The Brad Ausmus Era Begins

by Kevin in Dallas on November 3, 2013 · 146 comments

in 2013 Season

Post image for The Brad Ausmus Era Begins

The Tigers have not officially announced it, but all signs point to Brad Ausmus as your new manager. From what I can tell, this guy out of Houston broke the news.

Though the home opener next March against KC will be the first game that Ausmus ever manages, this is a hire that I’m excited about. Ausmus has a tremendous baseball brain, as he spent 18 years in the majors, including two stints with our Tigers. He was a hot candidate this off-season, making the rounds with the Cubs and Nationals. Some are already drawing parallels to Mike Matheny in St. Louis, a former catcher who was a rookie manager in 2012. All he’s done in 2 seasons with the Cards is go to game 7 of the NLCS and game 6 of the World Series.

Ausmus made the All Star team with the Tigers, in 1999 (which means he beat out Tony Clark & Dean Palmer) and won 3 gold gloves later in his career.

 

 
 

{ 146 comments… read them below or add one }

Coleman November 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Fun fact that I learned from the comments on MLB Trade Rumors: in the Colorado Rockies expansion draft they took three catchers: Eric Wedge, Joe Girardi, and Brad Ausmus. Pretty good stockpiling of future managers!

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

That is a remarkable fact. Good catch.*

* Completely unintentional.

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Coleman November 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm

“Ausmus’ ability to relate makes him a smart fit.”
http://tinyurl.com/mpgal24

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Smoking Loon November 4, 2013 at 9:08 pm

“Plenty of really smart people have failed even though they were imminently qualified.”

Plenty of smart sentences fail as well.

“Imminently qualified” could be used as a clever putdown.

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Vince in MN November 5, 2013 at 12:22 am

“Imminently qualified” is a funny way to put it. I think the writer meant something else.

A trio of frequently confused words is eminent, imminent, and immanent. Eminent means ‘outstanding, famous’: : the book was written by an eminent authority on folk art. Imminent means ‘about to happen’: : people brushed aside the possibility that war was imminent. Immanent, often used in religious or philosophical contexts, means ‘inherent’: : he believed in the immanent unity of nature taught by the Hindus.

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Vince in MN November 5, 2013 at 10:26 am

What the writer really meant was probably “emineminently”.

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Or “enemantly.”

I wonder if Ausmus’s ability to fit makes him a smart relative.

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KW November 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Does anyone know what his managerial philosophy is? All the saber devotees seem to love him, which is great by me, but I’d love to hear from him directly.

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Coleman November 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I think all we have to go by is whatever he has told teams in interviews, which we don’t know, but apparently it must have sounded good.

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Smoking Loon November 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Ausmus. Interesting. We’ll see, eh? They could have done worse. Not bad.

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judpma November 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm

BRAD Ausmus +1…..keep Lamont as a bench coach…..keep Jeff Jones as pitching coach…keep Bellliard as a ” hispanic connection”…..get rid of everyone else and start fresh. First priority find a third base coach that does not have suicidal tendencies!!!………

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KW November 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Am I in an alternate universe? I can’t imagine any situation where any of the old coaches would stick around, nor can I imagine why you’d want any of them to.

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Kevin in Dallas November 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I think Ausmus is so young and fresh that a) he doesn’t have his own team in place and b) I’m guessing that DD and co strongly suggested that Ausmus keep a few of the old codgers around.

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Coleman November 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Looks like judpma is on the right page: Lamont is staying, and Jones is probably staying:
http://beck.mlblogs.com/2013/11/03/ausmus-to-manage-lamont-bench-coach/

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Vince in MN November 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm

It makes sense to retain Lamont for the transition since he familiar with the personnel. I like the suggestion of Ausmus being a “baseball brain”. I often complained about the team not playing smart baseball. Maybe Ausmus can teach these old Tigers some new tricks.

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KW November 4, 2013 at 12:54 am

It makes sense from another perspective too: If the team really sucks next year, it’d be easy for DD to fire Ausmus and make Lamont manager. *shudder*

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KW November 3, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Bah.

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stephen November 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm

A sane, rational 21st Century Man who will use computers and logic when making out lineups and game-decisions. A new day has dawned.

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stephen November 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

“He is also Jewish,which will stoke a sense of kinship between Ausmus & the Tigers’ deep Jewish audience.” MAZEL TOV http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131103/SPORTS0104/311030016#ixzz2jcEaQlCo

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Vince in MN November 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Another gusher from Henning. What a brown noser.

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Coleman November 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm

He is a company man.

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Smoking Loon November 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Ausmus appears to be a guy, as well. A deep sense of kinship has been stoked with the guys here, I’m sure.

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StorminNorman$ November 4, 2013 at 8:57 am

Some interesting speculation on this year’s FA shopping season:
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/11/2014-top-50-free-agents-with-predictions-1.html
this list has Nathan, Choo and & Infante going to DET… but it’s pure speculation, and its early

as I mentioned a few weeks ago, i’d like to see Choo leading off and playing LF for DET

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Vince in MN November 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Cincy has made a qualifying offer, so whoever wants him will have to willing to give up a draft pick.

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Smoking Loon November 4, 2013 at 8:22 pm

SN$: Where’s Castellanos is your Choo plan? Bench or gone?

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Vince in MN November 5, 2013 at 12:49 am

If they truly go the FA route for a LF, he’d be shut out for ’14. After Hunter goes, he could be a potential starter in ’15. I don’t think having him on the bench makes much sense as he he should be playing every day and is only 22. Another season of AAA wouldn’t hurt; it’s not like he was tearing the cover off the ball at Toledo last year. On the other hand, if they want to take advantage of his “potential”, packaging him, say with Porcello, should bring a nice return. With the wholesale changes going on this off-season, that wouldn’t surprise me at all.

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I think they should either go with Castellanos in LF, “his job to lose,” or trade him now. They need to find out about Nick in Detroit, not Toledo. Don’t see another year in AAA happening. A move to RF for Castellanos after Hunter is not to my liking, Prefer a splurge in RF after Hunter, and who’s to say Hunter can’t be productive another couple years beyond 2014?

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Smoking Loon November 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Vince made an interesting comment over yonder that raises the question of how much influence Ausmus is going to have over the offseason departures and acquisitions.

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Smoking Loon November 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm

MLB Trade Rumors:

“In his free agent profile for McCann, Tim predicted that an American League team would be comfortable going to five years and $80MM for McCann.”

I don’t think the Tigers are that team. I wouldn’t be comfortable with that in their position.

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Vince in MN November 5, 2013 at 12:32 am

What AL team would spend that kind of money/years for McCann, or any catcher for that matter? That would seem to be outside the range of any re-building team, which leaves who exactly. Angels, Yankees and Red Sox maybe, as they are the big spenders.

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Yankees or Red Sox. Yankees, you’d think.

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Smoking Loon November 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm

It sounds like the Tigers going after a free agent closer is a foregone conclusion. I have no opinion on who they go after there, just hope they free up the money by letting Benoit walk.

For the positions that might be open to some big free agent splash – C, 2B, CF, and in the eyes of some, LF – I’m not seeing anything worthwhile. Worth the commitment in long multi-year contracts over $14 million/year, that is. McCann, Cano, Ellsbury, Granderson, Choo… no, no, no, no, no. I think I would resign Infante and consider making Jackson and Avila part of trades for bullpen and bench pieces.

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Vince in MN November 5, 2013 at 12:54 am

If you trade Avila and Jackson for spare parts/pitching, where do our new CF and C come from if not FA.

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Dirks in CF and Holaday at C. It depends on the quality of the spare parts/pitching obtained. You might not think Dirks & Holaday plus a functioning bullpen and bench is a winner at least on a par with 2013, and you could be right, but I would be willing to take that chance,

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Vince in MN November 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm

OK, with that scenario you are talking about a potential youth movement opening day starting nine of:
C: Holaday
1B: Fielder
2B: Perez
3B: Cabrera
SS: Iglesias
LF: Castellanos
CF: Dirks
RF: Hunter
DH: Martinez.

Lineup, please.

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

OK, I’m inviting scorn and ridicule here, but I may be doing that more often than I think to begin with:

Caveat: I think they pursue and sign Infante. I don’t think Avila gets traded, but I think Holaday could start quite a bit more than 1 in 4 games, so I’ll put him in this lineup, especially since I claim that I *would* trade Avila. Plus, I’d bat Avila no higher than #8 no matter what.

CF Dirks or 2B Infante (matchup or best man wins scenario)
1B Fielder
3B Cabrera
DH Martinez
RF Hunter
2B Infante or CF Dirks
LF Castellanos
C Holaday
SS Iglesias

If Infante gets away:

SS Iglesias
CF Dirks
1B Fielder
3B Cabrera
DH Martinez
RF Hunter
LF Castellanos
C Holaday
2B Perez

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Vince in MN November 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm

At first glance it doesn’t look too impressive offensively, but I guess a new hitting coach will help. And the small ball will improve. And we won’t be 29th in team defense again. And the new lock-down bullpen won’t be surrendering any 1-run leads.

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Smoking Loon November 6, 2013 at 12:06 am

That’s the spirit!

OK, now tell me what you really think.

Vince in MN November 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

There is a lot of movement in the player market this year. The Tigers are in flux, but not rebuild mode (in the sense that they will be willing to go with 4 unknowns in the batting order), so DD will deal and go to FA to fill some spots; more than just spare parts and bullpen. Does Scherzer go? Does Porcello go? Who do these guys bring back if they are traded? I think Jackson and Avila stay, they are comparatively cheap after all, but one of them could be part of a blockbuster trade. I seriously doubt they will get into the McCann bidding war, for example, so Avila is likely safe. Castellanos is more likely to be traded than Jackson, IMO. Then there is the Ausmus factor: does he go to DD and say “I want these guys” and DD gets them (this is what happened when Leyland came on board I think, but they had a long-term relationship), or does DD get the guys first and then say “here you go Brad”? Maybe something in-between? How much input Ausmus has, we don’t know. DD has been cleaning house, but how much of it has been shipped off to Goodwill and how much (if any) will be refurbished and brought back is also an unknown. The possible number of scenarios is mind boggling at the moment. The only thing I am 99.9% sure of is that the above lineup won’t be on the field opening day 2014.

Smoking Loon November 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Oh, you can make it 100% sure. A November 5 “prediction” wouldn’t stand a chance. Just putting my cards on the table here so I can keep track of them. The Tigers are going to reshuffle that deck numerous times before ST 2014.

judpma November 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm

baseball $$$$ is so out of control that there basically are no bargains out there….The Tigers are not that far away to start with. They could stand pat and be 1 or 2 in the AL as it is. We would all like to see a little upgrade in a couple spots, but….to get something you have to give something!!

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Yeah, the $$$ are taking the fun out of it. The qualifying offer stands at $14 million, and guys around 30 or older are looking for contracts of ridiculous length. It would be one thing if you get a McCann or an Ellsbury for a couple years even at some steep price, but you can’t.

The bargains, such as they are, are in the “lesser” free agents. Like Victorino last offseason, or Infante this one. I don’t see any great value at C or CF for the Tigers in this pool, but a closer look might reveal something.

For acquisitions, I’m thinking along the lines of loading up on pitching, bullpen and overall depth, and also bench and position player depth. I’m not thinking splashy “win now” signings. With a bullpen, they could already win now. I’d like them to keep winning, or at least contending, 2015 and beyond. I’m looking beyond 2014.

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judpma November 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Trade Avila.????…now lets see ..which team is looking to trade for the worst throwing, worst fieldind, can’t run, poor hitting, strikeouts out 175 times, and can’t hit any left handed pitcher on the planet….ok lets start lining these teams up to make an offer!!!!!!#

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StorminNorman$ November 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm

maybe a team where Al Avila (Sr.) takes over as GM…;)

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Plenty of teams would be interested in Avila (especially SN$’s theoretical team). He’s better at throwing out runners than 2013 shows, at least average and probably better as receiver/defender, and his career average offense is quite acceptable for his position considering the aforementioned. We throw tomatoes at him for not living up to the potential of 2011, but other teams still see that potential. As do the Tigers, most likely.

With Ausmus as the new manager, I think the slim chance of Avila being traded has become about none.

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StorminNorman$ November 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm

http://www.freep.com/article/20131105/SPORTS02/311050130/detroit-tigers-seattle-mariners-lloyd-mcclendon

Well, there goes all that potent post-season offense with DET’s batting coach ;)

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Oh man! There goes the offense. Jackson, Hunter, Cabrera, Fielder, Martinez, and Infante are doomed without their leader.

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm

I’m hoping that all of Leyland’s coaches go away, all but Jones. Not really getting why the Tigers would need Belliard as a “Hispanic connection,” or why any team would need such a thing. Seems vaguely patronizing.

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Silly me. Lamont is obviously in. Forgot that I’d read about this “done deal” before.

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Vince in MN November 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm

At least Dirks won’t miss him, since he didn’t work with him anyway.

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm

I wanted to blame McClendon for that. Now that he’s gone, can I blame him anyway?

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Penciling it in:

C – Avila/Holaday (Martinez)
1B – Fielder (Martinez, Cabrera)
2B – Infante (Perez)
SS – Iglesias (Perez)
3B – Cabrera (Iglesias)
LF – Castellanos (Dirks) or maybe Castellanos/Dirks
CF – Jackson (trade?) or Dirks
RF – Hunter (Dirks)
DH – Martinez
BENCH POSSIBILITIES excluding C:
OF – 1 or 2 from: Dirks/Quintin Berry-Aaron Hicks*/Nate McLouth*
IF – 1 or 2 from: Perez/Worth*/Will Middlebrooks*/Nick Franklin*
Current favorite: Perez/Berry/McLouth

* Type.

SP – Verlander, Scherzer, Sanchez, Fister (trade?), Smyly, (Alvarez?), depth to improve
RP – Inevitable Free Agent Closer, Rondon, Ortega, Alvarez… 3 spots to fill and much depth to improve

Best trade pieces: Porcello, Fister, Smyly, Alburquerque, Jackson, Avila, Castellanos.

Painless trades: Porcello, Alburquerque, Avila, Castellanos.

Ask for the moon: Smyly, Fister, Jackson.

Let go: Benoit, Santiago, Kelly, Worth, Coke.

Name free agents to pursue: Aside from Infante and Inevitable Closer, none.

That’s the November 5 plan. One move from the Tigers will probably – no, *certainly* upset this applecart and force some adjustment.

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm

I should probably add that I’m not a big fan of the moves so far, aside from Ausmus as manager. Change is good, change is fine, but I foresaw some other changes to begin with. I might well have hung onto Pena, Tui, Veras, and Downs myself.

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Smoking Loon November 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm

http://roarofthetigers.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/the-catcher-returns/

Very nice, as always.

Without eyewitness testimony from someone I’ve actually met at least once, I remain skeptical that Samara really exists. I have no other theories to account for the writing and the cartoons, but still.

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judpma November 5, 2013 at 11:41 pm

kind of funny to me that one of the worst batting teams in all of baseball hires Lloyd to straighten them out…I hope for Lloyd, being a really nice guy that he is, that he does well as a manager..

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judpma November 5, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Benoit has done what the Tigers have asked him to do two straight years. And he has done it well….pay him his money and keep him!

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Smoking Loon November 6, 2013 at 12:05 am

Except for “don’t give up a grand slam to David Ortiz that will lose the game and turn the ALCS.”

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Smoking Loon November 6, 2013 at 12:18 am

*Three* straight years from Benoit. I should be sold. I watch him pitch, and quite often I’m just not. I’m probably wrong. He could go back to setup man duty and be part of some 1-2 knockout punch for the Tigers in 2014, probably. So why did he have to cut my heart out and step on it in Game 2 of the ALCS? Why? And then he has the nerve to say it’s not his first rodeo (which I understand completely, actually).

I’m going to willfully hold a grudge.

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Coleman November 6, 2013 at 12:48 am

Being back Valverde. Sign Rodney. Sign Balfour. You think the Bad Boy Pistons irritated people? Can you imagine how irritating it would be going down to those 3 guys, back to back to back? I say go for it!

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Coleman November 6, 2013 at 12:48 am

What am I thinking! Might as well go all the way. Throw in Brian Wilson!

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Smoking Loon November 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm

So *this* is the reason you’re jonesing for Phillips. Dave Clark has started a pop/rock avalanche.

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Smoking Loon November 6, 2013 at 12:04 am

Pretty good article. Interesting comments as well.

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/63684142/

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JimEggersUSMC November 6, 2013 at 2:22 am

yes, great article, especially loved the “Murph” story. Not positive but I don’t think he ever made it to the show.

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Vince in MN November 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm

The point comes in the last two paragraphs, and although he doesn’t come right out and say it, the Tigers have been behind the curve of New Baseball for quite some time. Leyland was already a dinosaur when they hired him eight years ago. The fact that DD stuck with JL’s ’70′s style (by the “book”, stats-averse, etc.) for so long says says something about his philosophy as well. Hopefully hiring Ausmus isn’t just a fashionable change and the front office is actually moving into the modern era.

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Coleman November 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm

According to Tigers’ Facebook page, Jeff Jones is back. Brookens is gone: new 3B coach is Dave Clark (and he’s Glad All Over).

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Vince in MN November 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm

As are the other four members of his group.

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StorminNorman$ November 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9936400/jeff-jones-returning-detroit-tigers-pitching-coach

http://www.freep.com/article/20131106/SPORTS02/311060127/detroit-tigers-jeff-jones-dave-clark
as Coleman pointed out above, its official, DET has a new 3rd base coach – I would assume that means Brookens is gone (since Clark is 3rd base coach and OF coach), but its not certain whether Brookens will assume another role… or be shown the door

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Coleman November 6, 2013 at 9:44 pm

My money is on Brookens following Lloyd to Seattle.

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William November 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm

that song knocked “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (I think…may have been “She Loves You”) out of the number 1 spot.

useless music trivia for the day.

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Coleman November 6, 2013 at 10:25 pm

We are WAY ahead of the curve on the Tiger blog Dave Clark 5 references here, if I must say so myself.

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JimEggersUSMC November 6, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Loved the Dave Clark Five, very underrated Brit rock group…..

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Smoking Loon November 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Ahead of the curve: This is likely the only Tigers blog with people who actually remember the Dave Clark Five. We’re not just older than the players now, but older than the sportswriters as well.

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Vince in MN November 8, 2013 at 11:59 pm

The median age of US population is 37. Ahem.

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Coleman November 9, 2013 at 2:46 am

I read a statistic recently where only something like 20% of the US population has ever used a typewriter. Let’s get a shout out to white out!

Smoking Loon November 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm

I loved typewriters. I was forced to admit that word processing software was cooler, though.

White Out. Connection with a contemporary of Dave Clark there for those of us with a penchant for factoids and trivia.

Coleman November 9, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Well, stop monkeying around and tell us the answer.

Smoking Loon November 10, 2013 at 12:28 am

Hey, I’m not your stepping stone.

judpma November 7, 2013 at 1:58 am

having a QUALIFIED latin or hispanic coach on staff on a team where almost half of your players are latin or hispanic isn’t patronizing at all…This isn’t 1950 Brooklyn anymore.

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JimEggersUSMC November 7, 2013 at 2:15 am

well said, and it is a necessity in a game where half the players are of that ethnicity

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Smoking Loon November 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm

I’m not singling anyone here out, because it’s a widespread thought, and my critique is of the idea.

Communication in baseball does not require higher-level language skills. There are Japanese and Korean players with interpreters. You don’t need to make these interpreters coaches (and teams do not). Point being that for special roles requiring a certain ombudsman for matters of language and culture, teams can hire such ombudsmen without putting them on the field.

Hispanic is a pretty broad brush. Venezuela is not Cuba is not Mexico is not Puerto Rico. I wouldn’t have some expectation that a team with guys from 5 different English-speaking countries would see me as “one of them” because I speak English.

I’ve spent my entire working life working for and with people who are, predominantly, considerably different from myself. I would find it patronizing to have it suggested that I needed someone “like me” (or who simply looked something like me) as a go-between or sounding board or motivator in order to function better as a member of a team.

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Coleman November 7, 2013 at 11:25 am

Supposedly Brandon Philips is as good as gone in Cincinnati. The Yankees have already inquired about him. Iglesias-Phillips would make for a pretty darn flashy infield, wouldn’t it?

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Smoking Loon November 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Phillips a good plan B, for sure. I think Infante is the better choice and better deal, though. Unless he’s looking for 4 years at Phillips’s salary.

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Vince in MN November 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Phillips is a trouble-maker. DD doesn’t like trouble-makers.

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Smoking Loon November 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm

You’ve got something there. I think Tigers interest in Chris Perez could be dampened for the same reason.

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Coleman November 9, 2013 at 2:41 am

His dog has been in discussions with the team.

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Smoking Loon November 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Haven’t heard the one about his dog. Something to do with the famous delivery?

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Coleman November 9, 2013 at 11:48 pm

The package was addressed to his dog.

Smoking Loon November 10, 2013 at 12:06 am

Ah, that’s right. That proves to me that the dog was responsible. If the dog was an adult (in dog years), I don’t see how Perez can be held accountable. Is everyone now completely at the mercy of their drug-using pets? It’s a travesty.

Coleman November 7, 2013 at 11:26 am
Vince in MN November 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Ugly Rumours.

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Smoking Loon November 10, 2013 at 12:33 am

Balfour is fiery. The plan is station him close to Prince Fielder’s contract and hope for the best.

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Smoking Loon November 10, 2013 at 12:38 am

TO station him. Seems to me I used to be able to edit. Maybe that was just my game post threads, though.

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Coleman November 7, 2013 at 11:27 am

“Your comment is awaiting moderation?!” When did that start? Hmm.

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JimEggersUSMC November 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Balfour f—ing syndrome

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Kevin in Dallas November 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I got a notice on it, but it looks like it went through.

Lucky for you, I wasn’t planning on approving.

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Coleman November 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Thwarted again!

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judpma November 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm

another vote for Phillips…some players play hard..Phillips goes beyound hard..he plays to win…maybe Prince could learn something from a guy like Phillips who obviously cares!!!

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judpma November 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm

but I do agree with Loon on this one Phillips is a plan b B to Infante resigning!

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Coleman November 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Reds sign Brayan Pena to a 2 year deal. He will make $1.25 in 2014.

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StorminNorman$ November 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/11/reds-to-sign-brayan-pena.html

still can’t figure out why DET showed him the door…in light of how difficult it is to find an affordable catcher that can actually hit over his body weight

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Vince in MN November 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Considering how much he played at the end of the season and playoffs (0), you have to wonder if he wasn’t in the doghouse for some reason. On the other hand, perhaps they are just going to gamble on Avila returning to ’12 form, to be able to start 120 games (not a good idea in my view, but…) and decided to go with a real cheap alternative as backup (more money to spend on relievers?). It still seems strange to me too, since even in ’12 we had the vet Laird as a backup. I can’t believe they really think that much of Holaday, but maybe.

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Smoking Loon November 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm

The only plausible reason I can think of for letting Pena go is that they *do* think of enough of Holaday to give him a chance. I think it’s reasonable. There nothing especially “wow” about Perez, either, but there’s potential. You don’t let ‘em play, you’ll never know.

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Vince in MN November 9, 2013 at 12:15 am

Well, if you are rebuilding (say like the Twins), you can let them all play, rotating from AA and AAA all season long if need be (probably). If you are desperate to get to the WS now, now, now on the other hand, there may a limit to how many rookies you are going to carry full-time on the roster, and I would say that limit is quite small – maybe 1 pitcher and 1 regular position player, perhaps 1 bench guy. Casty, Perry, Iggy, and Holly total 4 babies right there and they are all position players. Heck, let’s just throw in Alvarez (because he is LH) as the rookie pitcher and we can have 20% of our roster still wet behind the ears. When DD talks about liking “experience” I don’t think this is what he has in mind.

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Smoking Loon November 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Teams too desperate to get to the WS get there once in three years and fail when they do, methinks. I’m fine with all 5 babies being on the team. Holaday and Perez can be on the bench and Castellanos in a platoon with Dirks to begin with, no problem there (nor with any of them starting). I prefer the infusion of youth to more “win now” veterans. DD’s midseason “win now” acquisitions have been smart. Let’s give youth a chance and see how it looks at the summer trade deadline. The Tigers are loaded with veteran talent at 5 positions (6 if you count Infante) as it is. Few teams can match up with that. (And yet even teams that can’t get to the WS… and win the WS.)

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judpma November 8, 2013 at 7:58 pm

please do not take offense but there is a huge difference between a white guy who communicates in spanish and a hispanic coach on staff!!

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Smoking Loon November 8, 2013 at 8:24 pm

No offense taken. Disagreement is half the reason we’re here.

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Judpma November 8, 2013 at 8:37 pm

I still don’t get the Pena deal….Tigers could have signed him for the same thing he just agreed too,,,,,, which is baseball chump change… Back ups with even a little quality don’t grow on trees!!!

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Smoking Loon November 8, 2013 at 10:55 pm

But they do. The minor leagues are the trees. It’s where players come from. The stork doesn’t bring them. Not originally, anyway.

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Coleman November 9, 2013 at 2:43 am

The Stork played football.

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JimEggersUSMC November 9, 2013 at 3:59 am

OK C-man, what the hack was his name? I can see him, but no name is coming HELP!!

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StorminNorman$ November 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

Raider LB, Ted Hendricks… from back in the day when OAK’s football team was a force

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Coleman November 9, 2013 at 11:35 am

Beat me to it.

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Coleman November 9, 2013 at 11:35 am

“when OAK’s football team was a force.” Talk about dating ourselves!

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Smoking Loon November 10, 2013 at 12:20 am

Well, that’s one way to describe being single.

Smoking Loon November 10, 2013 at 12:27 am

DD is Detroit’s stork for delivering veterans, and good ones. He’s like a stork for couples who want kids but don’t want the hassle of raising them.

I don’t suppose it matters where the players come from if they’re good and the team is winning. But the Tigers’ farm system is not one of the more well-regarded ones. Looks like they’re plum out of prospects to trade or close to it.

StorminNorman$ November 9, 2013 at 11:35 am

http://www.mlive.com/tigers/index.ssf/2013/11/detroit_tigers_free_agent_team.html

I concur, trying to re-sign Santiago doesn’t make a lot of sense… w/better/cheaper options available

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Smoking Loon November 9, 2013 at 11:42 pm

The best thing the author could come up with as a reason to re-sign Santiago was that he doesn’t complain about being a backup. Ouch. If that’s a reason to sign someone, I think I have a chance. I’m cool with just hanging out in the dugout for league minimum. No problem.

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Smoking Loon November 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm

If someone posted this at the time (August 31?), I was asleep at the wheel. So cool. I’d like to see the Tigers do this once in a while:

http://www.milb.com/multimedia/vpp.jsp?content_id=30363627&topic_id=&sid=milb&tcid=vpp_copy_30363627&v=3

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judpma November 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Prince could use a kick in his Belfour!!!

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StorminNorman$ November 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm

http://www.freep.com/article/20131111/SPORTS02/311110099/detroit-tigers-max-scherzer-trade-rick-porcello

I can only assume that if this is indeed true, they would be shopping to see what they could get for either one, but not ‘both’

I predict there will be a few big name established MLB players traded this off-season

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Smoking Loon November 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Does anyone here think trading Max Scherzer would be a good deal? Are the Tigers rebuilding? Makes zero sense to me. Trade him now so you get “something” for him? How about getting “2014″ from Scherzer? Might that not be “something”?

Crazy talk!

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StorminNorman$ November 11, 2013 at 11:49 pm

DD is not going to consider trading Scherzer unless a phenomenal deal presents itself AND DET doesn’t think they’ll be able to sign or afford him (because of the dollars committed to JV, Fielder & Cabrera) when he becomes a FA after the ’14 season. This offseason would be the optimum time to trade him IF (see above)…because a trade at the July (trade deadline) wouldn’t make sense for DET if they’re contending (which they likely will) – or for a prospective team if he’s having health or ERA problems in ’14

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Smoking Loon November 12, 2013 at 12:26 am

I favor having Scherzer in 2014 and letting the chips fall where they may regarding signing him thereafter. If Rick Porcello (or Drew Smyly) were Chris Sale or Doug Fister were James Shields, the Tigers could afford, talent-wise, to trade Scherzer. As it is, the absence of Scherzer in the rotation would be very difficult to offset. Moving heaven and earth to shore up the bullpen while simultaneously weakening your rotation doesn’t make sense to me. Cross-purposes.

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Smoking Loon November 11, 2013 at 11:03 pm

$26 million for 2 years of Joe Nathan, huh? Torii Hunter money for 64 innings of work. I think $26 million on the bullpen might be better spent spreading it around a bit more. Nathan is the best available, yes. Still can’t say aye to this one, done deal or foregone conclusion though it may be.

To the extent that I’m interested in closers, which is not very, I favor Mujica, Perez, or Wilson, and disfavor Rodney or Balfour.

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StorminNorman$ November 11, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Nathan is 39 and will be just a couple years past a significant arm issue. Some team is going to give him his asking price (or close to it)…hope its not DET

I’m hoping the new Mgr takes a more innovative approach to the bullpen and closers.

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Smoking Loon November 12, 2013 at 12:33 am

I think DD has a course of action set, and I sense closer desperation there. I don’t think Ausmus can do anything but take what he is given. Whatever innovative bullpen ideas Ausmus may have are going to have to work around the 2014 magic bullet, the established star closer.

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Smoking Loon November 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm

http://www.freep.com/article/20131112/SPORTS02/311120140/1050/rss15

I guess it’s that time in the Hot Stove League where a (any, every) rumor of interest merits an article.

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Smoking Loon November 11, 2013 at 11:24 pm

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/63831894/

Infield bench of Perez and Polanco? I can’t advocate signing 38 year old guys, generally speaking. A sentimental thing in this case. Hey, it would be an upgrade over Santiago.

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Smoking Loon November 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Joe Mauer has moved to 1B. Help me trade Alex Avila to the Twins.

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Vince in MN November 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm

With Lloyd in Seattle now, that would be the best bet. MN will have 0 interest.

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Smoking Loon November 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm

OK. After Hicks, I was kind of scrounging for an acceptable return package for Porcello and Avila. Twins do have some bullpen.

On to Seattle and a possibly pointless exercise in trade theory.

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Vince in MN November 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm

I don’t think the Twins and Tigers match up very well as trade partners. In fact, I’m not sure how much trading the Twins will actually do this off-season. Since they are in rebuild mode they will most likely stick with the various position players they already have on hand and see what shakes out as they await the arrival of Sano (3B) and the hot-shot outfielder in A whose name escapes me at the moment. There is some talk of going after catching in FA, but I don’t buy it as they already have three guys (besides Mauer) on the roster that can catch. They really need to pick up at least two decent starters this winter, so it seems like Porcello would be a fit, but I just don’t see any immediate impact player (a definite priority in any DD trade this winter) we could get back from them that fits our needs. I think they do a lot of FA shopping and some small deals, maybe concentrating on a vet to platoon with Florimon at SS. The bullpen was their strength, so conceivably they could deal some of that, but on the other hand they may be better off waiting til mid-season when they could get more. Same with Willingham and Plouffe. But what do I know?

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Vince in MN November 12, 2013 at 9:50 pm

And with Seattle we have a long history of great trades, plus a man on the inside now, and the fact that catching was a black hole for them in ’13. This all makes Avila a perfect fit for the Mariners. But don’t hold your breath.

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Smoking Loon November 12, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Avila and Porcello to the Mariners in exchange for Charlie Furbush, Danny Farquhar, and Nick Franklin.

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Smoking Loon November 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I agree that the Twins don’t match up so well as trade partners. I was trying to flesh out my deal with guys I had to kind of shoehorn into it… Dozier… Doumit (giving up a C, might as well get the veteran backup in return). Threw in Jackson and ended up having to ask the Twins for their entire bullpen. Didn’t quite work out.

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Vince in MN November 13, 2013 at 10:43 am

Ambitious.

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Smoking Loon November 12, 2013 at 12:11 am
KW November 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm
Vince in MN November 12, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Interesting article. So, I guess we wait and see.

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Smoking Loon November 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Very interesting article. Thanks, KW. Much more in-depth look at the pros and cons of the question. It doesn’t change my mind about trading Scherzer, but it makes it appear less insane. Trading Scherzer, that is. Nothing can be done to make my mind appear less insane.

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judpma November 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I am for keeping Scherzer and also seeing where the chips fall. One year from today is huge in the world of sports. I trust DD and not the media. He will do the right thing!

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StorminNorman$ November 13, 2013 at 8:55 pm

http://www.freep.com/article/20131113/SPORTS02/311130153/Tigers-Scherzer-wins-2013-AL-Cy-Young-Award
Scherzer deservedly did win the Cy Young, which incidentally will look pretty good on his FA resume at the end of ’14

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StorminNorman$ November 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9972809/scott-boras-says-max-scherzer-open-extension-detroit-tigers
Agent Boras SAYS Scherzer is open to an extension with the Tigers, but deep down both sides know that if Scherzer’s ’14 season is the same or near his ’13 season, he’ll be able to get a Sabathia-type contract or better

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StorminNorman$ November 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Sabathia rec’d 8 yr/$182M

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Smoking Loon November 13, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Sounds like the Tigers had better get ready to either pony up for Scherzer or stock up on candidates to replenish the starting rotation.

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Smoking Loon November 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm

The Tigers may listen politely to non-existent offers on Prince Fielder, but I can’t take this losing proposition very seriously. Trading can’t be very attractive to other teams, but if Fielder was a free agent, there would be no more sought-after first baseman than he.

A Tale of Two Fellas: A guy who is unproductive for 1.5 of his first 3 years inspires keeping the faith. Another guy, 5 years younger than Guy #1, who is quite productive both of his first two years is seen as a career-in-decline, contractual albatross.

2012
Martinez NOTHING
Fielder .940, 108 RBI, 4.9 WPA, 50.4 RE24, 1.031 RISP

2013
Martinez .785, 83 RBI, 0.4 WPA, 4.7 RE24, .714 RISP
Fielder .819, 106 RBI, 2.0 WPA, 24.1 RE24, .824 RISP

Say what you will about Fielder, but he plays a position, every day, maybe a bit better than many give him credit for. Victor Martinez doesn’t, and he makes Fielder look fast on the bases, with a higher GIDP% to go along with it.

I’m not exactly itching to trade Martinez, but if you wanted to lop off some payroll and get about a “free year” of Scherzer or Hunter or Nathan, there you go. Answer to your next question: Cabrera. And the next: Peralta.

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