The reaching of contract agreements with 5 of 6 arbitration-eligible players is pretty big news, worthy of a post, I’d say. So here it is. All 6 are important pieces of the 2014 puzzle, and even if the agreements are no real surprise, given Dave Dombrowski’s track record with Detroit as far as arbitration goes, it’s still good news. The real surprise is that it’s not 6 of 6 already.
One-year deals with Max Scherzer ($15.525M), Rick Porcello ($8.1M), Austin Jackson ($6M), Andy Dirks ($1.625M), and Al Alburquerque ($0.8375M). Objections?
The lone holdout is Alex Avila. It’s hard to see an arbiter going strongly in one direction or the other between $5.35M and $3.75M, and thus it’s hard to see the two sides not meeting rather squarely in the middle well before this goes to a hearing. Don’t you think? The only reason the Tigers brass would play hardball is if they had some kind of Plan B at catcher… right now. That’s how I see it, and I would have to do some serious research to come up with a Plan B that made sense to me.
In other recent news, the revelation of Justin Verlander’s “core muscle” surgery casts another long shadow over the 2014 season, the other one being that of Miguel Cabrera’s surgery last
November October. Yes, Cabrera is supposed to be good to go come Spring Training, and Verlander the same by the end of February. Do you have your doubts about whether it’s going to be that simple? I do. Well, I have my doubts, not your doubts, but they might be the same doubts.
Evidently, there are big changes in store for 2014 with new MLB rules for challenges of calls and replays having been approved.
25 days until pitchers and catchers report (February 13). Full squad to report February 17, and the first games of Spring Training (Florida Southern, Atlanta Braves) are just over 5 weeks away now. First the offseason dragged on and on, and now it seems like it went by in a blur. I suppose there’s some left. What will happen? Surprise trades or signings? More injuries? Just the usual trickle of minor league deals? If I had to guess at one possible bombshell… I couldn’t. They’ll just have to surprise me.
Enquiring minds, etc.. Maybe she’s cuter in a swimsuit, eh?*
A recent article by Lynn Henning suggests without explanation that Hernan Perez starting the season in Toledo is a foregone conclusion. Do we agree? I had him on the team already, but actually, that might have been premature and not quite sensible. I was thinking, OK, gotta have the two infielders on the bench, so it’s Steve Lombardozzi and Perez, right? But there’s the Donkey to consider, the IF-OF to end all IF-OFs. Why am I so quick to write him off? (Maybe because I’m tired of shallow pop flares to LF?)
The Avila photo above is public domain, by the way. Or so I’m told. I was wondering, as others have before me: Maybe some Friend or Friends of DTW who actually attend the occasional game or seven would care to contribute some player photos and other ballpark scenes this season that we could use here without guilt? I don’t foresee any notices from lawyers or anything about snatching the occasional photo off the interwebs, but still. That would be both cool and absolutely legal (and ethical). Speak up! (And thank you in advance.)
25 days. Or 29 days. Or 37 days. However you see it… LET’S GO!
*Even so, a new DTW bylaw just passed requires that all posts shall henceforth be required to include at least one Kate Upton link containing at least 14 photos of Kate Upton. Even if we are just friends.