Scroll Relief II (Winter Meetings time)

That’s gotta look good right about now if you live anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Or maybe anywhere west of the Maginot Line, or east of the International Date Line (although, technically speaking…). How about anywhere south of the North Pole?

It’s been a busy offseason so far for the Detroit Tigers, surprisingly so for a team just off a near-WS season. Wouldn’t you say? Here’s a rundown of the various moves and transactions to date:


Jim Leyland, Manager
Lloyd McClendon, Hitting Coach
Tom Brookens, 3B Coach
Rafael Belliard, 1B Coach
Mike Rojas, Bullpen Coach
Toby Harrah, Assistant Hitting Coach
Matt Tuiasosopo LF
Darin Downs RHP
Brayan Pena C
Jose Veras RHP
Prince Fielder 1B
Doug Fister RHP
Dixon Machado SS
Luis Marte RHP
Robbie Weinhardt RHP
Gustavo Nunez IF
Joaquin Benoit RHP (free agent, presumptively gone)
Jhonny Peralta SS
Omar Infante 2B
Ramon Santiago IF (free agent, presumptively gone)


Brad Ausmus, Manager
Wally Joyner, Hitting Coach
Dave Clark, 3B Coach
Omar Vizquel, 1B Coach
Mick Billmeyer, Bullpen Coach
Darnell Coles, Assistant Hitting Coach
Ian Kinsler 2B
Ian Krol LHP
Steve Lombardozzi IF-OF
Joe Nathan RHP
Rajai Davis OF
Joba Chamberlain RHP


Phil Coke LHP
Don Kelly OF-IF
Ronny Paulino C
Will Startup LHP
Daniel Fields CF
Jordan Lennerton 1B
Kyle Lobstein LHP
Justin Miller RHP
Steven Moya RF
Eugenio Suarez SS
Jose Valdez RHP
Jhan Marinez RHP
Mike Hessman 1B (!)
Pat McCoy LHP
Eduardo Sanchez RHP

Let me know if I missed anything.

If we assume that all the arbitration-eligibles are going to sign and further assume that 3 spots in the bullpen are very much up for grabs, we’re left with 22 as our compare number at the major league level. So consider the turnover from where they began in 2013, making a few more (early) assumptions about the team that heads north after spring training in 2014.

New backup C. Two new infield reserves. New 2B. New SS. New 3B. New OF reserve. Three new faces in the bullpen. 10 out of 22. Nearly half the team! Actually, you could count Rondon as new, too, since he began 2013 in Toledo. 11 out of 22. Of course, Iglesias isn’t completely new, but a full (we hope) season of him is. Lombardozzi might not make the team, but Santiago almost certainly won’t, and the names that round out the bullpen might not be Alburquerque, Coke, and Putkonen. As it stands already, this is a whole lot of change in player personnel. And yet the changing of the guard in Brad Ausmus and his new coaches might be the most significant change of all.

Fan reaction to the changes seems mostly positive. There’s guarded optimism about which way the winds of change are blowing. The Winter Meetings are still going on – DD might not be done yet. But you have to think that most of the pieces are in place by now.

There are a lot of lower level moves to come, and we do well to pay them some attention. I’m particularly interested in what the Tigers might do to make being a Toledo Mud Hens fan more rewarding.

Today’s exercise: Rank the following from most to least likely to be on the Tigers’ 25-man roster on Opening Day 2014, from the 12/12/2013 perspective:


Feel free to throw in your own dark horse candidate. Benoit? Bonderman? OK. There’s dark, and then there’s dark…


  1. Vince in MN

    December 13, 2013 at 12:26 am

    DD out if he becomes new Commish.
    I’m now beginning to wonder if these last few deals aren’t vote getting bribes to the other owners.

    • Coleman

      December 13, 2013 at 12:33 am

      2015: DD new commisioner, Tony LaRussa new GM (you heard it here first).

  2. judpma

    December 13, 2013 at 12:29 am

    sorry I don’t get the Joba deal at all!!! why??

    • Coleman

      December 13, 2013 at 12:34 am

      If I’m the manager and I’ve got 2 RH guys warming up in the bullpen and I have to go to one of them, I’d bring in Putkonen and leave Chamberlain there. So no, I don’t get it either.

      • Vince in MN

        December 13, 2013 at 9:58 am

        97MPH fastball. It has difficulty finding the plate, and when it does, it frequently leaves the park, but no matter.

    • nklsuds

      December 13, 2013 at 11:36 am

      You’re not the only ONE. What a really stupid deal, he had over a 5.00 ERA last year. I don’t even come close to getting it !!!

      • Smoking Loon

        December 13, 2013 at 8:15 pm

        The Tigers brain trust are devoted fans of The Big Arm. This is a big arm with some major league success on his resume, coming into what may be his prime. Not such a wild thing to take a chance on. Compare to a) Valverde being brought back, and b) an extended stay for Evan Reed, and rejoice.

        • Vince in MN

          December 14, 2013 at 12:44 am

          The problem is that taking a chance on ANOTHER reliever who may well turn out to be unreliable does nothing to address the blowpen issue. We need a couple fewer reclamation projects for Jeff Jones to work with, not more. Last season Benoit and Smyly, despite a couple of hiccups, were very good in the late innings. Those two have been replaced by Nathan and…Krol! And the rest of the bullpen has been upgraded with the addition of Chancey Chamberlain?!

          • Smoking Loon

            December 14, 2013 at 3:44 am

            Well, you know, it was a foregone conclusion that Smyly was bound for the rotation, and a foregone conclusion (in retrospect…) that Benoit was a-goner. And sure things in the bullpen are rare. What you get is mostly either pleasant or unpleasant surprises. There’s a reason these guys aren’t starters.

            • Vince in MN

              December 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm

              Even more reason to concentrate on guys considered to be reliable based on recent past performance rather than someone considered to be not reliable based on recent past performance. It’s not like they aren’t/weren’t out there. Hopefully DD isn’t done, but at the moment we have a bullpen that is largely made up of pitchers in great need of Dr. Jones special therapy. I have nothing against taking a chance; it’s the thing re-building teams need to do. But I thought ’14 was the year we “win one for the gipper”. I get a sense that there is confusion at the top. Going form slugging it mode to more of a small ball mode is a big switch, and especially challenging after a decade long run of counting mostly on the 3-run homer. Small ball is more nuanced and recent experience with that philosophy isn’t there. It doesn’t appear to me that the transition is going very well so far.

              • Smoking Loon

                December 15, 2013 at 9:45 pm

                I see where you’re coming from, Vince, but what else were/are the Tigers going to do for the bullpen? It’s not an area you can really fill with proven reliability. How much payroll can you devote to what amounts to a 7-man bench for pitchers? I think that good bullpens are built from shrewd, overlooked and underestimated moves, and a lot of luck, not snapping up all the guys who had good stats the past season. The Royals and Twins had good bullpens not made up of illustrious names, and I think that’s the general rule. They could run the same guys out there in 2014 and have lousy bullpens. The bullpen is a volatile thing. Guys come out of nowhere – Koji Uehara, for instance – and are equally liable to return there.

    • Dennis Marshall

      December 31, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      I agree. That is a good example of taking too big of a chance. If Jones can get him to turn things around, then it would have been worth it.

  3. JimEggersUSMC

    December 13, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Hey -Coleman: I think your avatar is now illegal, is that the Rose/ Fosse slide?

  4. judpma

    December 13, 2013 at 2:28 am

    if we are hoping Coke, Camberlin and Putkonen can hold a lead in the 6-7-8 inning …this is really a stretch of reality!!

  5. Vince in MN

    December 13, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Here’s how I break down the financials:
    500K reclamation project signing.
    2M Yankee pedigree.

  6. judpma

    December 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    maybe the plan is to stretch the starters out for more innings . If you were a Tiger starting pitcher you would be willing to go more innings knowing you could be replaced by Coke or Chamberlin…..brilliant move DD.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      December 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm


  7. Smoking Loon

    December 13, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Danny Worth DFA.

    • Coleman

      December 14, 2013 at 12:19 am

      I’m sorry to see Danny Worth go. For non-baseball reasons. Seems every time he was called up, he bought a new guitar, which is sort of cool.

      • Vince in MN

        December 14, 2013 at 12:49 am

        He’ll be back. The likelihood of anybody picking him up is practically zero.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 14, 2013 at 3:35 am

          I didn’t know about the guitar thing. That is cool. And perhaps Vince is right.

  8. Smoking Loon

    December 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Infante to the Royals. He was about the only guy who could *hit* the Royals in 2013.

  9. Smoking Loon

    December 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Dixon Machado clears waivers and is outrighted to Toledo, and a couple other moves:

  10. Smoking Loon

    December 14, 2013 at 4:15 am

    The correct (that is, incorrect) answer to the exercise:

    Jackson, Dirks, Alburquerque, Coke, Lombardozzi, Ortega, Putkonen, Kelly, Alvarez, Crosby, Worth, Reed, Santiago, Lennerton.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      Why did I leave Perez off the list? We assume he’s going to be on the bench, but as with the first 4 guys on the list, there’s always the chance of a surprise move over the next three and a half months.

  11. Coleman

    December 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

    The Royals bit on 4 years, $30 million for Omar Infante.

    • Vince in MN

      December 14, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Good move by the Royals. 2nd base was a black hole for them last year. So far the Royals might be the most improved team in the Central. The Twins have made big strides also, tremendously improving their starting rotation. Although they still have a ways to go to be contenders, I don’t think they will be the punching bags they have been the last few years. The Indians haven’t done much this off season Maybe they will be content to just do some tweaking, although with Smith and Perez gone, their bullpen looks weaker.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      December 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Hate to lose Infante, but Omargosh that’s a lot for Infante.

      I’m giddy about Vizquel working with Kinsler, Iglesias, and potentially Castellanos.

      • Coleman

        December 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm

        I’d prefer to have lost him out of the division. Rumor has it that the Indians are pursuing Benoit for their closer. We may be seeing a lot of some old friends.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 15, 2013 at 9:47 pm

          It looks like the Indians are more interested in John Axford than Benoit.

          • Smoking Loon

            December 16, 2013 at 8:19 pm

            Having unloaded Addison Reed, I wonder if the White Sox now have their eyes on Benoit. I’m not that worried about having him in the division.

  12. Vince in MN

    December 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Danny Worth and his huge guitar collection passed waivers and was outrighted to Toledo. Close call. Coleman can breath easier now.

    Luis Marte also passed and was outrighted. Another close call, as we are going to need all the bullpen help we can gather.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 16, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      I can’t believe his huge guitar collection cleared waivers.

      • Coleman

        December 17, 2013 at 1:16 am

        His twitter account seems to no longer be active, so maybe that was snapped up by someone.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 18, 2013 at 1:17 am

          The kid’s got grit. Could play his way onto the team come spring.

  13. Smoking Loon

    December 16, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Just to keep this all obsessively up to date, the Tigers lost a couple guys to the Rule 5 draft (minor league phase): C Adolfo Reina (Padres) and 1B (listed as 3B?) Jesus Ustariz (Cardinals). Ustariz, not yet 21, appears to have quite the promising bat and also a stone glove. Reina put up some good numbers at Lakeland in 2012 but has not otherwise distinguished himself as a minor leaguer. Probably one of those minor league depth picks by the Padres.

    Signed a C to a minor league deal: Craig Albernaz. Albernaz finds his niche in AA. Can’t hit anywhere else. Over 8 seasons as a minor league backup C (now there’s a gig), he owns a 41% CS rate.

    Signed 2B Marcus Lemon to a minor league contract ( seems a bit spotty and late with their transaction reports….) Lemon started out as a SS and was (apparently) terrible. He’s played everywhere else but 1B and C, doesn’t seem to be any great shakes anywhere, but he’s a decent minor league hitter who has yet to play above AA.

    • Vince in MN

      December 17, 2013 at 2:42 am

      Maybe Albernaz can mentor McCann in the fine art of catching. With eight years of experience he must have something going for him, because it sure isn’t his bat.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 18, 2013 at 1:15 am

        Albernaz is going to be at Erie behind Cabrera. If McCann can hit, I think that’s plenty. Catcher was never much of a hitter’s position, but it seems like it’s gone to extremes in this day and age.

  14. Smoking Loon

    December 16, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    • JimEggersUSMC

      December 17, 2013 at 2:31 am

      Good Stuff as usual SL, If I was a pitching coach or a manager, Miggy would get a steady diet of 12-6 curveballs, and splitters in the dirt, if I was one of those 2 things.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 17, 2013 at 11:41 pm

        I think it was interesting that Posnanski mentioned the matter of how *hard* Cabrera hits. Kind of an underrated factor. I think we tend to focus on how *far* or where, but it’s true, a ground ball out for many is a single for Cabrera. I wonder if he’s ever won a batting title.

  15. Smoking Loon

    December 18, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Fun thread going on over there. I’ll admit that I bit. Just before the page loaded I realized who Rudolph was going to be.

  16. judpma

    December 18, 2013 at 1:22 am

    I hope the Tigs give Below a chance..He was jist another one of those young pitchers that Leyland messed up mentally and never gave the kid a real shot. I hope they give him a legitimate shot…I would take him in front of Coke every time!

    • KW

      December 18, 2013 at 1:32 am

      Didn’t he get DFA’ed earlier this year?

      • Smoking Loon

        December 18, 2013 at 1:47 am

        Yes, let go by the Tigers and then the Marlins. I agree with judpma that Below seemed to get a pretty raw deal from the Tigers. Although letting him to go to catch on with another team isn’t necessarily a raw deal. Good that he’s signed again. Tigers can really use him, at Toledo if nowhere else, and I, too, would rather see Below in the pen than Coke. I would have went with Downs over Coke.

    • StorminNorman$

      December 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm
      appears judpma’s wish has been granted…promptly!

      • KW

        December 19, 2013 at 2:24 am

        That’s…weird. Judpma also suggested Lamont stay on as bench coach in the “Brad Ausmus Era Begins” thread, and then it was announced just a few hours later. Someone check his IP address to see if it’s coming from Dombrowski’s house.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm

          According to my (unreliable) info, Below signed with the Tigers 12/13. I didn’t see it reported anywhere around that time. judpma might be DD, or he might just have a line on a better news source.

          • Smoking Loon

            December 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm

            Below was DFA in April to make room for Valverde. That little tidbit must have been buried in all the consternation about Valverde, or at least it was obscured from my view at the time. It just goes to show you how enthusiastic the Tigers were about the idea of Benoit as closer. Not only bringing back the Potato, but D’ingFA a pretty decent lefty in order to swing it. Ouch.

  17. Coleman

    December 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    The Padres land Benoit, 2 years, $15.5 million.

  18. Vince in MN

    December 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Good discussion of Dombrowski and “hard throwers”.

    • Vince in MN

      December 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      • Smoking Loon

        December 18, 2013 at 9:04 pm

        I find it hard to believe that anyone wishes the Tigers had kept Jeff Kobernus. Although the author makes up for this gaffe by suggesting that the Tigers should have kept Quintin Berry, which is of course an irrefutable fact.

        • Coleman

          December 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm

          Quintin Berry: wrong time, wrong culture.

          • Vince in MN

            December 19, 2013 at 3:09 am

            The same could be said of Kobernus. But then one has to ask why they got him in the first place.

            • Smoking Loon

              December 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

              Yes to Coleman’s assessment.

              I watched a lot of Spring Training 2013. Saw Kobernus. Dude looked lost. Not nearly comparable to Berry. I have no idea what the Tigers saw in Kobernus, either. I’m hoping that Lombardozzi is more toward the Berry or even Kelly end of the scale, haven’t seen him yet.

  19. judpma

    December 18, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    money being nothing now-a-days Benoit would prolly have stayed with the Tigers for a little less then he is getting from the Padres…I don’t believe DD didn’t re-sign him..Its not like Benoit is going to close in San Diego..we could have gotten him to do the same thing here in Detroit…$$$ means nothing. we could have signed him..that would have solidified that bullpen big time…..instead we get Coke..Jaba…Krol…and Pukonen…doesn’t make any sensse to me!!!

    • Smoking Loon

      December 18, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      I wouldn’t choose Benoit over Nathan, and there’s little chance the Tigers ever had both in mind. The Tigers were more resigned to than satisfied with Benoit as closer. I don’t see how re-signing Benoit would have solidified anything.

      Whatever the Padres are saying now, I think Benoit is their closer.

  20. judpma

    December 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Benoit will be an 7-8 inning guy with the Padres with Houston Street…your telling my you wouldn’t want Benoit to do that same thing for Detroit…I am not talking Benoit instead of Nathan…I am talking Benoit with Nathan…same thing Benoit will do in San Diego

    • Coleman

      December 18, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      Will be some Street Joaquin going on in the SD.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm

        You’re right, judpma. I wouldn’t turn down having both Benoit and Nathan. Was that ever in the cards for the Tigers, though? All that money wrapped up in two old bullpen guys? With their sights set on Rondon as Mr. 8th Inning?

        I suspect that the Padres intend to move Street. Either that or they accept that Street will go on the DL and/or that they’ll have to eat his contract for another season, and are getting the replacement closer issue settled now.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm

          I think Street will be doing the Joaquin.

  21. Smoking Loon

    December 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    The Tigers have resigned RHP Derek Hankins, career minor leaguer, to eat innings at Toledo. There appears to be no consistency in the reporting on or dates given for these minor league transactions.

  22. judpma

    December 20, 2013 at 1:47 am

    I am not DD but I do have pretty good news sources….and I woud have never let Phil Coke sign any sort of a contract

    • Smoking Loon

      December 21, 2013 at 12:54 am

      Well, maybe he’ll surprise us, eh? Has he used up all the good will he earned in the 2012 postseason? (Probably.)

  23. Coleman

    December 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Choo to the Rangers, 7 years, $130 million

    • Smoking Loon

      December 22, 2013 at 2:15 am

      Wonder what Kevin has to say about that.

  24. judpma

    December 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    all owners are their own worst enemy…$130 million totally proves it. many of these owners got their money from daddy and have no concept of the value of hard earned money…but that’s just me ..who has no money!!!

    • Smoking Loon

      December 22, 2013 at 2:29 am

      I’m kind of glad the Tigers passed on the big money, long-term free agents this time around. I’m not even so worried about the apparent loss of offense any more. I think the team is on the right track. Maybe there’ve been some lessons learned from all the win now hoopla over the past couple seasons.

  25. KW

    December 22, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Does anyone think the Tigers are going to swoop in and make a trade for David Price? It’s really the only way the Fister trade makes much sense.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 22, 2013 at 11:24 am

      How so? It was well known that Smyly was headed for the rotation, and thus well known that a spot had to be cleared. Surprising to some that it was Fister dealt rather than Porcello, but obviously the Tigers see greater potential for improvement in Rick.

      Many sportswriters and even a lot of fans seem to think that Smyly in the bullpen for 2014 was an option. Amnesia? Smyly was a starter for much of 2012, and a good one. Smyly and Porcello pitched to a draw in ST 2013; Smyly was put in the holding tank of the bullpen in what turned out to be a brilliant move, but I’m certain that part of the rationale for that was the likelihood of struggle or injury to another starter. I don’t think Smyly wants to be a relief pitcher, and I don’t think the Tigers want to spend (waste) that kind of good, home-grown starter talent on the bullpen, regardless of how good he happened to be there in 2013.

      Unless Smyly himself is part of a deal for Price, I think the Tigers’ starting rotation is set, barring injury between now and opening day. That trade possibility makes very little sense to me. I’d call Smyly virtually untradable at this point, and I think the likelihood of Smyly in the pen is equal to that of Alburquerque in the starting rotation, but I’m also the guy who went into great deal about how Prince Fielder was not going to be traded, forget about it, no way….. the day before the Fielder-Kinsler deal.

      • KW

        December 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm

        I’m not suggesting Smyly should’ve stayed in the bullpen or have been traded; in fact, I’d rather have seen Porcello traded or moved to the pen. But that’s all beside the point. We know right now that if Smyly performs as he did his first season, he will be worse than Fister was this year. If he performs like he did out of the bullpen, he’ll be an unbelievable upgrade, but there’s little reason to assume that he’ll perform at such a high level over the course of an entire season.

        So, why let Fister go for “30 cents on the dollar” as one writer put it, with the hopes that Smyly overperforms, and that the three unproven guys traded for Fister surprise everyone but Dave Dombrowski? It just doesn’t make sense in light of all the trades we’ve seen him make before. I’m led to believe he still has something up his sleeve and that the Fister trade was part of his plan to make room for someone else outside the organization. Whether that someone is Price or someone else entirely remains to be seen.

        Or it could just be that Dombrowski makes mistakes just like everyone else.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

          I think you should look again at how Smyly performed in 2012 in 18 starts. Quite comparable to Fister’s 2013, slightly better in some ways (WHIP, K/9), slightly worse in others (HR/9), overall very similar. I suggest looking at Smyly’s 2012 game logs, too. But don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I was happy to lose Fister. But Porcello improved in 2013. Fister did not. They had the same defense, so that’s a wash.

          That said, yes, DD might have something up his sleeve, including a trade for Price. You never know. I agree that the Fister trade did leave us thinking, OK, there must be more to come here.

  26. judpma

    December 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I don’t think the starting rotation is weaker either. Smyly should be able to come close to Fistets numbers. Porcello is still young and gets better every year..This is still one of the top 5 rotations in baseball…

    • Smoking Loon

      December 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      It’s a great rotation. Nothing to fear but injuries.

      • Smoking Loon

        December 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm

        A typo yields a great name for a band: Doug Fister and The Fistettes.

  27. Vince in MN

    December 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    The site doesn’t seem to be allowing posts with links today. Check out Panas’ recent take on Fister at Tiger Tales.

    • Smoking Loon

      December 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      • Smoking Loon

        December 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm

        Vince, sometimes links and posts are blocked because a series of letters spells something unintentionally “obscene” (according to the filter, which has all the contextual brains of spellcheck). Tiny URL can help you in these cases.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm

          The Fister trade continues to stick in everyone’s craw, it seems. A few contrarian notes:

          Smyly isn’t the guy to watch. Porcello is. Porcello is, in effect, the reason they traded Fister. If only because they tried and failed to trade Porcello. “We’ve got two of these, and we only need one.”

          The Tigers needed a lefty in the bullpen to replace Smyly. The Tigers needed a utility guy who can hit. The Tigers needed a real pitching prospect (and they still need more). Three needs filled for a surplus starter isn’t a bad deal.

          Fister could be the 2014 NL Cy Young Award winner. That’s fine. He wasn’t going to win it in the AL.

          If there was a great deal of interest from other teams in Fister, it must have been that the other offers weren’t very strong. Most MLB teams were in the market for at least one starter of Fister’s caliber, and yet a deal more pleasing to most of us didn’t happen. If we saw the other offers, we might not be so baffled about the deal that actually happened.

          “I trust DD” has come up here quite a bit before. Not sure why it’s so hard to trust that the Tigers’ scouting on Krol, Lombardozzi, and Ray is on the money.

          • Vince in MN

            December 24, 2013 at 9:28 pm

            Well, the Tigers still need a bench guy that can hit, Krol wasn’t exactly lights out in his stint last year and Ray is a ways from being considered a sure thing. What sticks in the craw of the Fister trade is that we didn’t get anybody in return who would be considered immediately impactful. And as far as being skeptical of Tigers scouting, DD has laid quite a few eggs in the past.

            We’ll have to wait and see on this one, because any benefit will be down the road. The key will be Ray. If he turns into John Smoltz, everything will be just dandy. In the meantime, LOOGYs are a dime a dozen and Lombardozzi, who is likely to have the most immediate impact of the three, might be a bit of an improvement over Santiago, but that isn’t saying much.

            I think the deal was rushed. If no GMs were beating down DD’s door to get Fister, I can’t believe that Krol, Lambo, and Ray were in that much demand either.

            • Smoking Loon

              December 25, 2013 at 1:30 am

              Yes, I’d agree that the deal was probably rushed. There was some kind of timetable, some kind of deadline we’ll never know about.

              I haven’t seen a single defense of the trade, so I thought I’d try my hand at it.

          • William

            December 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm

            IMO, The “we got two of these ” only applies if they are equal.

            Fister is a much better pitcher than Porcello. This trade really makes little sense.

            • Smoking Loon

              December 30, 2013 at 1:40 am

              The Tigers were equally willing to trade either of them. It’s likely that they would have been asking a bit more for Porcello, as well they should have been. Porcello has started more games and has more IP than Fister, and has accomplished this at an age where Fister had yet to make his MLB debut.

              Fister has been better than Porcello in his time with the Tigers overall. In 2013, he was not. Porcello is 25 and trending better. Fister will be 30 soon and is not trending better. Does the trade make more sense now?

              • William

                January 1, 2014 at 3:34 pm

                I understand that they were willing to trade both, but I don’t think there is any way they would have gotten more for Porcello than Fister. Perhaps I misread your post. are you saying that they were asking more and that’s why no attractive suitors came forward? I guess that is possible.

                as for 2013, Porcello’s WHIP was slightly better, but his ERA was around 0.70 worse

                Yes, Porcello is more accomplished that Fister was at age 24…but he hasn’t done anything even approaching Fisters’ last 3-4 seasons. So, I would respectfully disagree that he is “trending better”….and there is certainly no way to extrapolate his stats and assume that he will be better than Fister currently is. He’s been in the league 5 full years..hopefully, he will make significant improvements, but it’s possible that h wis what he is: a solid #4-5 type guy, and nothing more.

  28. judpma

    December 24, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    50 days til Pitchers and catchers report….in the mean time…Have A Merry Christmas and a Great start to the New Year!!!!

    • Smoking Loon

      December 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      Yes, Merry Christmas to all, and Free Matt Tuiasosopo.

      • JimEggersUSMC

        December 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm

        Yes, all the best of the season. We went all in this year, grandkids EACH got multiple gifts. My 6 year old future middle INF is gettiing his first “real” mitt, a Rawlings.

        • Smoking Loon

          December 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

          Good plan, Josemar Vizglesias will be getting a bit long in the tooth by 2030. Will your middle INF be ready to step in? Don’t let the Mariners take him, now.

  29. Kevin in Dallas

    December 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Merry Christmas all.

    Good stuff Jim. Should be fun tomorrow.

    Go Tigers.

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      December 25, 2013 at 9:29 am

      Merry Christmas DTW’ers! Let’s have a prosperous 2014 too.

      Kevin….I will be in FTW for the Armed Forces Bowl.

  30. PHToy in HK

    December 28, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Happy Holidays to everyone!

    When was the last time the Tigers traded a starter as good as Fister? Jeff Weaver? Overall was the Weaver trade a good deal for the Tigers? Probably….

    • Coleman

      December 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Happy Holidays in Hong Kong! Does Edwin Jackson count? I wouldn’t try to say he is nearly as good as Fister, but the year he was on Detroit he was 13-9, 3.62 and made the All Star team.

      • PHToy in HK

        December 29, 2013 at 8:20 am

        I would say the Jackson trade worked out for the best too. Thus, I am not going to worry about the trading of Fister for 3 question marks.

  31. Smoking Loon

    December 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    From Lee Panas:

    Good projection for 2014 Tigers offense:

    Tigers 2013 defense/pitching & ground balls:

    • Smoking Loon

      December 28, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      On the first above, I’m down with the optimism.

      On the second, I would contend (without pretending to have authoritative stats to back it) that Fister did not tend to induce especially weak contact. He was hittable and tended to get plain and simple whacked when he was starting to lose it (or sometimes just about every inning), even though he was great at keeping it in the ballpark. Great at getting out of jams, no doubt, but also too adept at getting into them. I’ll miss seeing him pitch, miss that curveball, a yellowhammer if there ever was one.

  32. Smoking Loon

    December 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    The signing of Mike Hessman suggests that Jordan Lennerton might be on the move. As in traded, possibly just part of a swap of minor leaguers.

    The signing of Kevin Russo is a bit surprising, considering the disappointing season at Toledo. Just filling that roster, maybe. During ST 2013 he seemed to have some promise in a AAAA kind of way. As with Lennerton, it’s hard to see any ramifications for the big club roster here.

  33. Fahim

    January 22, 2014 at 11:47 am

    After reading your post. I am thinking what should I need to say ? but I must say that place is really really so beautiful.