Offseason News

With the big news coming out today, it seemed as good a time as any to get a new post up here where we can discuss offseason moves and the like.

In case you haven’t heard yet, the Tigers have signed 29-year old starter Jordan Zimmerman to a deal reported to be for 5 years at 110 million. I had heard a rumor on Saturday that the Tigers were talking to Zimmerman; today it’s supposedly a done deal. That was quick.

102 thoughts on “Offseason News”

  1. LETS see Zimmerman for Scherzer….hmmmmm…$200 vs $110 mil… Scherzer worth the extra 90 frickin mil…..hmmmm!

    And I won’t make $2+ mil during my entire working life of 40 working years so far….hmmmmm!

    1. …not to split hairs Jud, but Scherzer signed a $210M (7 yr)…so its $100M more than Z-man

      guess this means DET is ‘getting the band back together for at least one more tour’… so might as well double down and sign Soria (RP), Bastardo (RP) and Yovani Gallardo (SP)…or if not Gallardo, bring back Fister to a 1-yr deal (around $11M)

      DET’s 1st round pick is protected (since they finished in the bottom 10 teams) in this draft, so only lose their 2nd round pick by signing Z-man…

  2. To me, whatever a player signs for he is worth or he wouldn’t have gotten it! But just like the real world, it isn’t so much about what you’re worth but what you EARN that sets you apart. (Think Joe Nathan.)

    I really like what Big Al has done so far. He is beginning to look like some sort of manager, not just a let’s throw money at the problem type of person.

  3. The facts are that even if the trades work out, it is unlikely that the Tigers will be real contenders in 2016. Age is becoming an issue and I don’t have a clue how address it. Facts are that both Miggy and Victor need resting (DH more) and they both can’t do it on the same days. I fully expect one or both to make the DL by June if not managed properly. If that happens, 2017 looks very bad also.

    I still say we should not fire Brad for any of the marginal candidates mentioned near the end of the season, even when (not if) we miss the playoffs. If Brad looks like he is hindering the overall performance by mid June, bring in an interim manager but avoid any long term commitment unless it is someone who is a really superior baseball man. By the way, if Brad doesn’t do something with his coaching staff, he is asking to be replaced. Pitching coach was fixed probably in spite of him but a hard look at the rest of the staff is needed.

    1. good points Tony, and i agree on all points except i still believe DET can be a real contender in ’16, but a lot of stars have to align (i.e. key guys staying healthy, JD having a similar year, Sanchez returning to pre-’15 form + a dramatic improvement by DET pitching staff).

      …as for coaching staff, i’d say goodbye to Lamont, and bring in a proven base-stealing/running coach – since DET’s base-running in ’15 was terrible. Also, Ausmus must start “demanding” excellence from his players, instead of sitting back and waiting for it…and waiting…

      DET in ’15 did a lot of little things to ‘lose’ games, that mentality has to do a 180 in ’16

      1. Norman, we can disagree on the one point but if you turn out to be right, I’ll still win because I will be a very happy fan!

        You make two great points. Brad must start DEMANDING excellence from the players. Maybe if we do not allow chairs and sunflower seeds in the dugout he will seem more engaged. As the great Yogi said: “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” Totally agree about Lamont. It may take someone in the front office to leak something privately to him that he should do something else.

  4. Tigers improved their bullpen today by releasing two ineffective pitchers making 7+ mil……g….AlAl and Feliz. Its not that Al was a gas can all the time, but just didn’t get enough guys outg..Felix was a gas can…period!

      1. In order to sign Feliz DET would have had to pony up a $7M qualifying offer, which DET wisely passed on. He’s now a FA, and if DET could resign him for $3M-$4M for a couple years, i might take a chance on him – prior to last year (where he was atrocious), he was good for TX, and his velocity seemed in-line w/prior years – he just became a BP last year.

        Again, i’d only take a chance on Feliz if DET can’t sign a few other more proven/reliable FA relief pitchers. Hopefully building a deep/reliable bullpen is a priority of AA – as opposed to DD’s history of thinking if he signed or brought in ‘a closer’, he could just cobble together the rest of the bullpen pieces…and we all know how that strategy worked.

    1. pending physical, Pelfrey will receive $8M X 2yrs

      Rotation = JV, Dirty Sanchez, Zimmerman, Norris & Pelfrey… with Boyd, Fulmer & VerHagen waiting in the wings if any of the 5 SP’s are shutdown for injury or if they crash & burn

    2. I think Big Al is playing a version of money ball. I think it was smart to sign Zimmerman when he did–if he waited until the Price and Greinke signings, it would have cost more. And there will be a ripple effect through all the starters. So Zimmerman + Pelfrey now is worth more than Zimmerman + Pelfrey in a few weeks.

  5. Atta boy, Al…just keep going….I got about 6 more guys at least you can dump and start over, if you run out of names on your list!!

    ….hey Al, how about managers????

  6. good point Coleman… signing Z-man & Pelfrey before the crazy dollars start flying saved DET some dollars.

    If a SP stays healthy all year, the average number of starts is about 30 (but note, DET only had one SP make over 25 starts in ’15 – Simon = 31). So in ’16 there will be at least 3 MLB pitchers that will make over $1M per start… not a bad way to earn a living. There will be several more SP’s that will make ‘almost $1M’ per start… (i.e. JV at $28M, etc.) or will also make $1M per start if they don’t get to 30 starts


    Appears Marlins will pay just about all of Salty’s $8M salary this year. Early on in his career, many thought this guy was the real-deal…until he caught (no pun intended) that bug that afflicts most MLB catcher – they forget how to hit.

    …guess Holaday is no longer an option

  8. Hey Al….We are starting to not miss DD…keep up the good work. I like the swith hitter, although Ausmus might not have a clue how that works!!!…but Lowe a real Veteran arm and Salty…I am good with both!

  9. Al said today that the Tigers have enough hitting!!!!!!! So that means they are looking for pitchers that give up zero runs seeing that in 65 games the Tigs scored 2 or less runs!!!!

    1. good point Jud!

      if DET goes into the season expecting a mix of Gose, Maybin and Collins to hold down LF & CF, DET will be disappointed in the offensive side of the ledger

  10. Here is the first thing I have seen regarding our pathetic base running. Of course our leader says he does not want to upset the fun in the game. With the whole staff involved, I sure hope that we take a step in the right direction. For all the talk last year in spring training I saw little by the end of the year that we are a running team. We have/had quite a few assets to run that were not utilized at all (Gose/Raj/Iggy/Kinsler). It sure makes a difference with Miggy and VMart when guys are on second.

  11. I see they announced they will start using notebooks on how to be a Tiger Well Al and Brad before you issue those notebooks how about putting some thing in them. Hers some suggestions:
    Chap1…how to properly lead off and not get picked off.
    Chap 2…how to properly run the bases
    Chap to move important runners, advancing 1 or 2 bases.
    Chap4…. how to manufacture much needed runs
    Capt.. 5….how to hustle at all times, including to first base on a ground ball.
    Chap 6….Bull pen. How to get 3 guys out in one inning
    Chap 7…How to manage with the game on the line

    Feel free to add chapters. Lets see how far this needs to go then we can send it to Brad and Al!!!

  12. Al is on a roll!!!………keep going Al!..lets get a real third baseman and that leftfielder…..its only money….its only pizza!!!

      1. i agree Coleman… to trade Lobstein “for cash considerations” is a perplexing coming from an organization that; 1) is seriously lacking in AAA pitchers (especially lefties) that could develop into MLB pitchers, and 2) has an owner that says ‘money is no object’

        …so why give him away for just cash? …unless, they’ve run out of options (AAA – assignments) on him or they feel he’s a health risk

        1. I guess I’d have to bet on the health thing. He was looking pretty promising before he got injured, maybe they didn’t like what they saw after.

  13. Our Detroit Tigers:

    Now that Big Al has made some changes, here is my assessment of the Tigers for 2016:

    Outfield: We’re hurting. To me, Cameron Maybin is a better fit for CF than Gose. JD is a lock in RF. Left I’m still holding out for Alex Gordon. If not Anthony Gose can do less damage in left than center. Perhaps Moya and/or Bernard can threaten someone for their job in spring training.

    Infield: Might be the best if you could ignore 3B, but Casty would be more than adequate if he starts paying more attention to the strike zone and hitting to the opposite field. He should work at making his fielding mediocre. If not, I wouldn’t object to having Andrew Romine get much more time at third. Also, Mike Aviles has played more than a handful of games at 3B. First base is a big concern for me. If we do not DH Miggy more, will we be taking a chance on him getting injured more? Perhaps not, consider Ian Kinsler is older and played in 315 games over the last 2 years. Miggy only played 278.

    C: James McCann is one of the best young catchers, so far. Bryan Holaday seems out of luck since we got Saltalamacchia as backup. Still. There is no need for James to play 162 games next year.

    DH: Tigers must be careful because of Victor’s age and last year’s injuries. THEY MUST HAVE THE SENSE (OR TENER LOS COJONES) TO BENCH OR DL HIM IMMEDIATELY IF HE GETS HURT. Also, playing 1B for 30-40 games could help to keep Miggy fit. If Victor goes down in 2016, we don’t have any options.

    Starting Pitchers: I expect JV and Zimermann to be very good. If not, start early planning for 2017. Sanchez is an unknown so far, spring training should tell us what to expect. Pelfrey should be better than he was at Minnesota. Norris is promising but still too early to know.

    Bullpen: On paper, looks really good. In reality, can’t be as bad as last year. New Closer looks solid and Lowe can be an asset. Will we be able to better manage Alex Wilson and VerHagen?

    I expect the new pitching coach to be an asset. However, unless Brad has learned a lot, it may not matter. As far as his job, here are my expectations: If we are playing very well and staying in contention he will survive the year. If we play really poorly, he will still survive the year. Sorry, looks like he finishes the year.

    Unless KC loses 4 or 5 of their starting players this year, they should win the division. If everything falls in place for the Tigers, we could challenge and possibly contend for a wild card position late into the year. After all, the rest of the division is, at best, mediocre.

    FOR THE SEASON: If we do not win the AL Central Division, we will miss the post-season again. The other divisions have too many good teams for us to back into a wild card. No matter, the season will be more enjoyable but not likely to produce any banners.

    1. I would also wait! I would be thrilled, I’d also consider him for CF. Now that we are deeper into the off season, it is more likely now than when the season ended.

      As far as the Lobster, while he showed some promise I wouldn’t want to have to pick the guy that goes if we had kept him. The good news is that if he develops into a good one the only way he could hurt us as a Pirate would be in the World Series. I can live with that. Perhaps the cash can help get Cespedes!

      1. I’m not sure what to think about Cespedes (other than he was great to watch in left). He had a career best year, which is usually the worst time to sign a free agent (unless you don’t care what anything costs). But what if he has either (or both): 1) developed as a hitter. Or 2) thrives in certain environments? If 1, he’d be a good sign, if 2, we are one of the environments he thrived in. If both, he’d be great to bring back. I mean he’s no Tyler Collins, but…

  14. May I take a moment to thank all the folks on this blog for not only putting up with my nonsense and the occasional rant, but for also entertaining and enlightening me with your knowledge. I look forward to another season as we enjoy and/or suffer with our Tigers.

    To Al Avila and the Tiger management team: Thanks for your efforts. It looks like you folks have a plan in place and we all ask that the baseball gods bless your efforts.

    If I may also state the obvious: You have been blessed with one of the best owners of any sports franchise, do your best for him.

    Mr. I: God bless you and Marian and all your works.


      1. Let me echo all a belated Merry Christmas and prosperous 2016 which will be my 50th season as a devoted Tiger fan. Glad to do it with you guys, From the snowy mountains of Fort Davis, Texas, OTFIM.

  15. I read the same article and agree with Norman and Coleman. Unless the writer expects a miracle vitamin that will make Casty at least as good a fielder as Tom Brookens, he is never going to untouchable. However, if he can learn the strike zone, cut down the strike outs, and add about 20 points to his BA, he could be acceptable in spite of his fielding.

  16. To go back quite a few years, think of all the complaining that was done when Mr .199 (aka Ted Williams) Brandon Inge was at the hot corner. BA has a lot of changes to make to make the 2016 Tigers a contender. Improving Nick is one of those.

  17. I’ll admit I don’t give a hoot about college football. Perhaps the fact I attended Fordham for a very short time accounts for that. So New Years Day is not a day I really get too exited about except that I’m still around for the start of a new year. If Detroit ever gets an NFL franchise, I might get into pro football, but we’ll have to wait for that. So today I got really exited when I saw that Fox Sports Detroit was running rebroadcasts of 2015 Tiger’s games. I figured they would pick decent games so I watched for a while and enjoyed the show even knowing how the season ends. The first one was D Price’s complete game 2-1 win against KC. The 2nd game, just starting, treated me to Miggy’s 400th home run. So this year New Years day has brought back some of the few bright spots from 2015, and they were few and far in between. Looking forward to a better if not a championship 2016.

    1. Tony…now there’s a true Tiger fan!

      Me, when it comes to watching a sporting event on TV, it doesn’t get much better than college football…even the blowouts yesterday (Go Blue!).

      As for the upcoming ’16 Tigers, i like the moves AA did (so far) this off-season, but my confidence would only increase if they signed either Cespedes or Gordon to play LF…instead of relying on the 3-man platoon in CF & LF (Gose, Collins & Maybin) currently on the roster

  18. Turned on MLB TV this am just in time to catch their recap of 2015 ( OUCH!) and their opinions/predictions for 2016 for the Tigers. Then as I was scrolling down through the comments I saw that Tony had nailed everything that was covered by their “experts.” Way to Go Tony!


    as stated before i do not like the 3-man platoon of Gose, Maybin & Collins in CF & LF… and this article seems to confirm that despite all their (Gose & Maybin) speed, they’re near the bottom of fielding analytics… so this begs the question, if they’re also below average hitters, why keep both of them?

    …and if ‘money is no object’ to Illitch & DET, why not sign either Cespedes or Gordon, and at least solve the LF dilemma?

  20. Other than he would have looked good in a Tiger uniform, I’m happy that Alex signed with the Royals. As this is probably his last contract, it’s nice that he will finish with the Royals. He is an outstanding player and they can certainly use him. Doesn’t solve our CF/LF problems so we have to see what rabbit Big Al can pull out of his hat to try to fix the Tigers problems. I really think they should work on signing JD since another year like his last two would make him very, very expensive.

    1. JD is arbitration eligible for the next two seasons, but then would become eligible for FA after the 2017 season when he turns 30 yrs old.

      if he has the same or better seasons the next two years, he’ll command some serious FA dollars prior to the ’18 season

  21. Ditto. The point about the Tigers ages is well made. If we can’t win it all in the next 3 years (and 3 is a stretch) we have to go back to the drawing board. Unless 3 or 4 of our prospects become super stars.

    1. Sounds good to me, the only caveat is the whispers I have heard from some “insiders” that I know that he and his brother both need to be “kept happy”, and as we all know, money does not buy happiness.

  22. Wow, Does this make a deal with J.D. hard with Miggy, Verlander, Zimmerman, and now Upton all around 20 million? Mr I is going all in.

  23. Were down to two weak links now….Casty and the big one Asmus!….whats that saying about the strength of the chain!!!! me its hard to helieve Asmus is holding this whole thing together. And maybe Al Al feels if he gets a strong enough roster not even Asmus can screw it up!


    let’s hope the players/manager/coaches execute this season with the same “all in” goal-driven approach displayed by their owner

    i agree w/Jud above, DET’s weak-link now resides at 3B (Castellanos)… which would be tolerable if he could hit at or above .275 along with even a little improvement in the field

    Ausmus and management of his new bullpen is also a concern, but maybe the new pitching coach and the bullpen additions help mitigate that concern

    Bottom line; i feel much better about DET’s chances w/the addition of Upton than i did before

  25. With the signing of Upton, the Tigers appear to be ready for 2016. They have addressed the hole in left field and my congratulations go out to Al Avila and of course Mr. Illitch. I agree with Jud when he says that Gose may be expendable if the right trade comes along. They may hold on to him just because he is a left handed batter.

    The signing of Upton also seems to say that if the Tigers are to win it all, they are betting in the next 2 to 3 years. After that their age will begin to really become an issue.

    I still do not see them winning the division and making the playoffs is iffy. I’ll make another assessment at the end of spring training.


    i would take a chance if they on JDMart if they could sign him to a 6 yr at $85M…

    plus i’m all for Gibby sharing his insight on baserunning, but DET needs to hire a base-stealing guru and share his knowledge w/Gose (if DET keeps him), Maybin, Upton, etc …for Gose being one of MLB’s fastest players his SB numbers last year were underwhelming

  27. maybe the recent assignment to AAA was DET’s last for Marte, and DET is just not too optimistic about his development…??? …or they believe they have an excess of (better quality) outfielders??? …dunno

    Kinsler is signed through ’17 season, w/an option for ’18… so its not like they’re looking for a 2nd baseman

    1. good move with JD – and if he has two more season ‘like or better than’ last season, he’s going to become a very wealthy guy after the ’17 season (his FA qualifying season)

  28. The funniest thing to my about sports salaries is most guys who get 17-18 mil for 2 years, barely make it thru 2 years with that kind of money!….what a life!

    1. This is hilariously depressing.

      The freaking voice of the turtle has me so hopeful. But realistically we’re old, poorly managed, and have no depth.


    Schoenfield makes some valid points, but ranking DET 19th?!?! Sure i’m a loyal Tiger fan, and therefore as pessimistic as the next guy… but i can assure you that there will be a half dozen teams “ranked higher” (by Schoenfield) than DET that will finish ’16 with worse records than DET.

    Yes there are a lot of things will have to go right for DET to ‘contend’, but i think 79-83 under-sells DET ’16 – i’m going with 88-74…which may win the division or qualify as WC.

  30. Norman, you’ve got to take a deep breath and relax! It is way too soon to say 79-83 is underselling the 2016 Tigers, or over reaching. Perhaps after spring training will be a better time to try to predict what they will look like this year. Remember he gets paid to write not necessarily for his wisdom. He did pick the Nationals #1 last year!

    Big issues I see:
    Will Anibal Sanchez become more like the pitcher he once was.
    Can Victor stay healthy enough to be the DH he used to be. Will Miggy be healthy all year?
    Is Norris really ready? (I think he is but he’s not David Price, yet.)
    Greene is we hope and pray so far. I expect Pelfrey to be at least as good as he was last year with the Twins which should mean a few more wins.
    Relief pitchers certainly look better but their success is also dependent on how deep our starters go and how the pen is managed. I believe you use your best pitcher in games you are winning no matter if the closer comes in the 8th or even the 7th.
    Our base running still sucks but maybe Kurt can give it a heart/brain transplant.
    New pitching coach should be a plus, but a change or two in other coaching assignments would have been helpful (3rd Base anyone?).

    Our manager is a brilliant guy but like Sheldon Cooper in Big Bang Theory, it hasn’t translated yet into anything useful in everyday life. He seems to handle personal relationships like Sheldon. Fortunately, I believe Big Al will give him some guidance.

    As far as the division title goes, who cares? We won 4 in a row and never got the big prize. Right now, I’d say a wild card is shaky but if we can improve as the season goes on, we could back into a wild card. That is not all bad and we already know that if you get in, no matter how, you have a chance!

    Enough of my rant, can’t wait until spring training starts!

    1. all valid points (and questions) Tony… and i shall take a deep breath but still remain optimistic for ’16 until i see things going south (figuratively)

      pithers & catchers report on friday


    This type of article makes me mad. Perhaps Avila should dump McCann and get who? Lots of the poor grade seems to deal with framing pitches. Two things about this: Does this mean that umpires are all chumps that can be fooled? Could it be the amount of pitches that “need” framing is different if Kershaw is pitching than if Big Pasta is pitching? Never mind, a lot of Big Pasta’s pitches never had a chance to be framed!

    What I think is that Big Al is a really smart baseball exec. Salty is not only a decent left handed bat but has been very good at “framing” pitches. Is there anyone else in our system who might be able to improve McCann’s mechanics.

    1. Oh yes, all the what ifs. First of all even if healthy, he still has to prove he can return to his old form. If it is a “minor” setback, now’s the best time. If it turns out to be major, management can give some youngsters a real look this spring. Also, Mr. I can get his purse ready IF everything else is good starting the season.

  32. Sanchez hurt ALREADY…apparently lifting those Coronas for the past 10 months isn’t that good for you! Has he been hanging with Zumaya!

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