Doug Fister to the Nationals

For P Ian Krol, Inf Steve Lombardozzi, minor league P Robbie Ray.

I hate to see him go, but we can’t afford to keep our top 4 pitchers. Or so they say.

Discuss.

139 Comments

  1. judpma

    December 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    LHP Robbie Ray…LHP Ian Krol…and infielder Steve Lombardossi

  2. judpma

    December 2, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    u guys are great for posting stats on these guys..but off the top Lombardossi is better than any bench player we have had in awhile and I hope Ray and Krol are bullpen LHP so we can show Coke the door!!!

  3. StorminNorman$

    December 2, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I guess this may mean that either Kinsler or Lombardozzi might get moved to 3B and Cabrera to 1B… and Castellanos???? DET gets some bullpen help w/ left-hander Ian Krol and then a possible future pitcher in minor league lefty Robbie Ray.

    DD must have a lot of faith in Smyly and Porcello rounding out the rotation…

    • Coleman

      December 2, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      Cabrera has said that he has told the team he wants to move to first. So I expect to see him there.

      • Vince in MN

        December 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm

        Lombardozzi is strictly bench material in my view, with a lifetime line of .264/.297/.342.639 (only 755 PA). He’s just 25, so might have some upside, but still those are anemic numbers for a regular 2B.

        Cabrera must be moved to 1B in any case; He’s an upgrade defensively at 1B over Fielder, but he’s not a good 3B. We need better D there too.

  4. Vince in MN

    December 2, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    1. Lombardozzi takes over the Don Kelly role apparently (OF-2B-3B.
    2. Krol is the LOOGY who replaces Smyly, who goes to the rotation. I don’t think you don’t want this guy pitching to RH from the looks of his line against them last year. In that sense he is downgrade from Smyly (but better than Coke vs LH), so we still need to do some more work on the bullpen.
    3. Ray is probably future trade-bait. DD needs to restock pitching in the minors for potential trades. Maybe Ray turns into the wild card that pays off here, otherwise it doesn’t look like we got that much.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      It’s one thing to talk about Fister being tradable, another thing when it actually happens (especially when I had no pretend deal like this up my sleeve). Hmmm. Wow. More pieces of the puzzle fall into place. I think.

      Doug’s a good pitcher, fun to watch, great at getting out of the jams he pitches himself into. He just gives up so many *hits*…

      • Smoking Loon

        December 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm

        Since Kelly was offered a contract, I don’t think Lombardozzi is taking over the Kelly role. More like taking over the Santiago role, except that Lombardozzi is really just a 2B-LF. Why they need more 2B with Kinsler and Perez already in place, I don’t know. Maybe they’re hedging their bets on Perez. Maybe they intend to deal Lombardozzi later. Or sooner. Maybe they intend to deal Perez.

        Krol and Ray make sense. Reportedly the Tigers also wanted Taylor Jordan from the Nationals, which would have made it an excellent deal. I guess the Tigers took what they could get in Lombardozzi, and if you check out his minor league stats, you might agree that the Tigers may have decided that Perez’s light bat isn’t going to get any heavier and done something about it. Still… next to no experience at SS, even? Not making sense.

        • Vince in MN

          December 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm

          Not much invested in Kelly, especially if it is non-guaranteed. But you are right, who backs up SS? Maybe they work with Lombardozzi or Perez on that in ST. Right now our bench looks weak, so far certainly not much of an upgrade over last year.

          • Smoking Loon

            December 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm

            Yes, bench weak. Weaker. Perez has already been playing at SS since the season ended (Venezuela, I think). He’s Santiago Guy. So a trade Perez, keep Lombardozzi plan makes little sense, but a keep ‘em both makes even less sense. Is Lombardozzi AAA depth?

            I wish the Tigers would have just gotten Jordan or *some” third pitcher so all that would be moot.

            • Vince in MN

              December 2, 2013 at 11:35 pm

              I think this whole trade is about bench issues. If you think of the bullpen as a kind of bench, and the minors as an extended bench, then it makes some sense. The Tigers use Toledo and Erie very effectively this way. The problem is the number of quality players in the Tigers’ MiL system has been depleted through trade the last few years; we just don’t have a large enough 4A pool to call on. DD may be thinking that the remaining problem areas on the ML roster can be solved via FA. Or maybe there IS another blockbuster ion the works!

              • Smoking Loon

                December 3, 2013 at 3:40 am

                It’s probably not that far-fetched to think that Lombardozzi can become more capable of covering 3B, SS, and at least one more OF position, and thus be Santiago/Kelly rolled into one, slightly more upside with the bat. Bench of Holaday, Dirks, Perez, Lombardozzi doesn’t exactly inspire, but hey, it’s got youth and vigor. Still leaving my forlorn light on for Tui and Berry.

  5. Coleman

    December 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I’ll miss Mr. Fister. Not just his pitching, but the way he fields his position. On the bright side, this may mean that they are working on extending Max.

  6. bada bing

    December 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    This seems like an incredibly stupid trade. I hope that it just ‘seems’ this way.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 3, 2013 at 3:53 am

      This good point from Jason Beck:

      “What made trading Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson work for the Tigers wasn’t just the talent they got in return, from Max Scherzer to Austin Jackson to Phil Coke. It was the payroll it freed up for Detroit to sign Jose Valverde a month later, and extend Justin Verlander’s contract a couple weeks after that. Taken in context, a trade that at first signaled the closing of the Tigers’ contending ways ended up extending their window for several more years.”

      However, recall where the Tigers finished in 2010. Wasn’t following, so someone tell me how that season went.

  7. Smoking Loon

    December 2, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Does this mean Porcello is off the trading block for sure, or could there be another surprise in store? The starter surplus is no more, seems to me that Porcello is safe.

    • Vince in MN

      December 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      If Porcello goes too, you know they are working on salary relief, which would indicate more of a rebuild approach than I imagined. With a new regime (re:culture) in place, maybe there are even more surprises in store. Exciting off-season so far, and there is still more to come.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 2, 2013 at 11:11 pm

        Maybe, but come on. Porcello is *some* kind of very minor salary relief. Unless they can manage to land someone like Sonny Gray or Danny Salazar, who fills the hole left by Porcello but a veteran who costs more? Who are they gonna sign? Bartolo Colon? Unless they have a great deal of confidence in Jose Alvarez. Kyle Lobstein?

        The thing I like least about the Fister trade is how it wastes all my great trades of Porcello.

  8. judpma

    December 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    if Porcello keeps improving like he has why can’t he contribute Fister kind of numbers ….Porcello is young and has a great upside..In the second half he was as good as anyone not named Scherzer!

  9. judpma

    December 2, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Kelly can play 3B..2B..1B..LF..CF…RF…C..and he can bunt and do a little running..there isn’t anyone around who can replace what he does for the $$$$. I am not saying there aren’t better players. I am saying you can’t find one guy for his $$$ that can do what he does….

    • Coleman

      December 2, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks for reminding me that we are incredibly weak at catcher.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 3, 2013 at 3:43 am

        It’s not that bad. Really. Look around. I’d sat at least half of all MLB teams would be at least equally glad to have Avila/Holaday as compared to what they do have.

        • Coleman

          December 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

          The Red Sox just signed AJ Pierzynski, 1 year 8.25 million.

  10. judpma

    December 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    because DD basically weakened the bullpen further with Smyly going to the rotation….I don’t think he is done and will address the bullpen with the next couple moves..hopefully signing Benoit is one of those moves…

    • Smoking Loon

      December 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      I wonder how the Nathan deal affects the market for Benoit. I think that maybe he’s become a bit too expensive for Detroit setup guy. Maybe he already was.

  11. Coleman

    December 3, 2013 at 1:15 am

    I am worried that Dave Dombrowski has misunderstood the whole “small ball” thing. I mean, he has rather rashly traded their heaviest and their tallest player. Just saying.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 3, 2013 at 4:01 am

      It was just a question of balance. As the day was dawning and Illitch and Dombrowski (The Tortoise and The Hare) were meeting, Mike asked Dave, a melancholy man, “How is it we are here? Don’t you feel small?” Dave replied, “It’s up to you,” as the tide rushed in and Don Kelly sang a minstrel’s song.

      With Fielder’s weight gone, the center of gravity and stability of the vehicle had to be considered. It is the Motor City, after all.

  12. Coleman

    December 3, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Washington fans are calling the trade revenge for the Denny McLain for Aurelio Rodriguez/Eddie Brinkman/Joe Coleman deal.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 3, 2013 at 3:33 am

      A dish best served cold, apparently.

  13. judpma

    December 3, 2013 at 1:36 am

    not too many of the baseball media are liking this trade at all!!!…me, I just trust DD!

    • Smoking Loon

      December 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      All the critique seems to be overrating Fister. Suddenly he’s a hot property, an undervalued asset. Wasn’t hearing much of that before.

      • StorminNorman$

        December 4, 2013 at 9:10 am

        I agree Fister was ‘lights out’ the first half year when they acquired him (’11), but since then he’s been fairly solid but erratic at times. He’s a great guy to have in a rotation/on a roster, smooth motion (hence likely not any arm/shoulder issues due his delivery) and fields his position well – but in 1-2 years if the young lefty Robbie Ray is a legit top 3 starter, he’ll be affordable whereas Fister might be too expensive for his abilities/production. I would have hoped DET might have gotten a bit more in return, but as is the case with all trades, ‘time will tell’.

  14. JimEggersUSMC

    December 3, 2013 at 2:28 am

    The wise guys (Rose and Millar) on MLB say the Tigers are getting on the “Choo” money train this month.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 3, 2013 at 3:46 am

      Maybe Choo and Ellsbury both. The plan is to sack all the minor leaguers and fill the rosters with volunteers.

      Does anyone here think there’s half a chance the Tigers sign Granderson?

      • JimEggersUSMC

        December 3, 2013 at 3:52 am

        Put me down for a quarter of a chance.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 3, 2013 at 4:10 am

          Heh. Safe call.

          Take a look at the similarity scores on bbref for Granderson. There are some good (Jayson Werth) and some bad (Jason Bay) “omens” about signing Granderson for 2-3 years. He sure strikes out a lot and can’t hit lefties, but… well, the upside is also clear. I think a lot of people would be happy to see Granderson back. Billfer might even come out of his Howard Hughes-like, Detroit area penthouse seclusion.

  15. Kevin in Dallas

    December 3, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Is Kinsler getting Trammell’s #?

    I read that the Angels offered the Tigers Kendrick for Fister before the Kinsler trade. I think that says a lot about wanting to move Fielder and slide Cabrera back to 1st.

    • Steve

      December 3, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Kevin, I think Kendrick plays second base as well. Steve

      • Kevin in Dallas

        December 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        He does. Looks like the Tigers passed on that deal to get to Kinsler.

    • Coleman

      December 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      Iglesias is 1, Kinsler will be 3–so we will have the Trammell/Whitaker number combo in the infield (reversed).

  16. scott

    December 3, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I said it before, I’ll say it again: YOU DON’T TRADE WHAT BROUGHT YOU SUCCESS. so I think this ‘tinkering’ sucks big time. if you trade any of the starters, you trade the most unsuccessful one: Porcello. he’s useless as a starter in my opinion. I suppose he can used in long relief, the ‘beat-on-this-guy’ type pitcher. I’m assuming Castellanos will be at 3B, so Lombardozzi will take Santiago’s spot [Santiago clearly was not gonna play much anymore.] if Dirks can hit .300 again like he did a couple years back, then LF is secure too. why trade for Kinsler if we’re not gonna use him, so he’ll be the 2B this year. all-in-all, this means we’ll have to suffer thru Porcello being 4th starter, wondering if he’ll go even 5 innings every start. sh*t, I sense storm clouds gathering……… :-(

  17. judpma

    December 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    several reports of a Joe Nathan deal in place…you read it here!

    • KW

      December 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      I like it. Just hope his 39-year-old body holds up.

      • JimEggersUSMC

        December 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

        And I am hoping MY 61 year old body holds up…

        • KW

          December 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm

          Luckily for you, you’re not the one expected to pitch 60+ innings next year. My money’s on you.

          • JimEggersUSMC

            December 4, 2013 at 2:29 am

            I could go a max of 10 innings if they were well spaced out… hit 73mph on the gun last year and have a wicked little cs ball. (defined by my former coach as a chickensh– breaking ball, a cutter/ slider thing. No Spokane Valley Firefighter could hit it, cept for 1, and he hit it far, far away.

            • Smoking Loon

              December 4, 2013 at 2:29 pm

              Are you a southpaw, Jim? If I trade Coke, I need some coverage. If you’re a righty, I’ll keep you in mind as a low-cost alternative to Benoit, provided you don’t take a minute between every pitch. At 10 IP for the season, I’ll be careful to only use you in high-leverage situations. At that rate, however, I may not be able to use you for complete at bats. A new bullpen specialist concept may have just been born here. Can you come in to throw a strike in a 2-0 count?

              • JimEggersUSMC

                December 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm

                Lefty, even had a note from my Mom to the Nuns to stop trying to “change” me, and I need Verlander $$$ and at least 1 date with Kate Upton, just as an incentive deal.

              • Coleman

                December 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm

                Which brings us back to “and I am hoping my 61-year old body holds up.”

  18. Coleman

    December 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I think Nathan is the guy they wanted all along, the Brian Wilson stuff was just a negotiating tactic. At least with Nathan on the team, we know we don’t have to face him.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      December 3, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Let’s hope so. I couldn’t handle closing time with Wilson and his season long antics.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm

        Nathan after all, eh. OK. He’s gonna think he’s in New York. Expectations are off the charts here. The magic closer must deliver the elusive World Series title.

  19. Coleman

    December 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    The rumor is 2 years, 26 million.

    • William

      December 3, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      it’s done apparently.

  20. judpma

    December 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    if Nathan only had to pitch against the Tigers he would be in the Hall of Fame already!

  21. TIGERS RULE

    December 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Fister for a bag of peanuts …… was DD doping it up with our Toronto mayor?

    • Smoking Loon

      December 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      I think it’ll turn out well.

      • TIGERS RULE

        December 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        Smyly is not starter material ….. otherwise he would have been there already ….. and he certainly couldn’t hold Doug’s jock. We have lost offence with departures and now we are losing starting pitching wins with the departure of Fister. We will not be able to overcome both with the other changes made so far.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

          Well, no. Smyly proved that he was a starter already in 2012, and underscored that by pitching to a draw with Porcello in ST 2013. Putting him in the pen rather than Toledo was a rather bold and smart move. Matching Fister will not be a tall order for Smyly, no disrespect for Doug. Smyly to the rotation in 2014 was a done deal; it did not rely upon trading Fister in particular.

          A lot would have to go wrong for the Fister trade to end up looking as dumb as many seem to think it is now.

          • Vince in MN

            December 4, 2013 at 12:14 am

            Pretty good take on the deal:
            http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....trade.html

            • Smoking Loon

              December 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm

              Yeah, I read that. I think they’re underrating Dombrowski and his advisers.

  22. Smoking Loon

    December 3, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    If Shin-Soo Choo is now “top target,” do the Tigers put him in RF and move Hunter to LF? Choo to CF and Jackson to LF? And how far do the Tigers go with Choo? Would 4/$60M get it done?

    • StorminNorman$

      December 4, 2013 at 8:55 am

      apparently 4/$60M wouldn’t get a nibble, but 6/$120M is what a team will have to chew…for Choo

      • Smoking Loon

        December 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm

        That’s a tall order. That .854 career OPS sure looks nice. Maybe they could take the plunge and get out from under in a few years a la Fielder, when $20M a year won’t look quite as imposing as it does today.

  23. Smoking Loon

    December 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Considering some recent moves by the A’s, a trade for one of their bullpen guys looks like a good target.

  24. StorminNorman$

    December 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/w.....he-yankees

    Yankees might be getting ready to sign Ellsbury – 7 yr $142M range

    • William

      December 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Done, per ESPN scorecenter ticker

      Wonder where Choo is headed?

      • Coleman

        December 3, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        Choo is likely headed to Detroit, or so the buzz goes.
        http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....arget.html

        • William

          December 4, 2013 at 8:57 am

          does Boras give bulk discounts? we could sign Choo and Scherzer at the same time and save money.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 3, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        I guess the question is whether the Tigers want to lock up an OF position for 5-7 years or go shorter term and older. I haven’t heard any OF trade rumors, haven’t been able to conjure up any such candidates.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 5, 2013 at 7:39 pm

          Jason Beck:

          “There’s a huge difference in an assistance in left field and a left fielder. If the Tigers are looking for somebody to assist Dirks, the assistance is going to be a right-handed hitter. If the Tigers look for a full-time left fielder, the preference would almost surely be a left-handed hitter to balance out of the lineup.”

          If the Tigers merely needed LF assistance, they could simply have hung onto Tuiasosopo. I don’t know what sense there would be in trading for mere LF assistance, and the Tigers have already traded their best piece without landing a replacement for Dirks. If they are not going to sign one of the big free agents, I suppose they might as well do nothing for the OF. Dirks/Jackson/Hunter/Kelly, OK. Invest in pitching.

  25. JimEggersUSMC

    December 4, 2013 at 2:32 am

    In a brilliant move, the M’s have signed Willy Bloomquist, so their 25th man spot is sewn up

    • Smoking Loon

      December 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      I think Bloomquist and Nick Punto both could have made interesting acquisitions for the Tigers.

  26. StorminNorman$

    December 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Keith Law, who I seldom agree with, is quite critical of DD’s last two moves… I hope Law is consistent with his past assessments and is proven wrong.
    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....312030123/

    • Vince in MN

      December 4, 2013 at 11:58 am

      One can easily argue that the closer role is over-valued. The Fister/Nathan comparison is a case in point. We get 120 innings of Nathan for 26M/2 yrs. Fister, albeit with a raise coming could be had for say three years at 30M (let’s see what WA does on an extension, maybe Fister gets more) and 600 innings. I still don’t see why those 9th inning outs are worth so much more than those in the 1-7 innings. Further, if you are going to pay a guy who plays one inning in less than half your games 13M a year, how much should someone like a Choo, a nine-inning 150 game per year impact player going to be worth?

      • Smoking Loon

        December 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm

        Closer madness. What can be done? Seems like every single person in baseball buys into it. The Tigers could have paid for a raft of pitching talent with Nathan contract money, but the fans and the sportswriters would have excoriated DD for not getting the proven closer. The simple equation is that Nathan would have slammed the door in Game 2 of the ALCS. Proven closer = Tigers in WS. That the bullpen was shaky overall throughout the season is reduced to Lack Of Scary Closer being responsible for all. Of course, none of us really mind having Scary Closer on board, either. So we’re sort of co-opted into the magic closer idea, after all.

        Bring back The Fireman, the closers who can go 2-3 innings. Those guys would be worth the money one-inning closers are now getting.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm

          Keith Law:

          “Detroit may have given Fister away to clear payroll space to sign Nathan, going from about 200 innings to 60 without adding anywhere near enough talent to balance that out,” Law says, adding that it’s just speculation on his part.

          The payroll equation may be valid, but Fister was surplus starting pitching, so the IP comparison is not. Again I see Fister being made out to be a Verlander/Scherzer/Sanchez pitching talent in the aftermath of the trade, whereas before he was more accurately viewed as solid but tradable. A more interesting critique of the deal would offer a specific example of what the Tigers *should* have gotten for Fister. An OF, for instance, to avoid the Choo sweepstakes?

          • Kevin in Dallas

            December 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm

            Was just about tho post this. A little more from the Law article.

            “I’ve spoken to numerous team executives who were shocked at the return for Fister and wish they had been given the opportunity to offer more or to try to assemble a multi-team deal that would give the Tigers the specific pieces they wanted. One contending team’s GM, known to be looking for another starter, told me he hadn’t talked to the Tigers about Fister in weeks. Another exec with a contender indicated something similar.

            The demand for starting pitching is so strong and the supply is so weak that giving one as good as Fister away just to clear space for a 60-inning, 39-year-old reliever leaves the Tigers clearly worse off in the end.”

            *************
            “Clearly” is a strong word.

        • Vince in MN

          December 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm

          If you had 2 or 3 guys like that, you could easily get by with an 11-man staff and add 1 to the bench. I wonder if Mike Marshall can still pitch.

          • Smoking Loon

            December 5, 2013 at 2:18 am

            mlbtraderumors:

            “Whenever there’s a trade that fans perceive as being one-sided, fans will often wonder why their team didn’t get involved in negotiations. The beginning of a recent SportsNet.ca interview with Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos shows why that might not be as easy as it sounds. Anthopoulos says Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told him that the Jays simply didn’t have the players he wanted in a trade for Doug Fister. Detroit eventually sent Fister to the Nationals for Ian Krol, Steve Lombardozzi and Robbie Ray. That Dombrowski apparently didn’t think the Blue Jays could beat that package might seem surprising, but it appears the Tigers simply had a very clear idea what they wanted, and it wasn’t possible for the Jays to enter a higher bid.”

            I sure surprises me that DD wasn’t sufficiently interested in what the Blue Jays could offer, but then I’m only guessing about what the Jays *would* have offered. Any 2 of Cecil, Loup, or Delabar would have been “it’s a deal” for me.

            • Vince in MN

              December 5, 2013 at 9:43 am

              And a “clear idea” isn’t necessarily a good idea, especially if it is rushed. And given the timing of the subsequent Nathan signing in relation to the Fister deal , I am a little suspicious that was the case – let’s get this done so we can sign Nathan – how’s that for clear!

              • Smoking Loon

                December 5, 2013 at 6:54 pm

                From a pretty good article by Tim Diekes at mlbtr:

                “It has been very surprising to see the Tigers take multiple cost-cutting measures. Were they not faced with this apparent restriction, they could have picked up Veras’ option for the depth he provides, retained Fister, allowing Smyly to remain in the bullpen, and signed Nathan. Nathan would be replacing Benoit, a reasonable measure, and then GM Dave Dombrowski could have gone bullpen bargain shopping in January.”

                I don’t think Smyly back in the bullpen for 2014 was even remotely possible. I think they passed on Veras for reasons unrelated to $$$. I’m still a bit surprised that they traded Fister rather than Porcello, but then again, the Tigers drafted and developed Porcello and clearly believe that he is or will be Fister’s equal at the very least. Nathan-Benoit is the most valid connection I’ve heard; Fister and Smyly have nothing to do with signing Nathan, as I see it. I’m seeing it as less possible now that the Tigers try to sign Benoit. There’s probably not a lot of precedent for having $18M/year wrapped up in two bullpen guys.

              • Coleman

                December 5, 2013 at 7:18 pm

                Apparently the Tigers were trying to trade Porcello to Washington, but Washington wouldn’t part with Robbie Ray, so they tried Fister instead. It sounds like the Tigers really really liked RR.

              • Smoking Loon

                December 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm

                Yes, they must really, really like Robbie Ray to have traded away Fister instead of Porcello. I have to give them the benefit of the doubt here. As thin as the Tigers are at the top of the minors, it’s hard to criticize getting 2 young talents for one “middle-aged” talent.

  27. Coleman

    December 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Nathan is officially a Tiger, it looks like a bit less than speculated, 2 years 20 million, with a club option for a 3rd year.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....athan.html

  28. Coleman

    December 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Just to dot the I’s, Dixon Machado was DFA’d to make room for Nathan on the 40-man roster.

    • Vince in MN

      December 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Nooooooooooo!

    • JimEggersUSMC

      December 5, 2013 at 1:39 am

      We will miss him soooo much. By the way, you got me good with your earlier reply, the bride wanted to know what I was laughing at, so I made up a story about you wanting to date Kate Upton. Is that OK?

      • Coleman

        December 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm

        Sure, I don’t mind taking one for the team now and then.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 5, 2013 at 6:41 pm

          Oh, the sacrifice.

  29. Smoking Loon

    December 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I think the A’s would trade Cespedes to the right team. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Tigers are that team.

  30. Coleman

    December 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Mariners sign Cano for 10 years, $240 million. I don’t know how this makes sense for them.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      December 7, 2013 at 12:09 am

      It’s absolutely ludicrous. I guess everyone has to learn on their own.

    • Vince in MN

      December 7, 2013 at 1:02 am

      In a couple of years that will look like a bargain.
      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....-date.html

      • Smoking Loon

        December 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm

        That’s what I’m thinking (bargain down the road). Maybe it will become strategy to have an exit strategy for unloading big contracts like this well before they’re up. Maybe it already has.

  31. Coleman

    December 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Granderson to the Mets, 4 years, $60 million.

  32. judpma

    December 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Free Press article Headline ” Tigers no better equipped to win a World Series than they were in 2013″…they are already equipped..They were in 2013 and they will be in 2014 and 2015 for that matter!. Very poor article indicating the Tigers aren’t perfect….well who is????????

    • Smoking Loon

      December 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      No, they’re not really equipped. There’s been change with no net improvement. Nathan isn’t the bullpen all by himself. Benoit won’t be back. There is a lot to be done yet.

  33. judpma

    December 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    $240 mil for one player when you need about 6….wouldn’t you be better off getting 2-3-4 guys for that kind of money instead of just one!!!! Management isn’t getting any smarter as their pockets are getting deeper!!!

    • Coleman

      December 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      You are forgetting, they also signed Willie Bloomquist.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 6, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        That was the fail-safe, in case they didn’t land Cano.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 6, 2013 at 10:20 pm

          The Tigers need to go after Nick Franklin NOW. (This one not a joke.)

          • Smoking Loon

            December 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm

            Good point by Jason Beck on the Cano/Yankees effect:

            “Speculation already had New York among the top targets for Beltran, and a potential suitor for Choo. The Yankees can now go in with no shortage of money to offer. If they want to price teams out of the market and leverage their financial flexibility to get who they want, they can. If they want to move the market to the point where teams like the Tigers worry whether they’re adding another megacontract, they can.”

            The Yankees could sign Beltran *and* Choo. Or push them out of the Tigers’ reach, which they may already be.

            • Vince in MN

              December 6, 2013 at 11:09 pm

              Tui still available.

              • Smoking Loon

                December 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

                Tui is still on the Diamondbacks 40-man roster, as far as I can tell. The Tigers could certainly do worse. If Kelly/Lombardozzi is the plan, they already have.

  34. Coleman

    December 6, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Beltran to Yankees, 3 years $45 million.

  35. judpma

    December 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    “Tigers aren’t equipped”….maybe they should get Toulawitski to play Ss, get the Yankees to change their mind and sign Beltran. Buy King Felix from Seattle, and get Chapman as a set up guy………this isn’t fantasy baseball. this is reallife!….The Tigers ,although not perfect are as equipped as any outher really good team in baseball..they need acouple pieces…but they are equipped!

    • Smoking Loon

      December 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      They’ve lost some serious equipment. The return so far… meh.

  36. Vince in MN

    December 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    With Beltran a Yankee, Gardner is apparently available. Although a LH bat, he isn’t much worse vs LHP and has a very good OBP against both, so would make good regular. He has some speed and can steal a base, which makes him a good leadoff candidate. He can play all 3 OF positions. At 4M he’d be cheap. Do we have anything the Yankees would want though?

    http://www.baseball-reference......ypepad.com

    • Vince in MN

      December 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      How about Kinsler for Gardner and a prospect. Then re-sign Infante for 3 yrs. Unloading Kinler’s contract would save a boatload of dollars to extend Max and Miggy.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 7, 2013 at 10:47 pm

        I think they have the $$$ to extend Max and Miggy already. I used to be more interested in Gardner than I am now. Gardner = Dirks. I could certainly live with Tui and Gardner as the OF bench, but I don’t think there’s room for that. I’d take Gardner over Kelly as the 4th OF for sure if it didn’t require a trade.

        I wouldn’t mind having Infante back, and who would? But I think I like Kinsler better. I think the Yankees would have to give up more than Gardner and a prospect for Kinsler.

        I want Cespedes and Doolittle from the A’s. The package that would require would probably open more holes to fill, though. Let’s see… Cespedes, Doolittle, and Vogt for Avila, Coke, Lennerton, Lombardozzi, and Robbie Ray. I don’t know if the A’s would take that, but it doesn’t leave the Tigers with gaping holes to fill.

  37. Smoking Loon

    December 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I think Castellanos at 3B is the more interesting wild card heading into 2014. I’m kind of psyched about it already. Should be interesting. I guess it could be a full season of a much, much better infield.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 7, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      Should me “most” interesting, not “more.” Bloody spellcheck.

  38. mark atwood

    December 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    johny perallta at 3rd an let castellanos win the left field job an bye bye don kelly

    • Smoking Loon

      December 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      Alas, Jhonny has gone away, never to return. Kelly, being super-utility man, presents an interesting dilemma. You’d like a better bat, which isn’t difficult to find, but you almost need two bench guys to replace him otherwise. Thoughts of upgrading seem to end up as lateral moves. Super-utility isn’t absolutely necessary, but it sure comes in handy at times.

  39. judpma

    December 10, 2013 at 1:25 am

    how about Andy Dirks was hurt coming out of spring training and the Tigers did nothing about it…don’t want to hurt his feelings… hey DD…this is total BS…Leyland too…we put up with a crap year from him and you knew he was hurt!!!!!

  40. Coleman

    December 10, 2013 at 3:02 am

    The Tigers seem to be pursuing Rajai Davis, which means the plan is a lefty-righty Davis-Dirks platoon. (Davis brings speed to the table, which is the new thing).

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....-deal.html

  41. Coleman

    December 10, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Rajai Davis has agreed to a 2-yr deal with Detroit, in the $9-10 million range.

    According to Fangraphs Davis was the 2nd most valuable on the basepaths last season (Jacoby Ellsbury was first).

    As things stand now, there would probably be a LH/RH LF platoon between Davis and Dirks. And a bunch of base stealing.

    • KW

      December 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

      I like this move a lot. Davis’s career average against lefties is around .300. If Dirks has a better 2014, the LF problem will be solved.

    • Vince in MN

      December 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      Good bye team that can “slug it”, hello team that can… I guess we’ll see. Talk about a “culture” shift, I’m not so sure they can make the transition from mashers to piranhas in such a short time. The baserunning has the potential to be a different kind of clown show from last year as much as a big big improvement over it. Avila and Dirks will need to take it up a notch from last year and dependence on the bullpen becomes more critical as in all likelihood there will be more close scoring games.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm

        Rajai Davis. Didn’t see this coming, mainly because I couldn’t see the Tigers going “old” without power in LF. Quintin Berry could have been had for a lot less. The need for a RHB in that role, well, unless Dirks was dead against LHP (and he’s not), that’s baloney in my book. Still, interesting move, not bad. No use complaining about the RH (and old) version of Berry. It would appear that the OF is settled and pretty much all else, except for the bullpen. Unless there’s some trade in the offing that’s going to shake things up all over again.

  42. judpma

    December 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    good thing Mumbles is gone…he didn’t even have a steal sign!…or if he did he forgot it

    these new additions for the most part run well. I like where this is going. Maybe then can even teach Jackson how to steal a base …

    • Vince in MN

      December 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      I like the “idea” of where they seem to be going. But the shift from a team based on starting pitching and “slugging it” to a team based on starting pitching, bullpen, defense, and a lot more small ball than we saw in the 8 years (!) of the Leyland era is close to an 180 degree shift. I think the team is high on talent, so that isn’t an issue for me. But on the offensive end of things I worry about the overall lack of small ball tools. I am not the only one here who over the years has complained about their inability to do the little things. Mostly those things (bunting, H&R, SB, etc.) seem to have been downplayed if not completely ignored in the organization as a whole, not just at the MLB level. There have been isolated individuals for sure (e.g. Berry), but as a team philosophy, no. I’m just concerned whether in eight weeks time these Tigers will be able to change their stripes.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm

        So…

        C Avila
        1B Cabrera
        2B Kinsler
        SS Iglesias
        3B Castellanos
        LF Dirks/Davis
        CF Jackson
        RF Hunter
        DH Martinez
        BENCH Holaday, Perez, Lombardozzi or Kelly
        SP Obvious
        RP Nathan, Rondon, Alburquerque, Krol, Coke (really?), and….? Alvarez, Crosby, Putkonen, Ortega… maybe they won’t look outside after all.

        The way it stays? More to come? Certainly looks different. Don’t know about better just yet.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm

          Which isn’t complete with the obligatory imaginary lineup:

          Kinsler/Davis
          Dirks/Kinsler
          Cabrera
          Martinez
          Hunter
          Jackson
          Castellanos
          Avila
          Iglesias

          • Vince in MN

            December 10, 2013 at 11:07 pm

            From last opening day we’ve replaced the slugging and run production of Peralta and Fielder with the speed of Davis and Iglesias. Here’s the problem: you have to keep your fingers crossed on Castellanos since we can’t really predict how he is going to turn out. Iglesias has to be able to get on base for his speed (what there is of it, but never mind) to make an impact, and Davis is only going to play maybe 40% of the time (can’t hit RH for $5M per – really?). I’m not sorry to see Prince and Jhonny go, as I am all for a more balanced offense that can be more multi-dimensional in run scoring ability. I’m just not seeing it here, or at least enough to make a big impact. Am I missing something? – help! Our D will be a lot better of course, but how much will that make up for the offensive loss. That may also end up putting more pressure on the whole pitching staff. So about that bullpen…

            • Smoking Loon

              December 11, 2013 at 12:14 am

              Yeah, that sums it up pretty well.

              There’s been change in a good direction. Most particularly in management and coaching. I don’t think very many of us wanted to see the team more or less stand pat. No more DH-types signed. It’ll be a more interesting team no matter what, 3rd place or WS champions.

            • Coleman

              December 11, 2013 at 1:11 am

              “Castellanos” is Spanish for “cross your fingers.” You have got that right; in fact I’m having flashbacks to “Rondon is our closer.”

              Iglesias, though, that is a conundrum. You mention his speed, “what there is of it.” It flew under the radar a bit, because…Cabrera!…but Iglesias was playing hurt last season too, also with one of those “trust us, it won’t get worse by playing” injuries, shin splints–in both legs! I’ve actually had that. It only hurts when your foot hits the ground. It gets better, all on its own, if you don’t put any weight on your leg for, oh, a couple months.

              Anyway, here is the thing. If Iglesias comes back without any pain, he will be faster than we’ve seen him. It could also turn into a nagging thing, that hampers him for years. This makes me nervous.

              Iglesias doesn’t have basepath, or base-stealilng speed, but he IS fast. I remember when the Tigers got him, one of my Red Sox friends said haha, watch his batting average drop to about .150, since he has gotten lucky with a ton of infield hits, which won’t continue. But it did. My sense from watching him is that he gets from home to first as fast as any right-handed battter I’ve seen in a long time. Visual impressions can be deceptive, but the numbers bear it out: Iglesias tied with the lead league in infield hits with Alexei Ramirez, at 37–and Iglesias had 382 plate appearances vs. Ramirez’ 674.

              (Think about that for a minute: he had an infield hit once in every 10 plate appearances).

              In other words, Iglesias is young, fast (barring lingering shin splints), and unschooled. With good coaching (and there is a much better chance of that now), he could turn into a legitimate threat on the bases.

  43. Angus

    December 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I am a little nervous as well. Replaced power with better defense. I think Prince’s numbers will improve at Texas. 25 HR and 100+RBI is hard to replace. Victor is a great hitter but lacks power. Tori will have to have a solid season. Will see if Kinsler at least can get 20 HR and 75+RBI. I saw Castellannos at Toledo. Numbers and performance was average. Don’t be surprised to see Jordan Lennerton up from Toledo sometime this year to help with power.

    • Vince in MN

      December 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      I’d love to see what Lennerton could do, but, barring an injury to Cabrera or Martinez, where do you put him?

      • Smoking Loon

        December 11, 2013 at 11:29 pm

        Exactly. It’ll be fun to get a look at Lennerton in ST, though. I think it would take an injury to see him on the 25-man roster. The 4-man bench conundrum. 12 pitchers! Drat.

        Echo Coleman’s thoughts on Iglesias and injury. What’s up with shin splints at that age, or in general? I’ve never had them. Are some people predisposed to them? Is it a matter of how you run or how your body is able to withstand running or a lot of footwork? I’m ignorant on this matter. Anyway, let’s hope he can hit the ball out of the infield a little more often, as exciting as all those infield hits are.

        Agree with Angus that Prince’s offense is hard to replace. Also, if we thought that Ryan Raburn’s surprisingly good year with the Indians in 2013 was a bit irksome, imagine how it’s going to be in 2014, with Fielder, Infante, Peralta, Fister, and Benoit out and about. Not to mention some of the other guys. It’ll be a good sign if we’re not even paying attention to them.

    • KW

      December 12, 2013 at 10:16 am

      Well, it’s not like all that power ever got the Tigers a world series ring. I think better coaching may have been able to get more out of the 06-13 teams, but in my mind, the power hitting/pitching experiment was a bust and it was time to try something new.

  44. Coleman

    December 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    The Tigers have “serious interest” in Joba Chamberlain? Umm…

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....hamberlain

  45. Coleman

    December 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I guess it WAS serious–they are signing him.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....rlain.html

    Where is the Me No Like button?

    • JimEggersUSMC

      December 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Yeah,never thought much of this guy either, but who knows?

      Can we get some scroll relief along with the me no like button? I’m getting dizzy (ier)

      • Smoking Loon

        December 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm

        Scroll relief coming right up, if Kevin and Coleman have no objection.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm

          I like the Chamberlain signing. I think he’s going to surprise.

        • Coleman

          December 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm

          I wouldn’t think of it. Because I can’t handle that “objection overruled” part.

    • Vince in MN

      December 13, 2013 at 12:18 am

      Now we have a RH version of Coke to go along with the LH one.