’t jibe with the Nick/Avisail rap. Sounds like the door is open on resigning Delmon Young, or might as well be.

            • Jeff Molby

              November 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm

              DD wants to make sure Garcia and Castellanos get regular work next year. If either of them wins the job outright next year, that’s great, and Dirks will be relegated to the bench, but he’s not going to platoon either of them with Dirks. If they don’t win the position, DD needs to find a platoon partner for Dirks.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm

                I came up with the same interpretations of the diverse statements, but when I tried to put it together, it didn’t compute. The light bulb comes on:

                a) They have SERIOUS reservations about Dirks.

                b) They’re willing – no, PLANNING to wait until the end of spring training to make any necessary move on a LF platoon partner.

                I wonder what it is about Dirks. I don’t see it in the stats. Durability? Not the “LF of the future” in terms of… power? Something more behind the scenes?

                Waiting on the acquisition of a platoon partner will limit the choices available. One could well infer that they are practically ready to HAND the job to Garcia or Castellanos, that it is one of theirs to lose rather than win during spring training. Or maybe all this is supposed to light a fire under Dirks (or all three of them).

              • Smoking Loon

                November 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm

                Well, with Kevin Russo signed to a minor league deal and invited to spring training, the matter of Dirks’ platoon partner is settled. We can all breathe easy now.

                No, really, this looks in an offhand way like the organizational replacement of Ryan Raburn.

              • Jeff Molby

                November 19, 2012 at 5:38 am

                They definitely don’t see Dirks as an everyday player. I don’t know why, but they have a lot more information on the matter than I do, so I’ll trust their judgement. There are always some guys like Santiago, Craig Monroe, etc that seem like they could be every day players, but by the time it’s time to look at it in hindsight, even the basement dwellers have passed them over. Apparently they’ve got him pegged as a AAAA player and who am I to second-guess them?

  16. Smoking Loon

    November 17, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    DD: “But if we end up with this [Torii Hunter] being our major move of the winter, I would be very happy.”

    In other words, DD would be very happy if the Tigers did not sign Anibal Sanchez. Is this posturing to downplay the importance of pursuing Sanchez or an indication that DD feels Sanchez has floated out of reach?

    • Jeff Molby

      November 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Both. It’s also a) the truth and b) a pat on the back for Smyly and Porcello.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm

        I can see that. Smyly deserves a pat on the back, and Porcello could use the vote of confidence. They can’t trade Rick now after the uniform number sale donation to charity thing, anyway. That would be unseemly.

  17. Smoking Loon

    November 22, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    One argument against signing Stephen Drew:

    http://motorcitybengals.com/20.....ombrowski/

    It’s hard to find consensus, let alone agreement, on defensive performance and defensive potential. You have to either watch a lot of games to form your own opinion, or rely on the conflicting opinions of others and filter it as best you can.

    • The Strategy Expert

      November 22, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      Yeah the expected price tag and all of the reasons to be concerned about Drew make that Han Solo quote quite fitting. “I have a bad feeling about this”. I’m used to that feeling with moves the Tigers make, it’s a routine feeling the way we approach our roster mngmt each season.

    • The Strategy Expert

      November 22, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      Here’s another SS that is an interesting option, I wonder what his price tag is. The Diamondbacks are trying to negotiate a deal at the moment:

      http://www.azsnakepit.com/2012.....i-nakajima

      • Smoking Loon

        November 23, 2012 at 1:21 am

        Interesting article, though I think Hiroyuki Nakajima translates to “Jhonny Peralta” in English based on the information therein. I could see Peralta being dealt to the Diamondbacks for entirely non-Justin Upton reasons.

        • The Strategy Expert

          November 23, 2012 at 1:50 am

          Well I think JP’s name is Spanish, but you could be right about the sentiment of the translation. Although if his stats held up he has a career OPS of about 100 points higher than Peralta, and maybe Arizona doesn’t want to trade with us if they get him so we should steal him from them and make them trade for Peralta. :)

          • Smoking Loon

            November 23, 2012 at 11:50 pm

            From what little I know, Japanese baseball appears to be quite a different game. I wouldn’t begin to know how to translate the stats in a meaningful way.

            The Diamondbacks, presumably in the market for both SS and 3B, could be interested in both Nakajima and Peralta.

            • The Strategy Expert

              November 24, 2012 at 12:32 am

              Indeed there is no formula for translating Japanese numbers, all you can do is scout a player the best you can and then decide when and where to take gambles when they make sense.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 24, 2012 at 6:28 am

                Yet another deal with the Diamondbacks: Jhonny Peralta and Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch for Jason Kubel.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm

                Make that Peralta for Kubel straight up. No Dirks. If the D’backs wanted Boesch as well, I’d want a pitching prospect. Not that I have a hankering for Kubel, but he fits another type of short-term LF solution (power, everyday player though weak against LHP, decent defense) that I give an outside chance of the Tigers being interested in.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm

                Kubel is very unattractive. He hits for low average and high power with similar ratios as a guy like Marcus Thames, yet he makes $8MM per year. That’s what we need to stop doing is getting guys who drastically raise the payroll totals without offering quality production to go with it.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm

                Ah, but look at Kubel’s slugging percentage. I’ve noticed that you tend to make more of this stat than I do overall. In the case of this hypothetical “Tigers demand more power in LF” scenario, slugging is very relevant, and Marcus Thames (+ defense) is exactly what the doctor ordered. But I only mention it because it makes more sense to me than the Cody Ross (etc.) rumors/speculation that has been floating about for some time.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm

                SLG is just one stat and every stat has value, but his SLG is not impressive anyhow in conjunction with not having favorable other stats which makes him inefficient overall relative to his price range. If he would play for free then I’d be super excited about him, but he’s a negative value at his salary range. Kubel isn’t close to being attractive to me from a statistical perspective.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm

                Well, if they got him for Peralta straight up, he’d be playing for $2 million, which is pretty close to free in this day and age.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm

                He’d still cost us $8MM more than if he wasn’t here. And you’d have to spend more money to replace Peralta then too. You can’t avoid the $8MM unless you don’t take on his contract in the first place.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 25, 2012 at 7:03 pm

                I’m replacing Peralta with guys we already have. Boesch becomes expendable (or more so) and gets a couple prospects who will cost close to $2 million less. Kubel is practically free and only on the books one year. Just playing devil’s advocate here.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

                How about Josh Willingham? (Jeb Notinterestedbeef and Jake Balkychicken both have insufficient power). Would you trade Porcello or Crosby and Wilk for this guy?

              • Smoking Loon

                November 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

                How about Josh Willingham? (Jeb Notinterestedbeef and Jake Balkychicken both have insufficient power). Would you trade Porcello or Crosby and Wilk for this guy?

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 25, 2012 at 9:58 pm

                I wouldn’t. I would rather trade Porcello for infield help and Willingham isn’t impressive enough to me in addition to not being on a cheaper contract like Porcello. He definitely is the kind of guy that DD would be interested so I bet he would love to do a trade like that, but I have little interest in trading for OFs until I can get the IF guys I want or to get somebody to help me lower the team payroll. So if I could replace Torii Hunter with Willingham, then that would be great, but until then I’m not interested in trading away assets to get more OFs until I can see a path to solve our IF needs and long-term concerns, unless it’s one of the very best OFs we could possibly acquire.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 25, 2012 at 10:27 pm

                Me, I’m sticking with Dirks/Boesch in LF for now, and I’m no longer interested in trading Porcello at all, but I’m trying to prepare for the Tigers pulling a fast one on me. There’s always a chance that “not an everyday LF” could be code for “can’t hit 30 HR in a season.”

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 25, 2012 at 11:12 pm

                Yeah Dirks and Boesch probably wouldn’t have much trade value anyhow, so maybe we should hope for the best and play them. Although I still expect the team to be interested in Josh Hamilton with the way they are throwing money around. So I wouldn’t be shocked by something like that especially with every passing day that other teams are balking at his price tag which eventually might come down the longer it takes. If they aren’t going with a house-cleaning strategy like I advocate, then getting Hamilton is the top move I’d like to see them make in terms of OF acquisitions, at least after a big trade for a young superstar like Giancarlo or somebody like that.

  18. Smoking Loon

    November 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I was looking at tOPS+ In Wins versus In Losses. It’s not surprising that hitters would generally have better numbers in wins, of course, but a look at some of the 2012 outliers could be interesting. The number used in this made-up statistic is derived from dividing one tOPS+ by the other, usually In Wins/In Losses – but not always.

    Don Kelly -1.54: Proportionate to games played, Kelly started more losses and thus got more PA in them. Not surprising that you’d do better then, but better was not especially good.

    Gerald Laird 3.87: WAY outside outlier. Something to do with 37 of 51 GS against LHP for a guy who can’t hit LHP, maybe? I had thought Laird as backup to Avila had something to do with hitting, too, but obviously I was way off.

    Jhonny Perlata 2.65: Absolutely miserable numbers in losses. Very poor on the road. I see a connection. A home/away platoon at SS might have come in handy in 2012, though Peralta’s home numbers weren’t exactly sizzling, either.

    Prince Fielder 2.27 and Austin Jackson 2.12: Great balls of fire in wins, Delmon Young-esque in losses. Maybe this speaks to them as spark plugs or bellwethers of the team’s fortunes. By contrast, MVP Miguel Cabrera was the only guy on the team, really, with a split you’d want either way (another subtle point in favor of his MVP status). It should be pointed out, though, that his stat line in 87 wins would look great as a full season for ANYONE. (Compare Mike Trout.)

    • Smoking Loon

      November 23, 2012 at 1:32 am

      Stats are fun. All winter to pore over them. A few things I noticed:

      Rick Porcello is getting better.

      Al Alburquerque has yet to yield an MLB HR in 635 regular season batters faced. Who better to put an end to Sandoval’s HR binge, eh? Oops. (2 HR in 22 batters faced, postseason).

      I’m reminded that Phil Coke struck out 8 of the 12 batters he faced in the World Series, which reminds me in turn of the ALCS. Bruce who?

      • Smoking Loon

        November 23, 2012 at 1:33 am

        235 batters faced for Al-Al. That did look a bit extreme.

      • The Strategy Expert

        November 23, 2012 at 11:14 pm

        Here’s some interesting stats. There is a new rumor that the Royals are looking to trade an OF prospect to upgrade their pitching. His name is Will Myers and he had a nice .987 OPS in the minors last year:

        http://www.baseball-reference......ers-006wil

        • Smoking Loon

          November 24, 2012 at 12:20 am

          Good prospect, but one that doesn’t seem to fit the Tigers’ situation. The Royals want pitching – MLB pitching, not prospects. The Tigers don’t have a surplus. Also, the Tigers OF is already crowded with maybes and eventuallys. Playing above your age all over the minors and a good partial season in the Pacific Coast League as a 21 year old is nothing to sneeze at, but also not something to rewrite plans for LF because of – unless he’s YOUR prospect to begin with. The Royals have got to want too much if he’s that good, and I don’t think I want to hand even Rick Porcello (let alone any of the other starters) over to a division rival.

          How about some middle infield, catching, and pitching prospects that Peralta, Boesch, and Santiago-or-Worth could be traded for?

  19. The Strategy Expert

    November 24, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Yeah I would rather have the infield or catching prospects over OF prospects too. This OF prospect just happened to be one on the public rumor market as being actively shopped, but I agree he’s not high profile for what we should be looking for. But if we trade away any OFs or OF prospects to get those other positions then he can then be more valuable to us. We would be a trading move away from wanting to go after him in any event, but I’m open to any available players at this time since I’m always hoping the Tigers are planning multiple moves.

  20. Smoking Loon

    November 24, 2012 at 1:06 am

    How about Geovany Soto for backup C? Good against LHP, potentially more productive below his career averages than Laird was when above.

    • The Strategy Expert

      November 24, 2012 at 2:56 am

      Weak hitter, overpaid at 4 million bucks, let him be somebody else’s problem.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 24, 2012 at 3:20 am

        Overpaid, yes, but formerly good hitter, not old, power against LHP that Avila utterly lacks. He’s the only alternative to Holaday I can take seriously so far. The better aren’t guys who would welcome a backup role (and who knows if Soto would) and the worse are, well, just worse.

        • The Strategy Expert

          November 24, 2012 at 3:49 am

          Well maybe the Tigers are interested, I’m just very picky about players I like and he doesn’t qualify as a good hitter to me and I think we need to aim for much higher standards. The only available Catcher I care for is Napoli other than guys that have to be traded for, and I am not even crazy about Napoli to begin with because he’s too expensive.

          • Smoking Loon

            November 24, 2012 at 5:03 am

            The Tigers are probably fine with Holaday. I’m trying to think in terms of role players who could surprise when I mention someone like Soto. There are probably a bunch of AAAA guys for such roles, but they are always under my radar until the Tigers make a lower-level move for them or until their name pops up on MLBTR.

            • Smoking Loon

              November 24, 2012 at 5:30 am

              This is kinda funny: The guy the Tigers traded for Jhonny Peralta was… Giovanni Soto.

              If all goes according to plan, the Tigers will sign Soto for 2013 and then trade him to the Indians for Soto. So if Peralta is traded soon and the deal nets enough savings, Peralta will have been traded to the Tigers for nothing and Geovany Soto rented for free, all thanks to Giovanni Soto.

              • The Strategy Expert

                November 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm

                LOL now that’s soto a great plan, mind blowing too! :)

  21. Smoking Loon

    November 24, 2012 at 4:52 am

    I was more than a little hazy on the (career) platoon splits of current Tigers hitters, so I looked into it. The only splits of primary significance were those of Fielder, Avila, Berry, and Worth.

    Fielder, of course, isn’t a platoon candidate by any means. The .344 OBP against LHP jumps out to illustrate how frequent the IBB from righties have been. I’m surprised he didn’t draw more of them batting in front of Young in 2012. (I wonder if Fielder as #3 in front of Cabrera in 2013 would be of benefit. More IBB and BB from RHP to set the table for Cabrera?) A .262 BA/.301 BABIP against LHP also stands out a bit.

    Avila is the one regular who could use a bona fide platoon sidekick. A Geovany Soto type, if not Soto himself, would fit well. I can’t imagine Victor Martinez being in the backup C plans aside from emergencies.

    Berry’s left-handedness does him no favors for fitting in, though I’d suggest he’s still the extra OF I’m most certain will make the team in 2013. For fans of BABIP luck analysis, his BA .258/BABIP .348 stands out. I finally found where stats on infield singles are, and I expect that to play a part in some of those “luck and inevitable regression to the mean” scenarios.

    Worth, well, a classic can’t hit RHP situation. Seeing how pronounced certain splits of his and Santiago’s were, I could now see a Santiago (RHP)/Worth (LHP) platoon at SS. The low-budget improvement alternative. Go ahead and laugh, but look at the splits yourself. Santiago’s GIDP against RHP as LHB is 1 in 82 PA, as opposed to 1 in 37 the other way. Don’t have platoon split info on GIDP opportunities (etc.), but that difference has got to be outside the norm. Oh, and Worth has a +.054 BABIP over BA.

    More potentially interesting BA/BABIP differences:

    Jackson .280/.370
    Avila .261/.324
    Boesch vs. LHP .286/.364
    Dirks vs. RHP .294/.339
    Peralta .264/.310

    I see no evidence that Dirks needs a platoon partner. But in the event his “not everyday” status is a foregone conclusion, someone like Delmon Young would fit the bill for the platoon – except that he’s too expensive and wouldn’t accept the role anyway. Enter Boesch, strangely enough, with his reverse platoon split. He would also be less of a defensive liability in LF than RF, and much more so than Young or any number of older and cheaper Young-types.

    A 2013 lineup:

    Jackson
    Hunter
    Fielder (RHP) / Cabrera (LHP)
    Cabrera (RHP) / Fielder (LHP)
    Martinez
    Dirks (RHP / Boesch (LHP)
    Avila (RHP) / Infante (LHP)
    Infante (RHP) / Backup C (LHP)
    Santiago (RHP) / Worth (LHP)

    • Vince in MN

      November 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      I see Peralta is off your roster. What pitcher did you trade him for?

      • Smoking Loon

        November 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm

        I might have gotten a pitching prospect or two in a trade involving Peralta, but it’s as likely that the trade was for something else. Fortunately, here in the imaginary GM world we can revise deals retroactively (at least the truly imaginary ones). Any suggestions on what Peralta might bring in trade? Assuming you find him expendable, a point still very much open to debate.

        I see Peralta as the only “opener” for trade I have. This limits the deals to teams that need a 3B or SS, or, in the seemingly special case of the Yankees, maybe a kind of left IF super sub. I’d be willing to trade him for prospects. Any deal bigger than that seems to upset the apple cart too much for my liking. I started off thinking of Porcello/Peralta/Boesch (and maybe, grudgingly, Garcia) as the biggest package I could offer, and now I’m down to “get SOME value for Peralta NOW.”

        I’m restless for some kind of change at SS, perhaps unreasonably so. The pitching I have no problem with. Adding depth for contingencies is all I can see at this point. Sanchez has fallen off the drawing board.

        • Smoking Loon

          November 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm

          http://www.freep.com/article/2.....1050/rss15

          My thinking on Porcello has come around to believing that he could very well “rebound” (actually, continue improving some things and turn around others) WITH the Tigers. I’m hoping that the Tigers stick with him.

          • Smoking Loon

            November 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm

            More on the ever-intriguing BA/BABIP thing.

            Without IF hits (12) and bunt singles (6), Berry’s 2012 comparison goes from .258./.348 to .258/.276. That’s 24% of Berry’s H total.

            Without IF hits (13), Jackson’s 2012 comparison goes from .300/.371 to .300/.338. That’s 8% of Jackson’s H total.

            Without IF hits (15) and bunt singles (7), Hunter’s 2012 comparison goes from .313/.389 to .313/.332. That’s 13% of Hunter’s H total. For 2011, it was 10 + 2 or 7.9% of H, with the comparison going from .262/.297 to .262/.269. That is, for 2011, Hunter’s normal “luck” on balls in play is revealed as relatively bad luck instead.

            So are infield hits “lucky”? Bunt singles certainly aren’t. In the case of Hunter, there seems to be a presumption that his high 2012 BABIP means that he’s going to fall off a cliff for BA in 2013. I don’t think so. I don’t remember who Hunter batted behind in 2011, but it wasn’t Mike Trout or anyone like him. Batting behind Trout in 2012 certainly had an impact – I see it as part intentional change in approach and part good fortune (how many IF hits were to due to the defense trying and failing to nail Trout on the DP?). But while Austin Jackson isn’t Mike Trout, he ain’t bad, and I can see Hunter making the best of a good leadoff hitter ahead of him again. Also, I don’t think infield hits are any more a matter of luck than line drives dropping for singles in the outfield – less, if anything.

            I’m very curious about Avila’s high career BABIP. I’m thinking I’m not going to find a lot of IF hits, but I could be quite wrong.

  22. Smoking Loon

    November 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    http://www.mlive.com/tigers/in.....ive.com%29

    Quite a long link for a very thin report. Someone says that someone spoke to someone ABOUT someone, which may mean nothing more than “someone’s” name was MENTIONED.

    I would hope that the Tigers aren’t after Soriano. They didn’t lose the WS for lack of a closer. Their struggles during the season had little to do with the closer situation. Also, I don’t even get why Rondon’s name is even coming up in this context, zero MLB experience vs. a guy that was handed the role mid-postseason and nailed it. It would appear to me that Coke or Dotel or both could close games until they prove otherwise. Hard to believe that the Tigers could be as panicked about a closer as they’d have to be to lend credence to some of these stories.

    • The Strategy Expert

      November 28, 2012 at 11:19 am

      New rumors out today that the lots of teams are interested in trading for Boesch and that he might be dealt during the Winter Meetings. I mentioned earlier that he would be a guy I would be going after if I was representing another team because I suspect DD might sell him off for next to nothing (or a freebie in the process of dumping an old or expensive salary liability) and that could give some other team a very low price to take a chance on him raising his stock in the future to contribute or trade for a profit. If you are one of the other 29 teams out there, I think you have to be salivating at the idea of trading with the Tigers and taking advantage of DD. I think other teams are crazy if they aren’t brainstorming every which was possible to try and make swaps with the Tigers to try and improve their situations/positioning. One thing is for sure, we aren’t going to go into the Winter Meetings without making some kind of trade, there are ominous trading clouds hovering over us as we speak.

    • Jeff Molby

      November 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      We don’t need a new closer, but we definitely need some more bullpen depth. I’m ok with handing the closer job to whomever wins it in Lakeland, but doing so will just further deplete an already mediocre middle relief corps.

  23. Smoking Loon

    November 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    http://beck.mlblogs.com

    I’m hoping that Mike Illitch’s comments on Scott Boras from the Prince Fielder press conference last winter have a cleverly concealed element of “snow job right back at ya” to them. It’s hard to believe otherwise, that an owner in baseball could be “flabbergasted” that an agent, a salesman, had done his homework for the sales pitch.

    • The Strategy Expert

      November 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Great find, how convenient that what we need to win a WS happens to be extremely expensive Boars clients. Illitch is about to get swindled some more out of more tens of millions of dollars, what else is new. Is Boras a great salesman, or great at being a vulture? :)

      • Smoking Loon

        November 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm

        Can you really believe it, though? That Mike Illitch would practically swoon over a Scott Boras pitch? Illitch is a REAL businessman, for crying out loud.

        I don’t think Illitch was swindled into the Fielder deal (which I have no problem with) – that’s not what I’m getting at. But after reading that Boras went straight to Illitch recently to talk about Soriano or whoever it was, and then reading the comments from the Fielder press conference… I got a bit paranoid. The idea of a baseball owner losing his marbles on the job is funny when it happens in Miami, or somewhere else. Not Detroit.

        • The Strategy Expert

          November 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm

          Well it’s sad because if DD was doing his job properly he wouldn’t have any mysteries about understanding how the game of baseball works and DD would have simply shown that to him with results. I wish I could have an hour of Illitch’s time to tell him my baseball viewpoints, he’d probably have a heart attack when he hears what I point out that he has been missing all of these years. 100 million dollars, 150, how about 200 million bucks per year for payroll?

          Illitch is just throwing massive money out there and he has no idea what he is even buying and he has no strong baseball advisor or experts to tell him the most important things that he doesn’t understand. It’s just extremely sad and disappointing.