2012 Winter Meetings

Open thread for the Winter Meeting activities…don’t have much time this morning, but I’m sure our community will keep us up to date…check back often.

– Apparently Asdrubal Cabrera has a block on the Tigers, along with the Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals, Giants and Mets. Interesting company.

– I don’t think the Indians want Peralta, but perhaps the Marlins have something that the Indians want.

– If the Tigers are shopping for a closer, here are some candidates.


  1. The Strategy Expert

    December 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    • Kevin in Dallas

      December 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      Good offer. He’s not worth $15M per year for 6. I’d pay that for a short term deal though.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 4, 2012 at 12:36 am

        All the Sanchez rumors so far indicate that wants an unrealistically long-term contract for a pitcher of his stature and track record. The money comes down a bit as the length goes up. Eventually, I expect to read that he’s looking for $100 million over 20 years.

        I can see teams throwing money at him, but years? Can he possibly get more than 4?

  2. Smoking Loon

    December 4, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Dombrowski: “Let’s just say you sign Player X for one year at $2 million,” Dombrowski said. “Then Castellanos and Garcia, they don’t have a chance. Maybe that’s better and maybe it’s not, but they’re talented enough that we feel that it’s not out of the question that one of them could earn some playing time in spring training.”

    Is that: a) Earn some REGULAR SEASON playing time based on spring training performance, or b) Earn some SPRING TRAINING playing time? It has to be the former – of course they’re going to play some in spring training. But that “some” contradicts an earlier statement to the effect that Garcia and Castellanos wouldn’t make the team just to sit around waiting for at-bats.

    Player X for $2 million? Ha! Who in the world are they gonna get for $2 million that would be any better than just going with Boesch behind Dirks? I shouldn’t take anything a GM says this time of year at face value. It’s all spin. Not sure what the spin is, exactly, but I guess we’ll find out no later than 4 months from now.

    I’ll take Dirks/Boesch with the young guys getting regular work in the minors, but I’d still like to see the Tigers sign Shane Victorino, have Dirks on the bench, and trade Boesch.

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 4, 2012 at 1:13 am

      Numbers and logic aren’t DD’s strong suit.

      Maybe that’s how the Hairston rumor came about. Perhaps DD was planning on a $2MM buy and offered it, but then Hairston’s agent said no we want 4x that amount, and then that could explain how we technically offered the deal, but since there was such a massive gap they decided to call it a misunderstanding and not really an offer.

      Also Victorino is rumored to be looking for like 10 million a year according to a rumor earlier today.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 4, 2012 at 1:18 am

        Yes, 3 years/$30 million has been a constant in the Victorino rumors. Sounds reasonable to me. Definitely useful for 2 years, certainly not unmovable at that price, and it’s always possible that one or both of the young guys don’t make it. Quality player, no doubt, but there’s the old career NL thing to consider.

        • The Strategy Expert

          December 4, 2012 at 1:24 am

          Well if we signed him, it’s possibly because nobody else would offer more money. What if he plays worse on average than he has in the past? Unmovable then becomes possible if we pay him more money that anybody else and his performance lowers his stock.

      • travisfrymanfan

        December 4, 2012 at 8:04 am

        Hairston , 2012: 1.1 MM

        • Smoking Loon

          December 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

          Hairston is looking for considerably more these days. All the short-term LFs are bound to be half-of-a-player players like Delmon Young, Scott Hairston, et al.. I can accept that and still hope for a more well-rounded player like Victorino as middle ground between rewriting the script for LF (big start, long-term contract) on the one hand and guys like Hairston on the other.

          • Smoking Loon

            December 5, 2012 at 10:03 pm

            Aha. Victorino to the Red Sox. Too bad.

            • Smoking Loon

              December 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

              OK, Reed Johnson is my new candidate. Or maybe Ryan Ludwick. One of the two. If the Tigers insist on this partner for Dirks thing (I don’t see it).

  3. Smoking Loon

    December 4, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Santiago as LHB vs. RHP, career: .248/.319/.335/.654

    Worth vs. LHP, career: .298/.373/.375/.748

    Peralta, career: .264/.327/.422/.750

    Santiago and Worth would probably be better in a number of ways than 2012 Peralta at the plate, though they wouldn’t combine for 13 HR and 63 RBI. But they wouldn’t be batting 7th, either. In any event, it wouldn’t be a catastrophic drop-off from career-level Peralta, which is probably at the top edge – especially SLG – of what he could achieve in 2013.

    So… how’s that trade for J.J Hardy gonna work?

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 4, 2012 at 1:21 am

      I don’t know, I don’t try to figure out trades for guys that don’t interest me. He didn’t even make my list of 7 SSs that I put on a list before, and I’d have more SSs of interest before I would be interested in Hardy. So my guess is it will work ugly and disastrous, or it won’t happen. I’m hoping for the latter.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 4, 2012 at 1:43 am

        Hardy is Peralta with defense. The Tigers have to be interested, and he IS expendable for the Orioles, Gold Glove and all. I think the Tigers could well make an offer. I think he could be had for Peralta (3B) and an OF. I’d give ’em Dirks, Boesch, or both (they’d have to throw in a prospect for both). Not Castellanos or Garcia.

  4. Mark

    December 5, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Lamont to bench coach. Brookens to 3rd. Just on mlb network.

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 5, 2012 at 12:43 am

      Did anybody from the Tigers explain why they would move Lamont? If he’s truly so good at that job, then why replace him? If in fact he’s not good at the job, then how did he have it in the first place and continue to keep it for so long? I thought he was “the best 3B coach in the American League” as Leyland said before. What happened to him that made him suddenly transform into not as such? Did he hit his head or suffer some kind of catastrophic brain injury? Or perhaps a leg condition that just sprang up and doctors say he shouldn’t be standing for long periods of time?

      I’m looking for explanations, and I’d also be looking for accountability if that were actually a realistic hope for our team’s management personnel.

      Oh wait, I found the answer, Leyland is quoted as saying it all boils down to “Brookie’s just a little sprier right now”. Well isn’t that special and fascinating. Gee, I wonder what testing methods they used to determine each man’s level of spryness.

    • Vince in MN

      December 5, 2012 at 10:25 am

      I can’t wait for the quotient of wacky in-game decisions to go up, up, up with the advent of Windmill Lamont from “Best 3B Coach in AL” to “Best Bench Coach in Baseball Universe.” Now Leyland, McClendon and Lamont can sit side by side and say “huh” together at critical moments.

      • Vince in MN

        December 5, 2012 at 10:27 am

        Seriously though, I bet we see a significant improvement in baserunning.

        • Jeff Molby

          December 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm

          I don’t see it. You’ll probably see less griping about baserunning as Brooky enjoys his customary honeymoon period. Most baserunning decisions are either no-brainers that nobody would consistently get wrong or coin-flips that nobody would consistently get right.

          I would like to see the statisticians make an effort to quantify the value of third base coaches, but for my money, I don’t think there’s more than a few runs per year difference between the best and the worst in the league.

        • The Strategy Expert

          December 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

          There’s a lot more to baserunning skill and tactics beyond just taking input from the 3B coach, that’s just one piece of the overall equation, and this team doesn’t do a good job of teaching baserunning logic in general, we make countless mistakes of various sorts beyond the 3B coach making inexcusable errors. Brookens has been the baserunning coach for the Tigers since 2009 and he has done an awful job. The team needs to hire somebody that can help us improve that element of the game.

          But there’s also not one element of the game that we don’t make loads of unnecessary mistakes and that’s why you need a GM who is on top of that and making sure the players have a strong team of coaches and managers to get the most out of them that they can. We don’t have accountability or quality control from the top down. The guys that run our team at every level think they are all doing a fantastic job!

          Also for those that are Bill James fans, he ranked the Tigers as the worst baserunning team in baseball just a couple of weeks ago. So not sure what moving the “spry” Brookens to 3B is going to do on the global problems of our team-wide failure at knowing how to behave on the base paths.

          • Jeff Molby

            December 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm

            I’m hereby coining a new acronym for future efficiency.

            IOTSEWGM: If Only TSE Were GM

            Until that day, however, I’ll accept that we’re a station-to-station team and ignore the tangent you went off on. We were discussing the impact of various Third Base Coaches and my assertion is that one won’t make much of a difference over another.

            • The Strategy Expert

              December 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm

              I didn’t go off tangent, I supplied my full viewpoint with regards to relevant thoughts about the move. Vince is expecting improvement in our baserunning and I’m contending that a guy who was in charge of being our baserunning coach since 2009 who hasn’t helped our baserunning yet isn’t going to make a big positive difference from being our new 3B coach. Why would he be better if he can’t work out the other baserunning problems. I offered a lot of points on this issue and even cited the famous Bill James who statistically evaluates this and gave us a ranking of dead last.

              And I mentioned how we should also still be cognizant that baserunning is only one cog of what a baseball team needs to work on and we should be keeping in mind what it means for those other areas since our team of managers is relatively the same. This is all relevant good commentary, and if you don’t find value in it then move on, but it’s not helpful to try and discredit my opinion when I offered several viewpoints from different angles, all of which are relevant and interesting to consider.

              Try to focus on supplying your own opinions about anything about the Tigers team beyond why my posts should be ridiculed. That’s not on topic and is off tangent.

              • Jeff Molby

                December 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm

                If you want a response from Vince, click the Reply link next to his name instead of the one next to mine. If you want a response from me, limit yourself to the context that I’m discussing.

                P.S. I wrote a script yesterday that automatically collapses your comments, so I won’t even be seeing many of your posts anymore, let alone replying to them. Cheers!

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm

                Ok well I think you will miss out on lots of interesting posts from me in the future, but to each his own. Take care and happy blog posting!

          • Vince in MN

            December 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm

            I think I understand the switch now. With Brookens moving to 3B coach, Lamont will take over baserunning coaching!

            • The Strategy Expert

              December 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm

              LOL good one.

              Ironically enough this could be a way for the Tigers to actually get some benefit out of Lamont. He was a destructive negative value to the team as the 3B coach, but sitting in the dugout for general observation points can’t hurt and might be useful in some way. It doesn’t help with the 3B coach problems since I don’t expect Brookens to be an upgrade, and I doubt it helps with any key fundamentals, but he does have a lot of baseball experience so maybe his gabbing with Leyland could bring some miscellaneous observational value. Not sure how he will be worth his salary however, but as long as we don’t mind getting low ROI for the buck then it’s just Illitch’s choice to blow more of his money for the 1 useful sentence he comes up with each week.

  5. Smoking Loon

    December 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      I hated the move. I don’t see very much likelihood at all that Cabrera can ever be good enough to be a Tiger by my standards, and we still need to locate a valuable Catcher. Oliver surely hasn’t done well so far, but the fact that we could get something from the Pirates proves that he was worth something to them so I would have rather found somebody that I do like as a prospect and offer more in the deal to get something that has at least a chance of being potentially useful at the MLB level. Cabrera has a weakness on offense and throwing out runners as 2 specific major concerns, plus I also heard he has had a high rate of passed balls, but it’s besides the point, we need guys to improve our big league position and this guy in my mind has a ridiculously low chance of ever attaining a high enough level to satisfy me compared to guys we could get if we were shrewd at making targeted logical trades.

      Oliver’s stock plummeting since he was drafted is also a testament that this was not a well used draft pick, so not only did DD draft poorly here, but he failed to turn a weak trading chip into leverage for a good trade and this is just 2 more examples that point to him doing a bad job. Not to mention that just because Oliver has a rocky start it doesn’t mean that he can’t rebound and the Pirates can’t hit the jackpot on a low odds scenario and I’d rather take a shot at a 2nd round pitcher turning it around than a low profile Catcher that I have much less confidence in being good enough to be on our team.

      Sorry if that bothers anybody that I’m once again disagreeing with the logic of a trade, but as long as DD keeps doing things that don’t make sense then I’m going to keep complaining about them. This is unacceptable and hopefully Oliver has a nice comeback to accelerate the removal of our awful GM so that we can begin the healing process and start making positive moves for the franchise.

      • travisfrymanfan

        December 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm

        Taken from the report about Cabrera in Baseball America:” Cabrera’s short, stocky body and thick lower half turn off some scouts, but he moves well laterally and offers soft hands and solid arm strength. Despite that, he threw out just 20 percent of basestealers in the Eastern League as he struggled with inconsistent footwork.

        • travisfrymanfan

          December 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm

          And Oliver cant throw strikes

          • Vince in MN

            December 6, 2012 at 11:12 am

            Oliver basically pitched himself out of the organization. He has gotten worse, not better, over the last two years. A whole slew of MiL starters in the Tigers system have passed him by. It was past time for him to go and it is fortunate we got much of anything for him. The organization is still weak at C, so the new Cabrera at least attempts to plug that gap to some degree.

  6. Smoking Loon

    December 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Supposedly the Mariners have expressed interest in Brennan Boesch. Hmmm. Boesch for… Brendan Ryan? Say what you will about Ryan, but he can be relied upon for 19 doubles a year.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 5, 2012 at 10:55 pm


      And then there’s Boesch for Wells. Hmmm. OK.

      • bada bing

        December 6, 2012 at 12:07 am

        Boesch for Wells? Well, that is interesting, to say the least…

        • Smoking Loon

          December 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm

          Yes, it is. I think I like it better than Reed Johnson or Ryan Ludwick. That’s my new LF. Dirks/Wells.

          • Smoking Loon

            December 8, 2012 at 3:17 am

            My trade proposal to the Seattle Mariners: Jhonny Peralta and Brennan Boesch for Brendan Ryan, Casper Wells, and Nick Franklin.

  7. Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert 1971

    December 6, 2012 at 12:57 am

    I have decided to change my name here to denote that I am also (or more correctly, was) an EXPERT with the M-14 Rifle. This new title confers upon myself a new nickname, although as we all know (or should know) a nickname only counts if someone else gives it to you…..
    On another topic (baserunning) if you have slow runners you need to, as was referenced earlier, play station to station BB. If you don’t have speed, you can’t coach it. If I was an Expert GM waanabe, I would sign a bunch of fast guys, although you cannot steal 1st base, so that would be a problem. Happy Holidays to one and all!

    • Smoking Loon

      December 6, 2012 at 1:36 am

      Jim, I like to think of you as “Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert 1971.” I think I’m going to start calling you that, if you don’t mind. OK, nickname’s official.

      Could you point that M-14 at TSE the next time he so much as mentions Dave Dombrowski? Good grief.

      • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert 1971

        December 6, 2012 at 3:27 am

        SL ( so, that’s a wine, huh?) if we could come up with about 1400 bucks, I could buy the “civilian” model, maybe a week or 3 of snapping in, possibly a new pair of reading glasses, and we can shoot some holes in something…

    • Kevin in Dallas

      December 6, 2012 at 1:49 am

      Fantastic. I love it.

    • Vince in MN

      December 6, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Too Long. I like Sharpshooter though. Do they still use that term in the military,or am I still living in the 19th C?

      • Coleman

        December 6, 2012 at 12:47 pm

        Maybe he is afraid people would picture this:

      • Jim Eggers USMC Rifle Expert 1971

        December 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm

        USMC shooting badges: Expert, Sharpshooter, Marksman, based on scores from qualifying annually… the Sharpshooter badge is a Maltese Cross, and the Marksman badge is referred to as a toilet seat (square with a target on it) I only shot Expert with the M-14, M-16 is not a long distance weapon, went down to Sharpshooter with that one. Was OK with that as I spent 25 years with a Maltese Cross on my work uni as a Firefighter.

        • Coleman

          December 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm

          One learns many thinks at the ol’ DTW. Good stuff.

  8. Kevin in Dallas

    December 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Check out this anti-trust lawsuit against MLB Network and other similar networks:


    • Coleman

      December 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      The examples cited were not what I was hoping for (arguing one should be able to subscribe to ONLY Yankee games, for example, rather than an entire package.

      What irks me is being blacked out from the “nationally televised” games, which often are not televised where I am. I know this is because of contracts MLB has with the networks, but it seems it could be argued that these contracts themselves are anticompetitive. I want a refund on all of those games I had to miss.

      • The Strategy Expert

        December 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

        I also wouldn’t oppose a system of fans getting refunds on tickets when their team loses. Make the team win the game for their revenue to stick, now that would be sweet justice and forced responsibility! Come to think about it, how come my previous employer never paid me for the sales calls I went on when I didn’t close the deal? I actually had to earn the money before I could collect it.

        • Coleman

          December 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm

          Houston would set attendance records, what with the free season tickets.

  9. Coleman

    December 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Tigers get a little busy in Rule 5 Draft:

    (Traded Justin Henry to Red Sox as part of Kobernus deal).

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      The pitcher Kyle Lobstein was apparently acquired with just cash.

      • Coleman

        December 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

        I’m not sure I like the idea of a pitcher named Lobstein…on the other hand, perhaps he leaves runners on base…will keep an open mind.

        • Vince in MN

          December 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm

          An end of an era for all those who were pushing for a Henry tryout as the Tigers secondbaseman early last year.

          • Vince in MN

            December 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm

            Great new nickname for when our pitchers can’t throw strikes -“he’s a Lobstein”

        • Vince in MN

          December 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm

          69 BB in 144 IP/ 1.45 WHIP – Lobstein indeed.

          • Smoking Loon

            December 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm

            Is it Lob-steen or Lob-styne? Anyone know?

            There have been a number of MLB pitchers with the surname Walker. One Walk, who probably played for Leyland. No Balks. One Striker, and even one Strike (no pitching record available). Surprisingly, no Ball’s. No Homer’s. Amazingly, my search turned up one guy named Cy Young. Just like the award! I’m sure his parents named him that on purpose. No way that’s an accident.

            I like the Rule 5 moves, including the one nobody’s mentioned, for Elizier Mesa, who pitches pretty darned good for an OF.

            • Coleman

              December 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

              If he somehow makes the team, he is The Lobster.

            • Vince in MN

              December 7, 2012 at 1:01 am

              Lob-steen would be correct I think. If you go by Gene Wilder’s insistence on Frankensteen, in the movie “Young Frankenstein”, anyway. On the other hand, it could be lob-styne (stine?) if he ends up pitching like a drunken German.

            • Vince in MN

              December 7, 2012 at 1:20 am

              Homer Bailey, Ken Singleton.

            • Vince in MN

              December 7, 2012 at 1:23 am

              Abner Double Day.

            • Coleman

              December 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

              Eric Plunk!

            • Coleman

              December 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm

              Early Wynn.

              • Smoking Loon

                December 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm

                Eric Plunk – great find! All the hours I put in trying to find a pitcher with the initials H.B.P. were in vain.

                If it’s a free-for-all (both position players and pitchers), I hereby submit… Coaker Triplett.

                We really need to find a guy we can say the MVP award is named after.

              • Smoking Loon

                December 7, 2012 at 10:57 pm

                Pete Loos. Career pitching record: 0-1. Probably pronounced “lows,” though.

                Early Wynn kinda snuck up on me. Didn’t sink in until the second look. Never challenge Coleman to this kind of thing. You will lose.

              • Coleman

                December 7, 2012 at 11:06 pm

                I prefer to think of Loos as pronounced as in “loose.”

                Manager to pitching coach: Get Loos in the bullpen
                PC: Me?
                Manager: Yes of course you! Get Loos I said!
                PC:Um…OK boss (takes off jacket and grabs a glove)
                Manager: What are you doing?
                PC: Getting loose
                Manager: Well get going already, stop fooling around!


              • Smoking Loon

                December 7, 2012 at 11:22 pm

                Matt Batts. Bruce Hitt. Roy Hitt. Gus Ketchum.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm

                Have you guys ever heard of that pussy Tebow?


              • Smoking Loon

                December 8, 2012 at 1:03 am

                The continuing saga…

                PC: All right, boss – I’m loose.
                Manager: I thought I told you to get Loos!
                PC: But I did get loose.
                Manager: Then where the frig is he?
                PC: You mean Fregosi?
                Manager: No, you moron, Fregosi’s on deck – I’m talking about LOOS!
                PC: But I am loose, boss.
                Manager: You’re not even close to Loos, you fool. The last time you pitched was 17 years ago.
                PC: Hey, I’m as loose as I can be. What more do you want?
                Manager: I want Loos. Show me Loos.
                PC: [Demonstrates looseness]. I’m ready.
                Manager: Oh, first you’re Loos, and now you’re Reddy. I tell you what – why don’t you go get Reddy instead, wise guy. I’ve changed my mind.
                PC: But I am ready, boss.
                Manager: Uh-huh. Why don’t you just stay Loos and go get Reddy.
                PC: Um… OK. [leaves the dugout]
                Manager: Where are you going? Call the bullpen!
                PC: But how am I going to get ready that way?
                Manager: Forget it. I’ll get Loos myself.
                PC: All due respect, but that might not be a good idea, boss.
                Manager: And why might that be?
                PC: Uh… I don’t think you’re ready.
                Manager: Of course I’m not Reddy.
                PC: I mean, even if you get loose, I don’t think you’re gonna be ready.
                Manager: I don’t care WHO gets Loos – it’s not going to make them Reddy!
                PC: But I AM loose, and I can go get ready now.
                Manager: So go get him.
                PC: Go get who?
                Manager: Him! Someone! Loos or Reddy, I don’t care.
                PC: But how c-
                Manager: Are you crazy? Houk’s catching.
                PC: I mean, how –
                Manager: All right, good idea – have Howe get loose, and make it quick, because he needs to get ready to get in the game.
                PC: I don’t see how –
                Manager: You don’t need to see him to call him!
                PC: But do I really need to call Quick to get Reddy to go in?
                Manager: Yes, right away! And how!
                PC: Howe, too?
                Manager: Yes? How… to… how to WHAT??


              • Smoking Loon

                December 8, 2012 at 1:18 am

                TSE – pretty funny. How did you run across that one?

                2 game career. Can you imagine, today, a guy signing with a team and failing to report, then showing up playing for another team? Hilarious.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 8, 2012 at 1:23 am

                I just googled “funny baseball names”. There’s a lot out there lol.

                It seems to me that would be a great line in a bar in Florida or the Jets locker room. Somebody try it and let me know how it works out!

              • Smoking Loon

                December 8, 2012 at 1:26 am

                Long before the days of Cher and Sting and Bono, there was a baseball player known simply as Wood. Contrary to his boastful name, however, his career OPS was .000. He briefly considered changing his name to Leather, but that was before the mishap at second base.

              • travisfrymanfan

                December 8, 2012 at 10:38 am

                Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish aka Cal

  10. Vince in MN

    December 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Since Kobernus and Lobstein were obtained in trade after the Rule 5 draft, what is their status with the organization? Normally those players would go on the 40-man roster, yes? Bit not here, right?

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      It doesn’t matter if you trade or not as they are considered Rule 5 players, they have to stick on the 25 man roster for the entire season. If not then the Tigers lose $25k for hoping they would prove to be worth keeping on the 25 man roster that entire time. Or if the team doesn’t want the player back, then the Tigers lose the full $50k of that transaction fee plus player salary.

      In the case of Lobstein the Tigers have to pay more than $50k because we used another team to gain access to that right. So if the Mets felt nobody could possibly stick on their 25 man roster to want to use the pick, then they get free cash from the Tigers. The Nationals could have asked us for cash too but they wanted Justin Henry instead of the money. This could be because maybe we had discussed the possibility with the Nationals upfront, and the option with the Mets might have come about at the last minute since the report said a note was passed to them before they were picked, so there probably wasn’t ample time to find a matching player and the cash was quickly offered and accepted.

      • Vince in MN

        December 7, 2012 at 1:10 am

        Neither one of these guys is going to make the ML roster. There must be some way around the mandatory rule or all they get is an extra couple of guys to play pitch and catch during ST. Or is there a possible gentleman’s agreement between the clubs not to accept the return offer? I smell collusion here. Time for another lawsuit perhaps.

        • The Strategy Expert

          December 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm

          Well they are also emergency chips in case somebody gets hurt in Spring Training. Or if the Tigers trade some pitchers, that could open up an opportunity.

          Kobernus I think will make the roster, we always give a few roster spots to people who don’t belong in the MLB level, such as Don Kelly and Quinin Berry. Kobernus and his speed and youth would easily be way ahead of those guys and the Tigers don’t require guys to be able to hit at all to play professional baseball. I think he’s a safe lock according to what we are looking for.

          Also DD mentioned there were about 2 guys he badly wanted, and he traded to relatively high spots to get these guys. I haven’t heard rumors of him trying to get the few guys that went ahead of them, so he probably thought most teams were going to make a pick and he didn’t want to chance losing them, these are 2 high profile guys to DD. He probably wants both of them to stick.

  11. Kevin in Dallas

    December 7, 2012 at 1:11 am

    I just heard on MLB Tonight that the A’s are gonna sign Drew for 1 year.

    If the Peralta rumors are true, this makes things very interesting at SS. As we’ve discussed, we really don’t need a bat there, so I wonder who we can get with some range?


    • Coleman

      December 7, 2012 at 1:16 am

      The A’s will need to clear a roster spot/shed salary. Inge came up a a shortstop. Just sayin’

    • Smoking Loon

      December 7, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      J.J. Hardy.

  12. travisfrymanfan

    December 9, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Verlander, Felix, Kershaw , Price. Who will be the first 200MM pitcher?

    • Smoking Loon

      December 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Kershaw followed by Verlander.

    • Jeff Molby

      December 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      I think it’ll be at least another 5 years before we see a $200MM pitcher. The top rate for a pitchers is around $25MM per year. The only way you reach $200MM is if you give him 8 years. You’re crazy if you think any pitcher can maintain that highest level of production over the course of 8 years. The best case scenario is that your overpaying a bit over the last few years and there’s a very real chance that you’d spend the last few years shoveling money into a fireplace.

      5-6 year contracts are the way to go with frontline starters and there’ll need to be some serious salary inflation before that adds up to $200MM.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm

        You could be right, Jeff, and I don’t disagree with your reasoning as to why it shouldn’t happen. But Kershaw is 24 and the Dodgers appear to have no limits. Extending Verlander through 2019 at $200 million doesn’t strike me as impossible in the context of what’s going on and where it’s trending.

  13. Smoking Loon

    December 10, 2012 at 1:23 am

    • Vince in MN

      December 10, 2012 at 10:10 am

      The Royals have greatly improved their pitching this off-season. They are close to being a .500 team now.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm

        A touch of irony there, Vince? I think the Royals might be the Tigers main competitor in the AL Central now. Then again, in this division, close to .500 might amount to the same thing.

        • The Strategy Expert

          December 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm

          KC being the top threat is an interesting change of pace. It would seem to me that it’s either going to be them or the White Sox as the top competition. But I don’t expect too much fight from either team. The Tigers seem like the best bet for the most likely team in baseball to win their division next year, and I would not be surprised to see us win it with a 10 game margin.

  14. The Strategy Expert

    December 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Wow. The Tigers signed C Brayan Pena, apparently to be the back-up catcher.


    He has a career OPS of only .635, and last year it came up well short of that at .583. DD is however “pleased” with this “solid complement” to Avila. After all he’s a switch hitter, even though he struggles from both sides of the plate.

    More ugly stats can be found here:

    • Jeff Molby

      December 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      1. You don’t hire a backup catcher for their OPS. I’d be surprised if any team had a backup catcher with an OPS higher than replacement level.

      2. If you have any interpersonal skills whatsoever, you don’t introduce a new hire by saying, “Eh, we hoped to get a guy who at least knew which end of the bat to hold, but you don’t always get what you want. He’s not completely useless, though. He can catch most fastballs and he makes a terrific ham sandwich.” Of course DD is “pleased” with the signing.

      • The Strategy Expert

        December 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm

        1) Umm sure I do, OPS is an important statistic and like every baseball player you sign guys for as many and all stats/reasons that you can find that support them as being a good player. Your comment about not signing a guy for OPS is nonsensical.

        And this player was under .600 OPS last year, so not sure what you mean by “replacement level”, because this player would be severely well below the threshold for replacement level. I guess you will be surprised then because PHI did have 2 Catchers last year that had OPS over .800 even though I still don’t understand the purpose and relevance of that statement or your entire point with how it relates to my point of view that this player for our particular team at this particular time is a negative move.

        2) I’m not surprised DD is pleased, nor am I expecting him to introduce the player in a non-flattering way. I was merely hoping we wouldn’t waste time and money on a worthless player. In my opinion he is clearly worthless and he would have to pay us a lot of money in order to justify a roster spot because I think he is a negative addition. And as a result of the signing, I’m commenting from a fan’s point of view with disappointment.

        3) I thought you weren’t even reading my posts any longer or commenting on them. I guess this player is one that you approve of then and think is a good transaction that you wanted to be on the record as a supporter of this player and DD’s choice to bring him aboard? I just want to get the citation from you in advance so you can’t deny that you were opposed to this addition in the future.

  15. Jeff Molby

    December 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    1) Umm sure I do, OPS is an important statistic and like every baseball player you sign…

    Yes, but your meals are served by unicorn-riding mermaids on platters of unobtanium. In the real world, catchers who can hit, defend, and not find a starting job are incredibly hard to find.

    2) I’m not surprised DD is pleased, nor am I expecting him to introduce the player in a non-flattering way.

    Then how do you know he’s pleased? Did you have an off-the-record conversation with him? He probably doesn’t care much about this signing much more than he cares about who the fifth outfielder in Toledo is.

    3) I thought you weren’t even reading my posts any longer or commenting on them.

    I collapsed your comments, but I didn’t hide them completely. It’s a slow day and you posted actual news and managed to comment on it without invoking any fantasies. I figured I’d reward good behavior.

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      1) I reject your insinuation that I operate from a fantasy world.

      I also don’t think Catchers I do approve of on an overall value basis are hard to find, it’s easy if you are a GM and you have a list of phone numbers of other GMs as well as the phone numbers for agents that represent FAs. It just takes time and it’s not hard. It’s much harder in my opinion to enter a season with players that I would be highly dissatisfied with having, that I can’t stomach and that to me would be difficult to say that I failed in not preparing this team for what they need by figuring things out in advance and doing INTELLIGENT PLANNING!

      2) He’s posturing with confidence that he’s pleased, and there are lots of FAs out there and other moves he could have made to get a Catcher, but he got one here in December because according to him he has a guy that pleases him. Now if he’s lying, then he’s just posturing with embarrassment because to me it’s ridiculous to think a baseball GM would be pleased with this addition, especially for our team with how much closer we are to a WS. And if he’s secretly not pleased, then my complaint overrides to something even worse which is why are we in this position in the first place that we are making a conscious move to sign a guy we don’t believe in who also is clearly a negative player in my mind? That’s awful. I don’t personally care whether DD is pleased or not to be seriously ticked off at the transaction and his status of being pleased only means which other way should he be discredited for doing a lousy job? Because he’s a liar and signs a guy he knows is not pleasing, or because he actually for some reason thinks this is a good player?

      I don’t have to know which one of those 2 statements exist, because they are both negatives whichever the case may be! So we A) made a bad move that I hate and B) DD once again proved for one reason or another he’s not fit to be a GM!

      3) State for the record if you A) approve of this player and think he is good for our team, and B) support DD in his decision to make this transaction. Please supply as much commentary as you have to explain your position on each and how strong you feel about each. I’m very curious to know and get that opinion clearly attached to you so that I can understand the degree to which you disagree with my stance.

      • Coleman

        December 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

        We now have 3 backup catchers (2 switch hitters!), I don’t expect them all to stay. I expect one of them is part of trade negotiations, hence the insurance signing of Pena.

        • The Strategy Expert

          December 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm

          Well most insurance policies work out such that in the worst case scenario, you get a payout to compensate you for the tragedy, but in this case Pena’s payout (him playing in games) is a negative value that hurts us in the event that we get stuck with him being the best option to play. So I don’t accept him as an “insurance signing”. I consider it to be a more appropriate analogy that this is like a depressed man struggling with financial problems taking his last $20 to the bar to drink away his problems. Putting that $20 towards insurance would be debatable on whether that was smart or not, but I’d take that every time over spending it on whiskey.

      • Jeff Molby

        December 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm

        1) I reject your insinuation that I operate from a fantasy world.


        why are we in this position in the first place that we are making a conscious move to sign a guy we don’t believe in…

        Who says “we don’t believe in” him? He’s a bit player assigned to a bit role. He’ll earn his $1m. Nothing more, nothing less.

        3) State for the record if you A) approve of this player and think he is good for our team

        I’m not going to spend enough time looking into the matter to form a personal opinion of him or the alternatives. I will, however, say that I expect his stay in Detroit to be pretty forgettable.

        I’d have rather had one of the upper echelon backups such as Laird, but you don’t always get what you want.

        B) support DD in his decision to make this transaction.

        Yes, I trust his judgment in this matter. We will most likely get appropriate value out of Pena.

        • The Strategy Expert

          December 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm

          1) DD doesn’t believe in him, if he was lying about being pleased which goes hand in hand with your previous question of how do I know DD is pleased since I didn’t have an off-the-record conversation.

          3) Yes I do always get what I want if I’m the GM. And I agree that DD can’t always get what he wants, but that’s his problem due to his shortcomings and failures of not being able to figure out how he gets what he wants. Although that’s a smaller problem that the giant problem of what he wants is often not in the best interest of the team.

          And thank you for confirming for me that you trust DD’s opinion, that’s important to me to identify who is on board with him and his decisions. But what is most likely? Is that 51% chance or something like 90% chance? How do you justify less than 100% chance of getting appropriate value out of player, unless they are also offering some chance to give us more than our money’s worth? Can you give me a basic summary of what you think his odds are to give us more value than what we pay him, in terms of his stat-lines or a description of intangible values? I don’t know what his salary is, I was expecting it to be around $500k, but are you saying you think $1MM is a fair amount for this player?? That shocks me considering I still think his salary should be well into the negatives because even $500k is a lopsided and ridiculous amount to pay him for his services and for possibly eating up a roster spot.

          • Jeff Molby

            December 11, 2012 at 10:23 am

            1) DD doesn’t believe in him, if he was lying about being pleased which goes hand in hand with your previous question of how do I know DD is pleased since I didn’t have an off-the-record conversation.

            You and your binary world… I submit that black and white are not the only possibilities to consider.

            3) Yes I do always get what I want if I’m the GM.

            Awesome. I look forward to the day you get hired! Let me know if you need help proofreading your booklet.

            How do you justify less than 100% chance of getting appropriate value out of player, unless they are also offering some chance to give us more than our money’s worth?

            His numbers go up and down each year like everyone else, so there is a chance that he’ll give us more than our money’s worth.

            I don’t know what his salary is, I was expecting it to be around $500k…

            That’s a pretty stupid expectation considering how knowledgeable you claim to be about this stuff. You’re going to have trouble filling out your 25-man roster if you expect players to take a 40% pay cut to come play for you. He made $875k last year.

            • The Strategy Expert

              December 11, 2012 at 11:58 am

              No, I expect that player to pay me a couple million, my position on him has been that even if it was as low as $500k that is a ridiculous sum, because his net worth is in the negatives to me and it’s impossible for me to offer him a roster spot unless he pays us a lot of cash. The point is if you have a player that has to pay you to justify his roster spot, then you aren’t likely going to get him to do that and you need to figure something else out.

              And to your other point, of course there IS a chance he could do better, I asked you though for what percentage probability you think is associated with that and what kind of stat lines or other commentary to describe that situation and the likelihood of that situation. You didn’t address very many questions that I asked you and so I don’t follow you on what you are trying to say with this reply. All it does is make it look to me like you are now folding on your POV and agreeing with me that this is obviously a horrible move since you can’t defend your position and sell it so that it makes sense.

              • Jeff Molby

                December 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

                Yup, you got me. Paying the average market rate for an average backup catcher is an indefensible position. In my defense, however, it is extremely difficult to focus on logical analysis when your gorgeous wood nymphs are prancing around.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

                But he’s not average, you didn’t even address my inquiry as to what you consider replacement level OPS, of which you would find this player comes up way short. And that’s just one of the many reasons that your position is indefensible. And you are the only one who keeps bringing up fantasy characters like wood nymphs, whereas I have never brought up fictional animals. There’s nothing I have ever said that ties into fictional ideas, I deal from the world of logic and how it manifests itself in reality. I don’t play politics to cover up my failures and I have all of the right ideas to create a winning baseball formula. It’s not my great ideas that are hurting the team, it’s DD’s poor choices and missteps that keep us coming up short while spending lots of money, and that’s all that really matters in the end.

              • Jeff Molby

                December 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm

                It doesn’t matter what I consider to be the replacement level OPS for a catcher. It’s a calculable number. If you want to prove that he’s below replacement level, quite typing words and start calculating numbers. I’ll even give you a girl scout cookie if you can prove that $1m is outside 1 standard deviation for last year’s backup catchers.

                P.S. Coleman brought up the nymphs. I thought they were mermaids, but upon closer inspection, they each clearly have two beautiful legs.

            • The Strategy Expert

              December 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

              Ok well here’s the first link I found on Google that shows some OPS levels. I asked you to cite the number so that you can’t claim my source is wrong or that the info is outdated, because that’s a pointless argument. I wanted numbers that you vetted yourself so that this didn’t become a debate about calculating appropriate OPS numbers. This link here says replacement level for a Catcher is .748. Pena’s career OPS is only .635, but his most current recent year is .583 for whatever that is worth in determining what OPS he is credible for to produce in the future.


              And your additional comment is not relevant to me. That’s only relevant to you and DD since you are a DD supporter and you seem to agree with him and have faith him, so you support his ideology about how to build and manage a baseball team, and I vehemently disagree. So if other teams do things a certain way and if the Tigers match up to that ok in your mind or his, then that’s justified for YOU and for HIM, but not for ME. I reject the notion that what other teams do must be good, that’s not a logical rule and it’s something I in fact highly disagree with. I don’t think any GMs in MLB are doing a great job, so what other teams tend to do is more of an example of what not to do if you have a vision to be the #1 team and to perpetually dominate, which is what I believe in and strive for. I have a completely different system of determining what I think is appropriate, and what other teams do is their problem if they aren’t doing things right, which they aren’t across the board. That being said, this player is still well below replacement level.

              • Jeff Molby

                December 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm

                Did you read your own source?

                Baseball Prospectus’s Kevin Goldstein gives us a reasonable expectation for an average starting player at each position.

                They’re talking about starters. We’re talking about backups. Run the same calculation on the 30 backup catchers and then we’ll have something to talk about.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm

                It doesn’t make any difference. For one, I’ve already stated my position that what other teams do is not a litmus test for justifying the move. His OPS is extremely poor and it’s very obvious. We as a team are way behind having an exciting and efficient offense is all that matters, and signing a guy with a .583 or .635 OPS is not going to help that. I’m merely trying to understand YOUR thought process not mine, so I was trying to figure out how your justification process works. My desired OPS is going to be well ahead of the average of backup catchers, since most teams are not in the Tigers position of having a very high payroll and with a strong core of players to compete for a title. To take the average of all teams is an irrelevant number to me, and should be to you.

                Anyhow, what I just did so that you can have some numbers is I just took 60 Catchers from last year, I separated them by most at-bats, so the top 30 Catchers that had the most at-bats averaged .751 OPS per man, and the next 30 most frequently used averaged .652. That still shows that Brayan is under that mark for his career or last year’s numbers.

                But either way none of this info comes remotely close to justifying the player for me, even if Pena was higher than that average. To me I’m interested in having an efficient offense overall that is superior to everybody else, and combining Pena with Avila is not an impressive Catcher offense at all, and our entire offense still comes up way short from where I feel we need to be at, so this move is still a total waste of time and money for a guy that I don’t think is good enough to even be playing at the MLB level. No team in baseball needs him and it would be better to gamble on prospects no matter which team’s perspective we are looking at, as his time and opportunity to try and make a case for being used in games has gone and passed. I can’t see any team that it would make sense for even the teams that have tiny payrolls and aren’t as competitive as us. It only makes far less sense for our team to have him than for other teams that also shouldn’t have him.

            • Jeff Molby

              December 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm

              the next 30 most frequently used averaged .652

              Since his career OPS is .636, I was right that he’s basically an average backup catcher offensively. Slightly below average according to this crude methodology, but well within the margin. If you’re worried about his 2012 numbers, by the way, it was his ABs against RHP that held him back. He hit for a .645 OPS against LHP, which is what he’ll be asked to do this year.

              To me I’m interested in having an efficient offense overall that is superior to everybody else

              …and a better rotation, a better bullpen, better defense, hotter cheerleaders, cheaper beer, and bigger bags of peanuts. I understand and look forward to the day!

              P.S. Wish Tinkerbell a Merry Christmas for me.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm

                Well yeah all of those things would be possible if our owner simply wasn’t ignorant and placing a misguided trust in a GM that acts as a financial sieve and a vicious murderer of great opportunity. If he was willing to invest to make serious money with his baseball team by hiring a brilliant baseball GM to build the team efficiently, then he could be swimming in monetary rewards while the fans get a superior team with lots of fringe benefits. I look forward to that day with you, but we’ll never get there until I am the GM or somebody better than me is the GM, if Illitch can find any such person which I think is a pretty tall order.

              • Jeff Molby

                December 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm

                Yeah, definitely. Let’s make that happen. Send me that booklet of yours; I’ll spruce it up with some clipart. My brother eats a lot of pizza, so I bet I can get a copy of the revised version into Marian’s hands. We all know she’s the one that’s really pulling the strings anyways.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm

                There is no booklet that I can construct that would be brief enough to entice Marian to want to read through it, yet adequate enough to explain the complexities of my baseball mind and logic. I don’t profess to be a worldly talent in the art of composing a manual that sells myself as the best available GM one could find. It’s possible to create such a manual but if I did that then I would already be in the baseball book publishing business and that’s not what I’m looking to do. I’m simply making myself available to a team that wants to win bad enough and has an open mindedness with a “best man for the job” philosophy, and if ownership of the team doesn’t have that open mindedness and will to win that is great enough to spend the time to meet me and hear me out, then I can’t help them. Thanks for the offer though and I’ll keep you in mind for whenever I need some clipart!

              • Jeff Molby

                December 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm

                Any time. Here’s a freebie that you should use on the cover page for chapter 1, which I presume is entitled “Finding All-Stars Willing to Work for the League Minimum”

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm

                Great idea, but not in the practical real world. I don’t need to find All-Stars to give me sweetheart deals to accomplish building a dominant baseball team. Anybody could dominate if they had that privilege, but the power of my ideas comes from using high level intelligent thought and logic, and in some cases that’s determining which All-Stars shouldn’t even be classified as All-Star caliber players, and which ones that aren’t maybe should be.

                The label of being an All-Star does not have a strong guarantee that you have the best player or the player of most value which is much more important so that you can afford to acquire more team talent than the rest of the teams in the league. To be the best GM there is you have to be a brilliant thinker and understand the strategy of how to get the best bang for your buck and to take advantage of the mistakes of other GMs. Our GM doesn’t understand those concepts nor does he know how to evaluate players/prospects to determine accurately what they are worth.

              • Jeff Molby

                December 11, 2012 at 3:37 pm

                “Finding All-Stars Willing to Work for the League Minimum”

                “Being Perfect and Capitalizing on the Mistakes of Others”

                I like it. It’ll definitely get them hooked.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm

                Perfect is nice, but perfect is also abundantly more than necessary to be the best team in baseball. The name of the game is who comes closest to being perfect even if nobody can be 100% perfect in absolutely ever moment. The game of baseball is about odds and values, there’s no such thing as a perfect player that gets a hit 100% of the time. So it’s about finding leverage and efficiency with where you choose to invest to get the best results, and being logical can help minimize the mistakes and maximize the leverage and the win probability per dollar invested.

              • Jeff Molby

                December 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm

                “Finding All-Stars Willing to Work for the League Minimum”
                “Being Perfect and Capitalizing on the Mistakes of Others”

                “Big Levers and Why You Need One”

                Marian will definitely read that one!

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

                I’d prefer some more alliteration techniques, perhaps we can compromise with:

                “Large Logic Levers, Love not Longing for Luck”

    • Coleman

      December 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      You are losing credibility. Everyone knows it is the wood nymphs, not the mermaids, who are the unicorn jockeys.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm

        I think we’re poisoning the well for people doing Google searches for wood nymphs and mermaids. Have a heart. Oops.

  16. Vince in MN

    December 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Food fight in the DTW lunchroom.

    • Coleman

      December 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm


      • Coleman

        December 10, 2012 at 6:28 pm

        Let’s see…
        Chili Davis
        Darryl Strawberry
        Pie Traynor
        Tim Salmon
        Catfish Hunter
        Edgar Renteria
        (That last is an extremely inside joke which no one left here gets, I would guess).

        • Vince in MN

          December 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm

          To be polished off with a Harmon Kill-a-brew.

          • Coleman

            December 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm

            I’ve been trumped!

            • Smoking Loon

              December 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm

              Foods and almost foods:

              Melky Cabrera
              Jack Egbert
              Eddie Bacon
              Ralph Ham
              Mark Hamburger
              Cy Fried
              Coco Crisp
              Fats Dantonio
              Bud Weiser (really)
              Pepper Martin
              Salty Parker
              Eddie Mayo
              Tom Butters
              Dizzy Nutter
              Peanuts Lowrey
              Casey Almond
              Cookie Rojas
              Chip Hale
              Stew Cliburn
              Herb Hash

              Just off the top of my head…

              • Coleman

                December 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm

                Can’t believe I forgot Chet Lemon!

              • Smoking Loon

                December 12, 2012 at 12:56 am

                Yeah, don’t know how I missed Chet Lemon, either. Well… not many people eat lemons.

                Harold Apple
                Rocky Cherry
                Pear (!)
                Many sons of pears
                Robert Orange
                Rusty Staub “Le Grand Orange”
                Jose Pruneda
                George “Prunes” Moolic
                Jerry Plum
                Bill Plummer (the backup catcher the Tigers really need)
                Johnny “Bananas” Mostil
                Manuel Limery
                Russell Peach
                Ty Cobb “The Georgia Peach”
                Rick Grapenthin
                Francis Mango
                Chris Corn
                Lee Wheat
                George Barley
                Rye Davis
                Morris Millet
                Del Rice
                Johnny Oates
                Cotton Nash
                Ryan Woolley
                Josh Satin
                Rayon Lampe
                Robert Silk
                Terry Cloth (OK, I made that one up)

              • William

                December 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm

                in honor of Christmas…

                Goose Gossage

          • Coleman

            December 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm

            As a young Tiger fan, there were two terrifying opposing players. Killebrew was one, the other, Frank Howard.

            • Smoking Loon

              December 12, 2012 at 12:58 am

              What about Boog Powell? “Boog” in itself is terrifying.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm

          Edgar Renteria = ham sandwich. I haven’t forgotten.

          Actually, my first thoughts were that Renteria looks like cafeteria, and then I remembered some long ago joke here about choosing between a crap taco and a turd sandwich. Then I remembered ham sandwich.

          I’m not a Peralta hater by any means, but he is until further notice my designated Tigers ham sandwich.

          • Coleman

            December 11, 2012 at 10:21 pm

            Give the man a cigar! Or a glass of Smoking Loon, hand-delivered by Rear Admiral Julius von Thursday.

            • Smoking Loon

              December 12, 2012 at 12:17 am

              The Rear Admiral! Those were the days – that whole thing cracked me up. Incidentally, I ran into Cap’n Tuesday a few days ago, and he assures me that he is not, well, you know who. “Parody well beyond my level of skill, not to mention interest,” he said.

              • Coleman

                December 12, 2012 at 12:40 am

                The Rear Admiral was the man. I just thought of this because I recently went all Rear Admiral in another, non-sports context, and someone actually Googled the Admiral and…well youngsters are so resourceful these days, are they not? Anyway there is a small cult of the Rear Admiral brewing amongst the fledglings, and I’m sure he will someday be reanimated in ways far beyond my capabilities, which is a very pleasant thing.

          • Coleman

            December 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm

            Actually I think Peralta is more of a nice deli platter…I don’t think there really is a ham sandwich on the current roster, I think you have to be both highly paid and useless. Valverde would’ve been a good candidate if he were under contract for another year.

            • The Strategy Expert

              December 11, 2012 at 10:52 pm

              If both Dirks and Boesch outperform Torii Hunter, then he could be a candidate for being the ham sandwich by that definition. It’s very possible that Torii has a down year now that he’s getting up there in age. He’ll be 38 in July.

              • Smoking Loon

                December 11, 2012 at 11:35 pm

                Could happen, of course. He could turn out to be the latest Gary Sheffield. But I have a very, very good feeling about Hunter.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm

                I don’t. For one, he’s not a superstar hitter, and for two he’s not a lock to produce a typical year for himself according to his own production numbers. I’m not impressed with this player and paying him this amount of money is a horrible missed opportunity to make a new investment in a player that has much more promising upside.

                He’s also only going to be maybe useful for 2 years if he pans out to duplicate his previous moderate success, and we aren’t looking set up well for these next 2 years for a well leveraged WS run. We have too much work to do to get proper roster shape and it doesn’t look like we’ll come close to doing what I think we need to do. And then the future for the next 10 years after that look severely compromised due to complete lack of pre-planning. I don’t see a strong enough stranglehold on being positioned well for those years considering we are struggling mightily with our current years at hand. This is going to be another frustrating season for me.

                My main hope is that it ends with DD going away and an entirely new decision maker coming on board with a completely different philosophy of how to do things, not only with the roster design, but in working out the kinds of all of our franchise’s miscellaneous shortcomings.

            • Smoking Loon

              December 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm

              I concede that a Renteria/Peralta comparison isn’t really fair. For me, Peralta is more like a good sandwich that calls for spicy brown mustard that lacks spicy brown mustard when you’re all out of spicy brown mustard. This creates a situation so desperate that some of us would as soon put the sandwich aside and have a defensive salad instead, or possibly a lesser sandwich with more condiment flexibility.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm

                Well we may have lost the opportunity to trade Peralta to the Diamondbacks now that they dealt their 3rd overall pick in the 2011 draft, Trevor Bauer, to the Indians. Unbelievably awesome deal with the Indians, although we don’t know how much cash they had to pay to pull this one off. If it’s not a huge amount then they made a very smart move, and we missed out on the opportunity to get Trevor Bauer for garbage, as well as trade Peralta to Arizona if they no longer want to deal.

              • Smoking Loon

                December 12, 2012 at 12:24 am

                I had my eye on Bauer as well, but if it’s any consolation, it doesn’t look like there’s any way the Tigers could have swung a deal like that.

              • The Strategy Expert

                December 12, 2012 at 12:38 am

                Well Arizona didn’t get much in return. We easily had plenty of assets to get him and could have worked in other teams to find anything Arizona wanted since they didn’t seem to require a lot. They were eager to unload Bauer because he will cost them a couple million bucks and they seemingly had personal issues with him or strong belief that he would fail.

                My guess is they burned the bridge by having some animosity built up by trying to demand how this player approaches his game, and the Indians were happy to pounce on scooping up the opportunity. The Indians also didn’t have much control of Choo and save his $5MM salary in a year they can’t compete in anyhow. They might actually get positive cash flow out of this deal despite giving up cash to make it happen.

              • Smoking Loon

                December 12, 2012 at 1:08 am

                I don’t know this for a fact, but I suspect the Diamondbacks and Tigers were involved in more than casual talks – Upton, Peralta, etc.. Either Detroit didn’t have enough to offer or Arizona wanted too much, or a bit of both, and I would guess that Bauer was not central to the Tigers interest. Perhaps a 3rd team did come into play, and if it was the Indians, maybe that gave the Tigers cold feet. Who knows?

                I’m down to one trade possibility that I like, and I’m hoping the Tigers don’t go trading for a closer. Seems a waste when there are FAs to sign if they insist on bringing a closer on board.

  17. Vince in MN

    December 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Compare Laird: http://www.baseball-reference......ge01.shtml
    to Pena: http://www.baseball-reference......br01.shtml

    I don’t see much of a difference here offensively. In fact, he drove in 14 more runs than Laird in just a few more PAs, so maybe he’ll prove to be more “clutch.” As a backup veteran catcher starting 40 or 50 games he’s fine. The rookie Holiday clearly wasn’t going to be given the backup role due to Avila’s fragility, and the market for reserve catchers (40-60 starts a year) willing to do a one-year contract is extremely thin. There is nothing to complain about here.

    • Coleman

      December 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      I predict someone is interested in Holaday (or, alternately, something is horribly wrong with him)…they traded for Ramon Cabrera (which I figured would fill the backup catcher role), then signed Pena, which makes me think something minor is up.

      • Vince in MN

        December 11, 2012 at 2:19 am

        I think they are just stocking up because the cupboard is bare. Or, maybe DD is taking the scattergun approach here, closing his eyes, pulling the trigger and hoping he will get lucky and hit something.

        On the other hand, maybe TSE has a valid point. Let’s face it, the Tigers bench has been pretty lousy for years, so maybe DD, who has been successful getting high profile players just isn’t very good at picking up those secondary type players a team needs in backup roles.

        • Jeff Molby

          December 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

          Who would you point to as an example of a team that has a consistently good bench?

          With the labor market as fluid as it is, I just don’t see how anyone can consistently stock their bench with anything other than a bunch of AAAA players unless their payroll is so high that they can afford to give starter money to bench players. We’re probably due for a year where the bench overachieves and gives the team a boost, but I think we get about all you can expect out of a bench in most years.

        • The Strategy Expert

          December 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

          Here’s all of the Catchers we have had since DD’s first year in 2002 not counting Pudge, or atbats last year by Holaday or Victor Martinez since we don’t use him as a Catcher anymore…

          Gerald Laird
          Omir Santos
          Max St. Pierre
          Dusty Ryan
          Matt Treanor
          Dane Sardinha
          Mike Rabelo
          Vance Wilson
          Mike DiFelice
          A.J. Hinch
          Matt Walbeck
          Mitch Meluskey
          Mike Rivera

          That’s 13 miserable failures of players we have toyed with. I can’t see the logic behind any of those guys having been chosen. We could have built a great baseball team and won lots of WS titles since 2002, but DD doesn’t have a clue on how to build a team and select logical players to make that happen. He just doesn’t understand this stuff and he’s in way over his head. Would you like me to show you a list of all of the dollar bills that we have blown since 2002 and list them by serial number? Sure it might not be practical to produce that list, but as scary as looking at it would be, he actually spent it and pissed that money away if you can imagine what that would look like.

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Well offensively Laird is coming off an above average year of almost 50 points higher OPS, at .710, and Pena is coming off a below average year of about 50 points lower OPS, at .583. That’s a big difference there in addition to most of the other statistical numbers, or their career averages which have about 30 points difference versus last year’s 127 point differential.

      But in addition to him comparing not very well to Laird last year and being maybe not a whole lot different for their careers, I wasn’t even happy with Laird being here in the first place. I’m not upset that we didn’t get a guy that was as good as Laird because Laird isn’t an appropriate measuring stick since he himself is not good. We should have already been looking for somebody better than Laird when we chose to settle for Laird on 2 different occasions in the past, and now that he’s gone and off the books we have even less excuse to finding a “better than Laird” replacement, and now we have gotten even worse than Laird.

      This is just sad and bad news and it’s very frustrating and we have had several years now with completely abysmal backup Catchers. We have had a lot of different guys come and go however, but all of them were bad DD decisions. He can’t figure out who to get that makes sense and keeps a revolving door of futility there. But that’s still just one of the many roster spots he can’t get a handle on en route to paying out gigantic amounts of money for under-performing and efficient roster designs. It’s sick.

    • Jeff Molby

      December 11, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Yeah, I suppose I gave Laird too much credit.

      I still stand by my original point that backup catchers aren’t expected to hit and are relatively inconsequential to a team’s success.

      • The Strategy Expert

        December 11, 2012 at 11:55 am

        Well that’s obvious, you can slice up the stats any way you want and I’m sure DD can’t deny that those are not impressive numbers. DD thinks he has an overall value that is picked up by him being a switch hitter and supposedly a good defensive player that works with pitchers well due to his experience. That’s the problem, is we should have a GM who does expect our players to hit, and if not, then that’s fine too so long as we are going to be successful overall in such a way that meets my minimum standards. But we aren’t close to having that position now, and DD has never come remotely close to getting the job done in the past. He just doesn’t understand how to strategize well at designing a great baseball team, and this transaction is one more notch in an already abundantly proven case.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm

          “He [DD] just doesn’t understand how to strategize well at designing a great baseball team.”

          An example of an MLB GM who does, please. Doesn’t have to be perfect, just the best one, or even just someone with a clearly better understanding than Dombrowski.

          • The Strategy Expert

            December 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

            I don’t follow any GM’s transactions closely enough to be able to answer that. I’d have to research it before vouching for another GM. I am definitely 100% convinced that I approve of no GMs on any team. It’s quite obvious by looking at the performance and payrolls of teams to see that no other team has anybody that’s doing a fantastic job.

            One that comes in to mind is the Marlins GM because that was a recent blockbuster trade where they suckered the Blue Jays into taking a ginormous amount of salary liability while also giving up some good young prospect value. But that’s not a move to win baseball games today but create money leverage for the future to capitalize on winning later. So that’s the only big transaction of current times off of the top of my head that I really liked. I also liked the moves the Twins made recently with dumping Span and Revere. They have some OF prospects in the pipeline too, and those guys are just gaining on age and eating up salary and they aren’t good. So other than commenting on recent transactions, I have not made it a point to study the careers of other GMs in order to rank them.

            If it was important to know that for some reason then I would have to spend a large number of hours to track everything they have done in order to come up with a rankings sheet. I don’t see the value in it though since it’s very clear to me that none of them are doing a great job since they all have proven to make loads of big mistakes of the type that I never would have. My rule is never waste a dollar unless you have a solid logical purpose for that dollar, and no teams in MLB understand how to avoid logic mistakes with high consistency.

            But either way, who is or who is not doing a good job is not relevant to DD and him not doing a good job here. That’s their business and independent of us having a great GM.

  18. travisfrymanfan

    December 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Laird post ASG:.250/.305/.608

  19. Coleman

    December 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    It doesn’t matter how good the backup catchers are; what matters is how much production comes from the catcher position as a whole–whether it is a great catcher with an awful backup, an average catcher with a great backup, two equal catchers platooning, whatever.

    In 2012 the Tigers were 5th in OPS from the catcher position with Avila and Laird; in 2011 they were 2nd with Avila and Martinez. Because Martinez had a better backup bat, right? No. Martinez OPS as catcher: .663; Laird OPS in 2012: .710. The difference was in Avila.

    What matters for 2013 is whether Avila bounces back, performs the same as 2012, or declines further, not what happens in the 150 or so ABs the backup catcher takes.

    One thing in Avila’s favor: since they struggled against it, the Tigers saw a lot of lefty pitching, especially at the end of the season. Having Torii Hunter in the lineup should change that ratio a little bit. Avila vs RHP: .796. Avila vs LHP: .539.

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Yeah good points and I agree with all of that, and as an extension, not only does it matter how the Catching position does overall, but it’s about the offense as a team overall, and beyond that it’s the run differential overall, and so on to the most important thing which is what percentage of the time do you win the baseball game and what are your odds to win the WS. Maybe one way to get to the WS is to have the best Catcher in the game. But if you only had the 30th best Catcher but you had enough great players at other positions to make up for it then that works too. It’s about winning and the probability of winning of which is all that I care about in the end.

      To me the name of the game is finding the best configuration out of many theoretically different winning configurations that a baseball team could come up with. I believe we should have chosen one of the many available dominant configurations that were possible. And our team doesn’t have a dominant configuration at all let alone being in a position to even debate whether or not we strove to acquire the best configuration possible from any given position that’s being used as a reference point. I still deem our team to be a colossal failure and one of the very top teams in all of MLB in terms of greatest amount of underachievement relative to the attainable potential that could have been easily achieved without hardly any difficulty from having a solid enough core that could be built off of to get to the next level.

      Signing Brayan doesn’t change this unfortunate reality, and I see no effort or plan from DD to do as such. That’s all that matters and until we do things in an intelligent way, it’s going to be hard for this team to defend itself as being professional and respectable in their efforts and ultimately in their end results.

  20. Coleman

    December 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Not to mention the intangibles with Brayan Pena:
    1. The Tigers have now cornered all they Brayans in MLB history (2).
    2. His quick reactions and fearlessness in the face of praying mantis invasion:

    • Smoking Loon

      December 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      Pena was nice to the praying mantis. That’s good enough for me. He’s in, Holaday’s out, unless Holaday can demonstrate superior behavior, such as leaving the stadium with the praying mantis and finding the nearest semi-natural area in which to release it.

      • The Strategy Expert

        December 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm

        LOL you don’t get that kind of analysis anywhere. Your choice of looking for non-baseball related reasons to justify who to give the job to when nobody is qualified for it is quite refreshing indeed! 🙂

        Here’s 2 guys in our system that I am going to tentatively root for to somehow get called up unless we have a move in the future to change things:

        34th rounder from 2011 = Zach Maggard

        2012 pick, only at A ball so far, = Jordan Guida FA from the MINK league and comes with good recommendations

        There’s also James McCann our 2nd round pick from 2011, but it’s too early for him and he hasn’t developed yet or shown any promise. Curt Casali was our 10th round pick in that draft and I have him ranked higher than McCann at this point.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm

          Thanks, TSE. I try to look beyond the obvious.

          • The Strategy Expert

            December 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm

            Yeah I keep a pretty close eye on our prospects which is one of the key reasons why I object to DD’s moves. He has spent huge amounts of money to fail, and has also sold away a large amount of prospect value in unqualified transactions that don’t make sense. So while we pick up many millions of illogical liabilities, we also go backwards in the farm pipeline instead of building equity there for future flexibility and sustenance of good logical players that are high value and efficient.

  21. Coleman

    December 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    So it turns out that in addition to “mobility issues,” Gene Lamont also had eye problems:

    • The Strategy Expert

      December 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      But Leyland said it was about who was sprier. So Brookens is now giving us information that Leyland purposely was trying to keep secret? Sounds like those 2 are already not on the same page with their story. Nice move Tom, giving up info that Jim didn’t want us to know about his pal which could be embarrassing health information or a source for every fan to make childish jokes about why Gene wasn’t very good, OR you are making Jim look bad by not being straightforward as to the real reasons Gene was removed.

      Not a good start Tom. It’s already time for you to go, you aren’t good with PR and you haven’t helped teach our team how to run the bases in the time you have been here and charged with that responsibility. It’s going to be a long season of fans complaining methinks.

      • Vince in MN

        December 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm

        Well, according to the article, Leyland knew about Lamont’s eye problem and then approached Brookens about a potential move at the end of last year.

        “Jim had come to me and asked me if I was comfortable coaching third base. And I said ‘well, no problem with that.’ I did it when I was managing in the minor leagues so I was very comfortable with that. And he said we might end up doing that because of the things going on with Geno and him really wanting to get off the field a little bit because of his movement and he has an eye problem,” said Brookens.

        How long this has been an issue beyond the end of last year with Lamont we really don’t know. Maybe Leyland just thought that the best third base coach in baseball could play through it; tough it out at it were until the finish of the season.