Miguel Cabrera Back to 1B

So many thoughts, more coming tonight.


Fielder and $30M for Ian Kinsler. Kinsler’s big contract is up in 4 years. Fielder’s bigger contract is up in 7.

I’m going to start with Jim’s question below. There’s been a lot of discontent surrounding Kinsler down here, and it’s been rising for about a year and a half. After six years of a .794 OPS or greater, the last two have been rather average for 2B. People think he should be a perennial All-Star. He’s prone to lapses in attention and he may be the most picked off base runner in the AL, other than Elvis Andrus (and Darrell Evans). He’s basically embodying the classic decline you would expect for a borderline All-Star in his early 30s.

That alone was likely enough to put him on the trading block, but this move is being driven by the need for the Rangers to find a place for Jurickson Profar. Profar is the golden child of one of the best farm systems in the league, and the team is anxious to find out what he can do. Realize that the Rangers also lost Nelson Cruz and it’s uncertain whether they’ll pony up what he’ll get elsewhere. Fielder fills that hole nicely.

We all knew that the Tigers over-reached on the last 2-3 years of his contract in order to have Fielder for the first 4-5. Well, the first two were pretty disappointing, and Fielder’s playoff efforts were, well, non-existent. I haven’t done any direct comparisons, but I’m certain that we would have been better off with just about any other 1B in the league in the playoffs, and that’s simply offensively. If you include the poor fielding and base running blunders, Fielder had to have had a net negative effect.

I can’t help but wonder if there is something else going on with Prince Fielder that we don’t know about. Maybe it was the divorce, maybe he couldn’t handle being the 3rd or 4th biggest name on the team, perhaps it was the pressure oozing out of Leyland’s smoke rings. He’s definitely been off since October of 2012, and I hope that heading home to Texas will allow him to return to his Milwaukee self.

Trading Fielder has a myriad of other effects. Here are a few topics for discussion:

– The Tigers just saved about $76M on paper. How much of that does Scherzer see?

– Does Shin-Soo Choo see any of that? Hunter in left, Dirks as the 4th?

– What do we gain defensively by sliding Cabrera to 1B and putting anyone else at 3rd?

– VMart/Cabrera 1B/DH sounds nice.

– I love Brad Ausmus already. Not sure if he had anything to do with this. But I’m looking for an Ausmus jersey.

1. Jackson, CF
2. Choo, RF
3. Cabrera, 1B
4. Martinez, DH
5. Hunter, RF
6. Kinsler, 2B
7. Avila, C
8. Castellanos, 3B
9. Iglesias, SS


  1. StorminNorman$

    November 20, 2013 at 10:51 pm


    as surprising as the Fielder signing a few years ago, this trade is just as surprising.

    i’m not really sure how/why DET agreed to throw in $30M w/Fielder seeing as Kinsler is due $16M per yr for ’14 & ’15 season, then $14M in ’16… that $30M essentially negates any “savings” over the next three years… but I guess TX was concerned about the last 4 years of Fielder’s contract.

    • Coleman

      November 20, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      I don’t understand of have an opinion on the financial aspect. But I do understand the awesomeness that is Dave Dombrowski. He shocked the world two years ago with the Fielder deal. He just said “oops, my bad, never mind.” Does anyone realize how rare that is?? There are a hundred GMs that have sucked up bad deals just so they didn’t have to admit they made a bad move. DD is special. He really is.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm


      • StorminNorman$

        November 21, 2013 at 12:01 am

        DD has made some phenomenal trades, but essentially his role in bringing in Fielder was simply saying “Yup” when Illitch (after speaking w/Boras) asked, “hey Dave do you think JL can find a spot for Fielder in the lineup?”

      • Kevin in Dallas

        November 21, 2013 at 2:02 am


    • Vince in MN

      November 20, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Over the next three years the Tigers will pay Kinsler 46M, while Fielder gets 57M from the Rangers. The difference of 11M is a reasonable “savings”. You could easily get 3 years each of Ramon Santiago and Don Kelly for that. Our bench would be secure.

      • StorminNorman$

        November 20, 2013 at 11:54 pm

        Fielder’s contract ensures he will be paid $72M over the next three seasons (and $96M over the subsequent 4 yrs). Kinsler’s contract over the next 3 season dictates he’ll make $46M (then $11M in ’17, and a $12M team option in ’18, w/$5M team buyout).

        Essentially for DET to save $96M in years ’17 – ’20, Kinsler will end up (net) costing DET $76M over the next 3 years (his $46M contract rate, plus the $30M DET paid to consummate the trade).

        Kinsler will turn 32 in June ’14 – if he stays healthy, maintains comparable career offensive numbers, this should be a good deal for DET; and w/Profar stepping in at 2B for TEX, and the upgrade of Fielder at 1st, this could also be a good deal for TEX also… for the next 3 years anyway… only time will tell.

        i’m going to file this trade in the ‘good business decision’ file.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          November 21, 2013 at 2:05 am

          I feel strongly that it’s a win win. It’s going to get praised by everyone, as it should be. DD is not afraid to deal, and props to him for dealing the biggest negative from the playoffs, and freeing up cash for Scherzer/another FA.

          I gotta admit, I was pretty beat up over the Boston series. I still have nightmares about the Ortiz GS. I mean, come on, we were up 4 RUNS. In the 8th INNING. WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN UP 2-0 IN BOSTON.

          But I’m starting to get roped in again already. When to pitchers and catchers start playing golf again?

          One of these years we’ll do a DTW meetup in Lakeland. Golf in the morning, Tigers in the afternoon. Beer at both.

          • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

            November 21, 2013 at 8:58 am

            Count me in…as long as we don’t talk about that Ortiz grand slam!

          • JimEggersUSMC

            November 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm

            Funny you should mention that. My bride has thought that would be a fun trip for all of us, and I can be the DD (designated driver) I would never attempt to assume I could be the GM of a MLB team.

            • StorminNorman$

              November 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm

              speaking of spring training and DD, the past few years DD is typically at every game (in Lakeland anyway) sitting about 6-8 rows up behind home plate with a few other DET execs… right in w/the fans

  2. Coleman

    November 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I have 2 quick thoughts: 1) Detroit would have traded Fielder for an attractively priced tuna melt. 2) Dombrowski realized that Infante would be too expensive to keep, which figured into the calculated cost of Kinsler. (There are approximately 2 free agent 2nd basemen this year, and one of them wants 300 million).

    • Smoking Loon

      November 20, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      Those were really my thoughts, which you’re admitting by posting this for me under my name.

  3. judpma

    November 20, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    This is DD…being DD…has the b#lls to make the move..might be good, might not…but I am with DD based on his track record….
    …Miggy to first…
    …maybe resign Peralta if $$$ is right
    ..Infante will draw Kinsler money and Kinsler is better
    …makes resigning Scherzer and Cabrerra closer to do-able.
    …now go after Choo and Nathan

    • Coleman

      November 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      Or Tigers sign a big name DH type, and move Martinez to first (he’s good there, he really is). The point is, you never know what the Tigers will pull off, which is awfully fun, right?

      • Smoking Loon

        November 21, 2013 at 10:36 pm

        I hope the Tigers don’t sign another DH type. Two (and formerly three) is enough. Agree that Martinez has looked awfully good at 1B in short time there, and that’s another interesting bit of flexibility going on. Imagine how it would be if they signed Peralta.

        • Vince in MN

          November 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

          I think the desire to have a roster of guys who slug it was a product of the previous regime. We don’t know how much input Ausmus is having on the makeup of the team, but there must be some, and a more multi-dimentional look seems to be in the making. At least one can hope.

    • jwawz

      November 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      you are right on. this is a primo trade with seroius implications. it actullat makes the tigers a much better team

      • Smoking Loon

        November 22, 2013 at 10:56 pm

        It has made the offseason a LOT more interesting than I thought it would be. Since I couldn’t foresee trading Fielder, I didn’t realize all the implications that would have and all the possibilities it would open up.

  4. JimEggersUSMC

    November 21, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Saw Kinsler play in Spokane back a few years ago and thought then and still think big time quality player, has some pop and plays hard.

    Kevin in big D: A query: Was there some discontent with Ian out there or is this just business?

  5. Jason

    November 21, 2013 at 1:18 am

    I want to put up a statue of Dave Dombrowski in Comerica Park after this. WHAT A TRADE!

    I would have given up Prince for a Double-A prospect just to be rid of him, his attitude, and his contract. Dombrowski got us a productive major league player at a position of need. I’m still on cloud nine about this.

  6. judpma

    November 21, 2013 at 2:58 am

    Kevin I do just the opposite. I like to go on the back fields in the morning and watch the workouts. I have gone 24 years except 2012 and 2013…A Leyland thing. I will be there the first two weeks in March 2014…ball in the morning and golf in the afternoon!…

  7. PHToy in HK

    November 21, 2013 at 3:30 am

    Why not have Kinsler at the top of the order and have Jackson move down to the bottom third?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      November 21, 2013 at 10:39 am

      It’s a consideration. They have about the same career OBP, and they both K a lot. AJax is still young, so I have hopes that he can become a true leadoff guy.

      • Vince in MN

        November 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

        Kinsler K’d 59 times last year; Jackson 129 – both in 614 PA. Here are the two player’s career stats:

        • Kevin in Dallas

          November 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

          Kinsler hits into more DPs and is a bad baserunner. It’s not clear cut either way.

          Drew Sharp is going to be on with Norm Hitzges down here in Dallas at 11:50AM Detroit time. Should be interesting to hear that exchange. http://www.theticket.com/

          • Vince in MN

            November 21, 2013 at 4:54 pm

            Kinsler 5 GDP last year, Jackson 12 GDP.

  8. Coleman

    November 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Another blockbuster deal: Tigers just signed Phil Coke to a one-year contract.

    • StorminNorman$

      November 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      I understand he’s a lefty and its “only $2M/1-yr deal” and DET has a lot of questions regarding their bullpen, but I suspect Coke is going to provide more questions than answers.

      • Coleman

        November 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm

        Signing Coke may also mean that they aren’t planning to have Smyly in the bullpen. Which means they are planning to be without one of their starters.

        • StorminNorman$

          November 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm

          that could be… but something tells me DD and the DET brain-trust have significantly tweaked their off-season strategy since yesterday… because I doubt they put a whole lot of weight in finding a trading partner (and suitable return) for Fielder.

          RE: Coke, there are about 40 relief pitcher FA’s available, none of any quality could be had for the $2M per yr they’ll pay Coke. Coke is a relatively low-risk 1-yr signing, but I would hope/think that DD plans on making at least two more bullpen acquisitions (either through trade or FA)

    • Vince in MN

      November 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      I hate DD.

      • StorminNorman$

        November 21, 2013 at 6:13 pm


        Coke’s deal ($1.9M) is NOT guaranteed, which means they could cut him in spring training and only owe him a fraction of the $1.9M

        • Vince in MN

          November 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

          That’s a saving factor. Maybe Coke can bounce back, but with the exception of a short run t the end of ’12, he has been total crap and I have ahard time imgining that he will suddenly “find himself” again. But I guess the fact that we are short on LH relievers and there is no guarantee, make it relatively risk free.

          • Smoking Loon

            November 22, 2013 at 11:26 pm

            The guy I’m more tired of waiting on is Alburquerque.

  9. StorminNorman$

    November 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Tim Dierkes makes a few valid points re: Fielder – Kinsler trade.

    For the record, I like the trade, and that’s even if Kinsler spends half the season on the DL and Fielder hits 50 HR’s next year… as Dierkes points out, “Tigers’ motivation in last night’s trade was more about getting out from Fielder’s contract than acquiring Kinsler” – I would concur with that assessment.

    And now signing 1) a quality bullpen piece, along with 2) either Choo or Elsbury would be the icing on this off-season’s cake… and help transform DET’s offense a bit, and help fill the void of losing Fielder’s offense.

    • Vince in MN

      November 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      Although either would make the lineup rock solid, I’m not holding my breath on Choo or Ellsbury. Both of those guys will want a long-term contract (6-7 yrs?), and being that the Tigers are just getting out from under one of those, they may be looking at something shorter term. And with better defense and bullpen, I think we can sacrifice some offense and not feel obligated to completely fill the Fielder void. It will be interesting to see what a Fister or Porcello trade brings. Except for a closer perhaps, I’m not convinced they’ll delve in the top tier of the FA market. On the other hand, with DD getting creative, I should be prepared to be surprised again.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm

        I concur with Vince. It would be ironic for the Tigers to get out from under with Fielder and get right back under with Choo or Ellsbury.

  10. scott

    November 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    so “Fat Butt” Fielder is gone. so be it. I didn’t think Dave would really do it….but I’m glad he did. I was surprised at who we got……a 2B. I haven’t been keeping up – is Infante really gonna be that expensive to keep? I thought the position was his. and I hope everybody’s right about Castellanos. seems like this is his chance; 3B is wide open for him. it’s ‘make or break’ time for him. the only problem this trade will create is if VMart gets hurt…..then miggy will have no one to protect him……has anybody ever had 500 walks in a season?
    I live 40 miles from Lakeland……when does spring training start?…… 🙂

  11. Kevin in Dallas

    November 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Dave Cameron from Fangraphs thinks the Tigers win the trade.

    • StorminNorman$

      November 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      at this moment I agree with him… but its going to take several years to see which team benefitted most from this trade… and ‘the winner’ may likely continue to change – until years 5-6-7 of Fielder’s contract, when I suspect DET will be the clear winner and I doubt he’ll still be w/TEX

      I read where DET’s $30M pmts to TEX don’t begin until 2016, and are spread out over 5 years (2020), which means the ‘savings’ (difference between Fielder’s $24M annual and Kinsler’s $16) will begin in ’14

      • Vince in MN

        November 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm

        Delayed payments – even better.

        • Smoking Loon

          November 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm

          In the best of all possible worlds, it’s win-win. I’m happy with it and won’t second-guess it. Doesn’t change my mind about Fielder. I think he’s got a lot left in the tank and think that his defensive shortcomings were overstated. Don’t be surprised to see Prince “Big Papi” Fielder hitting a grand slam off some Detroit reliever in the playoffs a few years down the road. This time, though, Detroit will be up 7-1 and it will be too little, too late.

  12. Coleman

    November 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm


    November 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    DD is the man. This trade gives us unlimited options. I can’t wait for the season to start!

  14. judpma

    November 21, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    I guess I don’t understand why Jackson is considered and even worse used as a leadoff batter…
    1. he K’s 159 a year
    2. He doesn’t steal any bases

    so whats the point of him leading off!!!???

    • Smoking Loon

      November 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      I agree. What’s more, I don’t think he likes the role.

      • Vince in MN

        November 21, 2013 at 10:32 pm

        To be fair, Jakkson’s K’s have been coming down, and as far as the lack of base stealing goes, that is more to do with managerial strategy than Jackson – he just didn’t get to run that much. On the downside, he is really streaky, prone to long spells where he is just horrible at the plate – definitely not what you want from a leadoff man. Can we get more consistency out of the guy? That’s one of the things we can look for from our new batting coach perhaps. On the other hand maybe, as has been suggested by others over time, he really is more suited to a spot lower in the order ( 6th or 7th or how about 9th). IMO, having a Jackson type batting that far down would say quite a lot about the quality of the bats hitting ahead of him and overall we wouldn’t have too much to complain about.

        • Smoking Loon

          November 21, 2013 at 10:45 pm

          Recently saw the first article suggesting Tigers are listening on Jackson. Prior to Fielder-Kinsler, Dirks moving to CF seemed more plausible to me. Now… seems like there would have to be some big-name OF acquisition to let go of Jackson. It seems less likely now that Jackson is a trade piece, but I’m prepared to be wrong again quite soon.

          • Vince in MN

            November 22, 2013 at 8:56 am

            Well, based on last season, I don’t see Dirks as a reliable everyday player. So, if Jackson were to get traded, there would definitely be a need to pick up another full-time OF. In going after the big name guys, this could get tricky since there is no guarantee an Ellsbury or Choo would sign with Detroit. With Jackson gone there would be a potential platoon situation at all 3 OF positions, something which I don’t think would be sustainable; maybe if you get the FA first and then trade Jackson, but this would likely put that scenario late into the off season and DD’s modus operandi is to get things done early. As to listening on Jackson goes, I imagine they are fielding inquiries on just about everybody on the 40-man roster.

            • Coleman

              November 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm

              With so many big contracts coming up for renewal (which is driving a lot of their maneuvers in the first place), the fact that Jackson can’t be a free agent until 2016 and is playing for a relative bargain (I think 3.5 million), makes it unlikely that they are going to want to replace him with a free agent. Even if they would like to replace Jackson, his contract will be hard to beat.

              • Vince in MN

                November 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

                That’s what makes him so attractive to other teams as well. He’d have to bring a lot back in any deal, and I think that would have to include at least another ML ready outfielder. I don’t see it as a Jackson for FA deal. In effect you’d be trading his 3.5M salary for a 500K one (plus whatever other chips). And of course he could be packaged with one of our starters to make another blockbuster trade. A free agent deal basically replaces the Dirks/Tui hole and is another thing entirely.

  15. Angus

    November 22, 2013 at 12:30 am

    I like the move as well strictly from a defensive point. I think we need to move Miggy over. His range is poor and Iggy cannot cover the entire field but he will try. I am hoping the managerial change will help as well. Love having another member of the Tribe on board with Vizquel on board. Being from Ohio and being a Tiger fan all you hear about down here is the Indians. I used to feel bad for Indians fans but listen to Tom Hamilton on the radio sometime and you quickly lose that feeling.

  16. JimEggersUSMC

    November 22, 2013 at 4:27 am

    Forgot to mention I heard Jim Leyland ( the name sounds familiar) on MLB the other day say that it is not definite that the MVP would be at 1b. He mentioned Vmart and his talent there, and said there was more flexibility now with the move. He sounded relaxed and in a good frame of mind.

  17. StorminNorman$

    November 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    interesting read debunking the ‘Cabrera will suffer w/o Fielder hitting behind him’-theory.

    • Coleman

      November 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      His theory is that “lineup protection” is a myth (which it may well be), but you could argue that all his actual statistics show is that Martinez was as good at protecting Cabrera as Fielder was.

      • Vince in MN

        November 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm

        I think Miggy’s real protectors were Jackson and Hunter, whose prodigious on-base skills were so great that opposing pitchers were forced to pitch to Cabrera. 🙂

    • Vince in MN

      November 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      The real question about the “lineup protection” myth is do the opposing pitchers believe it. There were many times this past season when I would have gladly walked Cabrera to pitch to Fielder.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 22, 2013 at 9:46 pm

        I think that lineup protection concerns are very exaggerated. If an intentional walk to your best hitter puts a dagger in your plans, you’ve got a pretty weak lineup, and one more slugger isn’t going to help much – who bats after him? Infinite regress. Also, how do you “protect” the best hitter on the planet, exactly? The guy who can “make” you pitch to Cabrera doesn’t exist at this point. He’s gonna be walked. Baserunners are good. He’s gonna score. Runs are good. Thank you, fraidy-cat pitchers (more like managers).

  18. Coleman

    November 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    As long as we are talking myths, I have heard a lot of talk about how the Tigers will have to “replace” Fielder’s 106 RBI. Fielder wasn’t knocking in runs at any better a rate than a lot of the other guys on the team, he just happened to bat with more guys on base–in fact he had more baserunners on during his at bats than anyone in baseball. Torii Hunter batting 4th would have had almost as many RBI:

    537 baserunners, 85 scored, 16%
    414 baserunners, 68 scored, 16%

    Fielder knocked himself in more times than Hunter (8 more home runs), but otherwise Hunter was just as much of an “RBI Guy” as Fielder.

    • Vince in MN

      November 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      To extend by one batter my snarky “lineup protection” post from above, Jackson, Hunter and Cabrera were really protecting Fielder then.

    • StorminNorman$

      November 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Great point…as is Vince’s about other variables that factor into ‘protecting’ Cabrera. Whether the lead-off and/or #2 hitter got on base (and what base) or made outs usually weighs more in the decision to pitch to Cabrera or not.

      Imagine what RBI numbers Cabrera (if batting 3rd) and VMart could put up if DET’s leadoff and #2 hitters were good on-base guys and legit/effective base stealers.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 22, 2013 at 10:48 pm

        Hunter drove in 50% of his runs batting with a runner on 3B. Fielder, 45%.

        Hunter’s men-on BB rate: 3.7%. Fielder’s: 10.9%. Harder to drive in runs when you’re walking. (Practically identical K rates, in case you’re wondering.)

        Consider who was on base for Hunter vs. Fielder. Look at the Most Driven In. Consider the physical condition of a likely baserunner just ahead of Fielder for a third of the season.

        Fielder RISP: .824. Hunter: .717.

        Oddly, GIDP rate with runner on 1B (only): Fielder 7.7%, Hunter 7.2%. Consider, though, the runners Torii was likely killing as opposed to Prince.

        Lead runner on 2B: Hunter, 21 RBI in 96 PA. Fielder, 30 RBI in 119 PA.

        Yikes, both of them stunk with bases loaded. That cost ’em some flashier RBI stats right here.

        Some cherry-picking going on here, sure, but I would still say: Fielder = RBI machine, Hunter = not bad.

        • Smoking Loon

          November 22, 2013 at 10:52 pm

          Oh, forget the GIDP thing. Looked at it without regard to outs situation. Fielder is clearly Mr. GIDP and probably Mr. Force Out as well when that’s the option.

          • Vince in MN

            November 23, 2013 at 1:47 am

            On Fielder’s men-on BB rate: I bet a lot of that was early in the season when V-Mart wasn’t protecting him.

          • Coleman

            November 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

            How about Jhonny Peralta? He only hit into GIDPs 10% of his opportunities, and that is with Cabrera, Fielder, and Martinez on base in front of him.

            • Vince in MN

              November 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm

              With Cabrera, Fielder and Martinez batting in front of him, most of the GDP opportunities had vanished (for one reason or another).

              • Smoking Loon

                November 28, 2013 at 12:29 am

                Look at Peralta’s Most Driven In, too. All the slow guys, none of the fast guys. Of course, the slow guys were also XBH guys.

                Looking further at <2, 3B stuff, Peralta and Hunter were out of this world, while Cabrera (caveat: +20% BB rate) and Fielder were kind of meh.

                I did notice something funky. In the bbref Batting Splits, Peralta was phenomenal with <2, 3B. Also great in the Advances <2, 3B – runner scored. But… how does Peralta have 18 RBI (in 16 AB!) in one place, and then only 13 runners scored of 21 in the other place? There's only 1 HR involved, so I'm not getting the extra 4 RBI in the Splits. Oh wait – I guess the Advances is only counting the runner on 3B scoring. Never mind.

                It's funny. Now that Peralta is with the Cards, I can suddenly spell his name right the first time. It used to be Perlata followed by correction, EVERY time. Weird.

                Quite a year at the plate for Jhonny in 2013. Good postseason. Did the Tigers even think twice about keeping him around? Doesn't seem like it. Well, maybe they're right. He's been up and down.

              • Smoking Loon

                November 28, 2013 at 12:32 am

                My comment is awaiting moderation. Hey, I put a lot of work into that comment.

  19. Vince in MN

    November 22, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Here’s a quote from a non-Tigers related article, but it struck me as something we should all bear in mind as the hot stove season heats up:

    “…free agency is an environment in which few players are able to be secured at a bargain rate. Unless a player is coming off an injury or a terrible season, the odds are against him signing for anything other than a premium in terms of years, dollars or both.”

    I would guess that the recent change in comp draft picks for signing FAs has a lot to do with this.

    • StorminNorman$

      November 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      what’s always amazes me regarding the annual free agency madness is when a guy in the last year of his contract has ‘a career year’, teams seemingly pay the guy based on the presumption that the past year was not an anomaly but rather the start of bigger and better things from the guy – and i’m having a hard time thinking of a player (excluding the players linked to PEDs) who signed a big dollar/long-term contract and actually continued to improve year over year (…maybe Maggs would fit that bill)

      • Coleman

        November 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm


        • Coleman

          November 22, 2013 at 4:11 pm

          Ok, he wasn’t a free agent. Still he improved after signing his big contract.

  20. Vince in MN

    November 22, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Jhonny might find himself sitting out another 162 games:

    • StorminNorman$

      November 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      wouldn’t surprise me at all if at least one team would give him 4 yrs $56M… the spending frenzy will be commence within the next two weeks

      • Smoking Loon

        November 22, 2013 at 9:59 pm

        Can’t blame Jhonny for trying to make good on his one chance to cash in, I guess. Reminds me of Sanchez. Anibal certainly came through in 2013, but he must realize that 2013 is the baseline. Carrying around another Doug Fister at $15-16M will not be smiled upon. Unless that’s the going rate for a “#5 starter” in a couple years, which isn’t so unlikely.

        • Smoking Loon

          November 26, 2013 at 10:08 pm

          You were darned close, SN$.

  21. Coleman

    November 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Ian Kinsler, the most polarizing Ranger ever?

    • StorminNorman$

      November 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      “Kinsler the most polarizing Ranger ever”…ha? …if it doesn’t happen before then, just wait til years 5, 6 & 7 of Mr. Fielder’s remaining contract (if he’s still there)

      • Vince in MN

        November 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm

        Anybody willing to call it like it is and say sportswriters are “a box of rocks” gets my support.

        • StorminNorman$

          November 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

          agreed…though rocks may take exception to such a demeaning comment

  22. StorminNorman$

    November 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Beck’s piece does a pretty good job recapping the math/economics of the Fielder-Kinsler trade as well as the current payroll ledger. It appears any immediate “savings” from the deal (and contracts coming off the books) will be offset (or exceeded) by arbitration raises and salary increases of current roster players.

  23. Coleman

    November 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Cross one rumor off the list: Brian McCann new Yankee catcher, 5 years 85 mil.

    • StorminNorman$

      November 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      …and Peralta signs w/the Cards

      • Vince in MN

        November 24, 2013 at 5:03 pm

        For 4 yrs/52+M.

  24. Vince in MN

    November 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Cross 1 late inning reliever off the list:

  25. judpma

    November 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Joe Smith is a good late inning set up guy…..but 5 mil for 63 inninngs a year….tell me $$$ is not out of control…thats $70,000..a game

    • Vince in MN

      November 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      The 3 million fannies passing through the turnstiles each year don’t seem to have a problem with it. But maybe this year will be the one that breaks the cash-cow’s (I mean camel’s) back.


    November 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    How do we replace the substantial lose in offence with PF, JP and OI gone. Whoever replaces them will be an offensive downgrade.

    • Vince in MN

      November 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      Peralta missed the last 50 games and Fielder was pretty average for the greater part of the season and we still did pretty well. Yes, there were periods of power outages during that time you might say, but actually we suffered offensive inconsistency all season long. Kinsler replaces Infante and might be an upgrade at 2B. Our defense will be much improved and therefore our pitching will be better as well. DD will pick up another power bat, even if it is in a platoon role, and hopefully our bench improves. With an emphasis on something besides slugging it, making the team more multi-dimentional on offense (more small ball/manufacturing runs) I think we can actually afford to lose a little run production and still manage to be a superior team to ’13.

  27. Vince in MN

    November 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    The new culture, not the same as the old culture:

  28. Kevin in Dallas

    November 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Prince Fielder press conference going on right now. A few comments.

    1) His responses are short and lack emotion.

    2) He changed his jersey # to 84. It’s the year he was born, and this is a new start for him.

    3) He was “really surprised” that he was traded.

    4) Ron Washington said that “Prince has never been protected, and I’m going to protect him by hitting him third.” To which Prince responded “Outstanding.”

    • Coleman

      November 26, 2013 at 11:13 am

      He aslo apparently admitted that he “sucked” last year in Detroit:

    • KW

      November 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      His wife was there too, so I guess the whole divorce thing isn’t happening anymore. Maybe they decided to work it out after Avisail Garcia got traded.

      • Coleman

        November 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm

        Can we have Garcia back now?

        • Smoking Loon

          November 26, 2013 at 9:25 pm

          Only if we give back Iglesias. Then we have to sign Stephen Drew. Is that what you want?

          • Coleman

            November 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm

            That was just a snarky comment regarding a rumor that KW alluded to, which I am not going to repeat here.

            • Smoking Loon

              November 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm

              I was wondering whether there was something to the implication KW seemed to leave hanging. Now I know, at least as far as a rumor I can imagine goes. Ah, who knows what goes on behind the scenes?

              Hard to say if the trade of Garcia will turn out to be regrettable. We can blame it on Peralta if it does.

              • KW

                November 26, 2013 at 11:27 pm

                I actually hadn’t even heard about that rumor until a couple days ago, which is kind of surprising considering how many Tigers blogs I peruse. Don’t worry guys, this one will always be my #1.

  29. StorminNorman$

    November 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm


    apparently the whole ‘beard thing’ may be coming to a DET bullpen near you…

    • Coleman

      November 26, 2013 at 11:12 am

      I hope they are just doing this to put a little pressure on Joe Nathan.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm

        I don’t think that would put any pressure on Nathan.

        • Vince in MN

          November 26, 2013 at 10:54 pm

          Yah, Nathan doesn’t seem like the beard type.

          • Smoking Loon

            November 27, 2013 at 11:35 pm

            The Yankees would make him shave it off, anyway.

  30. Coleman

    November 26, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Wow, now there is a name from the past! Tigers have named an Assistant Hitting Coach: Darnell Coles. (He had previously been manager of the Brewers AA team).

    • Smoking Loon

      November 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      I remember that name! Nothing else, unfortunately.

      • Vince in MN

        November 26, 2013 at 10:46 pm

        Well, the first time AJax goes into one of his prolonged hitting slumps, I’m sure we will hear about how Assistant Hitting Coach Coles is a bum and isn’t doing his job.

        • Smoking Loon

          November 27, 2013 at 11:39 pm

          Closely preceded or followed by stories of how Coles has turned Jackson around by working with him on pausing slightly (but not too long) before flexing his thumb while applying pine tar to the bat in the on-deck circle.

  31. Smoking Loon

    November 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Well, good for Jhonny Peralta. Got his payday. Hope Omar Infante does, too.

    Has anyone else run across the suggestion that the Tigers might have acquired Kinsler to trade him? It’s not my invention; I actually read it somewhere. Might have been written by a rock in a box, I don’t know.

    • Vince in MN

      November 26, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      So they could get Cano for a gazillion dollars! That was the “suggestion” based on the rumor that Cano was in town, blah, blah, blah.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 27, 2013 at 11:32 pm

        There was no connection with Cano where I read the “trade Kinsler” thing (wherever it was). The inference I drew on my own was that the Tigers might then seek to keep Infante after all.

  32. Smoking Loon

    November 26, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    After the flurry of excitement surrounding Fielder for Kinsler, I’ve gotten to thinking: a) Kinsler a better defender at 2B than Infante?; b) Cabrera *that* much better than Fielder at 1B?; c) (As interesting as the possibility may be) Castellanos *that* much better than Cabrera at 3B?

    a) Doubt it.
    b) Doubt it.
    c) Don’t recall “phenomenal” being mentioned in a defensive context about then-prospect Castellanos when he was a third baseman.

    I’m left a bit skeptical about all the “runs saved” supposedly being added. Kinsler actually seems part of a purely offensive gambit.

    • Vince in MN

      November 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      a) some metrics say yes.
      b) Cabrera close to average at 1B two years ago. Fielder below average.
      c) ? – I’d say probably, just on the basis of having two hips and groins that work, but that’s just a guess.

      • Smoking Loon

        November 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm

        That’s fair. Just having a spell of doubt. Not knocking the big trade or decrying the loss of Fielder, but now that the dust has cleared, it seems like we were falling over ourselves to congratulate Dombrowski on trading a $20 bill for two tens.

  33. Smoking Loon

    November 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    … when what I should I chance upon but this:


    • Smoking Loon

      November 26, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Well, I don’t know if there’s anything particularly intriguing about Kinsler as a first baseman or left fielder, even later. He’s got just about enough offense for a second baseman. 1B or DH amounts to about the same thing for Cabrera, so moving Kinsler to 1B achieves nothing there. Andy Dirks or 50 other guys could be Kinsler in LF, and Dirks is a good outfielder already, so…

      Kinsler to 3B would be more intriguing in the short term, but 2B to 3B does not strike me as a very natural or typical transition.

      • Vince in MN

        November 26, 2013 at 10:41 pm

        I say let’s see how Kinsler does in 2014 before we start to worry about 2017.

        • Smoking Loon

          November 27, 2013 at 11:34 pm

          True, the article is looking down the road a couple years. I, too, am more interested in 2014.

  34. JimEggersUSMC

    November 28, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Just wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and don’t be afraid to have that 2nd slice of pie, you can work off at Spring Training.

    • Smoking Loon

      November 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      A belated thank you, Jim. Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Hey, the Lions killed the Packers. That must have made it better.

  35. Smoking Loon

    November 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    The Tigers have lost Fielder, Peralta, Infante (presumably), Pena, Veras, Tuiasosopo, and Downs. They will undoubtedly trade either Porcello or Fister. Meanwhile, they’ve added Ian Kinsler, and have re-signed Coke. I think it’s safe to say that the Tigers, in terms of player personnel, have not improved themselves as yet. A whole lot of offense and some Coke-superior bullpen talent has gone away.

    I’d guess that Castellanos is going to get his chance at 3B. I’m fine with that. Perez should stick as the middle IF bench. Do they need a second IF on the bench? They do have Martinez for 1B, but that doesn’t entirely rule out the remote possibility of Jordan Lennerton fitting in. Both Cabrera and Iglesias can play 3B; is there a need for Santiago or Worth? Or some journeyman in their place? I don’t see anyone in the Tigers system who would be more than an emergency option.

    Avila/Holaday at C. Don’t see that changing. As easy as it is to think of trades that involve shipping Avila + Porcello out, it’s harder to think of any that will result in a better C situation afterward. (Trade Avila and sign Pierzynski?)

    Something’s gotta happen in the OF, right? Or maybe not. Dirks/Jackson/Hunter. Is that so bad? Depends on your view of Dirks. Is he Boesch revisited or a poor man’s Choo or Ellsbury? He’s clearly a nice 4th outfielder to have around, at the least, and I can’t think of any reason to give up on him. If the Tigers wish to replace the XBH pop lost with Fielder, the outfield would seem the place, really the only place, they could work with. Beltran and Granderson are shorter term possibilities in continuing to “slug it.” Choo and Ellsbury are longer term things and moves in a different direction, and I’m not sure I’m sold on the benefits of 5-7 years of either of them. I’d sign either for 2 years, but that’s not happening.

    So the bench is Holaday, Perez, and who? Not Santiago and Kelly again, right? I’d be happier if they brought back Berry and Tuiasosopo, or brought in that sort of combo in any kind of IF/OF permutation. What they do in the OF will dictate whether Dirks lands on the bench. Holaday, Perez, Dirks, and Lennerton as the 2014 AAAA Cinderella story, maybe. That has the desired ingredients.

    The starting rotation must be “same as” minus Porcello/Fister plus Smyly, right? Would they possibly throw a wrench in that? Is it even remotely possibly that they keep Smyly in the pen (I doubt that)?

    Ah, the bullpen. The Tigers are going to re-sign Benoit, aren’t they? That gives us:

    Foregone Conclusion $$$ Free Agent Closer
    Tender Elbow (Rondon)

    and question marks. Coke may be re-signed, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be traded, and I think he will be. His obvious replacement as lefty (if not in precise role) is Alvarez. I think that Ortega is the strongest in-house candidate to make the team out of spring training. I presume that the Tigers remain in love with Alburquerque’s wicked slider and will give him another year or three worth of chances. After all that, I think Detroit can and will do better with acquisitions to fill the other two spots over Putkonen, Reed, et alia. A couple lefties, perchance. Boone Logan and J.P. Howell are the free agents that stand out. Quite a few trade possibilities (in the broadest sense) to consider. These are all straight off the stats page; any help in playing the game of filtering down the list (no way he’s traded, $$$, injury, NL-only Guy, age, long term track record suspect) would be appreciated. I think it’s a fun game to play when the Hot Stove League has gone cold.

    Caleb Thielbar MIN
    Charle Furbush SEA
    Neal Cotts TEX
    Sean Doolittle OAK
    Alex Torres TBR
    Jerry Blevins OAK
    Brett Cecil TOR
    Aaron Loup TOR
    Brian Matusz BAL
    Jake McGee TBR
    Bruce Chen KCR
    Mike Dunn MIN
    Tony Watson PIT
    Eric O’Flaherty ATL
    Luis Avilan ATL
    Justin Wilson PIT
    Javier Lopez SFG
    Matt Reynolds ARI
    Manny Parra CIN

    So, for the Tigers to actually improve, I say: Bring in three (or four) bullpen guys. Sign Beltran or Granderson or Choo or Ellsbury or pull off that unforeseen trade that accomplishes the same goal. Give us something better on the bench than Santiago/Kelly.

    • Smoking Loon

      November 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Oh, should be “Mike Dunn MIA,” not that Miami is a likely trading partner. (We got Cabrera; we can wait a couple more years for them to trade Giancarlo Stanton similarly.)

      I guess the only prospects for any significant trade would be teams looking for – necessarily – Porcello/Fister, and optionally Avila or Jackson (maybe even Dirks?). Blue Jays, Mariners, Twins, Orioles. That takes 19 targets above down to 5. (Bruce Chen was just for fun. He’s kind of like a 36 year old Jose Alvarez.)

      Would any team interested in Porcello/Fister be more interested in Fister? I doubt it. So let’s just make it Porcello. Fister is better, but the idea is that the younger Porcello *will be* better sooner.

      The Blue Jays, Mariners, Twins, and Orioles all have enough bullpen to trade two pitchers for starter Porcello. What they all lack is much of anything else to make a more complicated deal, even though some of them might have interest in either Avila, Jackson, or Dirks.

  36. Smoking Loon

    November 29, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Looking around for OF trades… not seeing anything that really works. Free agents are where it’s at, if it’s anywhere.

  37. Smoking Loon

    December 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    The MLB tender deadline is tomorrow, December 2. mlbtraderumours projected salaries for arbitration-eligible Tigers:

    Max Scherzer – $13.6MM
    Rick Porcello – $7.7MM
    Doug Fister – $6.9MM
    Austin Jackson – $5.3MM
    Alex Avila – $3.7MM
    Andy Dirks – $1.7MM
    Don Kelly – $900K
    Al Alburquerque – $700K

    I suppose the only question mark is whether Don Kelly will be non-tendered. If he is, maybe that’s a sign that the Tigers have some definite OF plan up their sleeve already. I suspect that Kelly will be offered a contract.

  38. StorminNorman$

    December 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm


    i’m not really seeing the value of trading Fister (not eligible for FA until after ’16) unless the Nats are giving up a key fit for DET. No details yet on who DET will get in return… if this is true, obviously DET won’t be trading Scherzer or Porcello this offseason unless either would bring a comparable starting pitcher (plus other value) in return