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…

2012 Winter Meetings

Open thread for the Winter Meeting activities…don’t have much time this morning, but I’m sure our community will keep us up to date…check back often.

– Apparently Asdrubal Cabrera has a block on the Tigers, along with the Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals, Giants and Mets. Interesting company.

– I don’t think the Indians want Peralta, but perhaps the Marlins have something that the Indians want.

– If the Tigers are shopping for a closer, here are some candidates.

2011 Winter Meetings

Your Winter Meetings thread.  I’ll update when I can, but I figure we’ll let the comments take care of the breaking news.

Here’s what we already know – Jose Reyes is taking his talents to South Beach.  Did you know that they are the “Miami Marlins” now?  Isn’t that Jamie Foxx’s team in Any Given Sunday? Rumor is that Buehrle could be next.  It’s about time for the Marlins to buy another WS.  Hey, whatever works.  Though I’m not sure if anyone can afford Reyes, Buehrle and Pujols.

Uhhhh, no thanks.

ESPN free agent tracker here.




2010 Winter Meetings: Day 3 (updated)

(updated as necessary)

Tigers talking to the Cubs about a a borderline 5th starter, but at least he’s a lefty.

– Ordonez is the apple of Boston’s eye, reports Danny Knobler, though Boras suggests that there are several serious suitors.  Maggs worked out today in Florida to show everyone how is ankle is doing.  Tigers are mum on what they saw.

Thoughts on how to use Guillen in 2011 from Lynn Henning.  Henning also had a good piece on how this has really been a seller’s market (blame Werth) and the Tigers may be able to rely on what they already have.

– Sheffield and Damon to unite in Tampa?

UPDATE – Crawford to the Red Sox

Jon Heyman of SI is reporting that the Red Sox have signed Crawford to 7 yrs for $142M.  (Just over $20M per year).  I’m guessing that the Red Sox are no longer interested in Maggs, and I’m wondering if they were using him as a means to play it cool around Crawford.

Look for the Tigers to settle with Maggs at around 2 for $19M in the next few days.

2010 Winter Meetings: Day 2

– Things seem to be moving pretty slowly in Orlando.  I still feel that Ordonez is their #1 target, but the always scheming Scott Boras may be waiting for Crawford to rake (and decrease OF supply) before starting a bidding war for Maggs.  I like Maggs, but not at what the Red Sox are likely to offer him.  I’d rather take our chances with the kids, and look to make a move at the deadline if we’re in the hunt.

– Crawford’s current asking price may be too much for the Tigers.

– Joaquin Benoit was named the comeback player of the year.  Yay.  But that usually means that he was injured, or not very good the year before.  Have I mentioned that I’m not crazy about the Benoit deal?

– Look for Figaro to be in an alternate Tigers uni next year.

– Did you know that the Tigers had the fewest LH starts by an AL team last year?  Stephen – remember the guy that had most of them for us?

2010 Winter Meetings: Day 1

With Werth off the market, Lee and Crawford should get the majority of coverage this week.  But even without big name free agents, the Winter Meetings are always hopping, and the Tigers are no stranger to dropping news bombs this time of year.

Sure, I’d love to be on the hunt for Crawford, Lee, or even Grienke (whom the Royals are openly shopping around), but realistically, those guys are not on DD’s radar.  Lee is definitely going to join the $20M/yr club, and Crawford may be seeking $180M (surely not…right?).  But here is who DD might be honing in on:

1) Maggs – We need someone to hit in the 3 or 5 hole, Maggs can still hit.  He’s probably only good for 120 – 130 games next year, but Guillen could probably fill in the other ABs, and Maggs is still serviceable in RF.  Yes, Crawford is the sexier player, but he just doesn’t make sense for the Tigers.  Not at Werth+ type numbers.

2) Left handed bullpen help.  Brian Fuentes.  You heard it here first.   With Coke moving to the rotation, we’ll need someone to complement Schlereth.

3) A starting pitcher.  Seemingly, the Tigers have their 2011 rotation set at Verlander/Scherzer/Porcello/Coke/Galarraga.  But with the questions marks at 4 and 5 there, it might make sense to make a run at a Brandon McCarthy type to provide some competition in Spring Training.  With Turner and Crosby likely a year away, the back of our rotation is not likely to get much support from inside the organization next year.

4) Jim Thome – for $2M a year, I’m sure we could find 200 ABs for him.  Especially with the lack of power up the middle (2B, SS, CF).  He could be a great late inning bat.  If he doesn’t do it for you, does Manny?  Considering the Tigers let Jermaine Dye sit at home all summer last season, I don’t see Manny as a possibility here.

Thus, barring a blockbuster trade (I don’t think we have the pawns), I’m not looking for the Tigers to make too much of a splash this week.

A few other items of interest:

– Boston was happy about the Tigers not getting Werth, as it all but guarantees that the Bo Sox will get the Tigers’ first rounder next year as compensation for losing Martinez (only Lee and Soriano were ranked higher).
– Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports admits that this is his own speculation, but suggests there could be a mystery darkhorse team that’s in on Lee, perhaps the Angels or Phillies or Reds or Tigers or White Sox.

– Tigers weren’t willing to go 6 with Werth.  Rightfully so.  Here’s what Keith Law had to say on the matter:  “Giving a 32-year-old position player who has qualified for the batting title exactly twice in his major-league career a guaranteed seven-year deal for over $100 million isn’t just a bad move. It’s irresponsible.”

– If you haven’t seen them yet – the 6th annual DIBS (Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes) awards were released last week.  The voters are a compilation of Tigers bloggers.

– Tom Gage had a great column on Friday about why Martinez is a better fit in Detroit than Dunn.

– White Sox making a hard push to resign Konerko.  Seems like slow-footed 1B overkill to me.

News & Notes: 11.20.2010

– DD’s latest interview infers that a big bat is top priority now.

– Ni was sent down, and Alberto Alburquerque (not to be confused with “Albuquerque”) signed to minor league deal and added to the 40.

– Ordonez news – Boras is already doing his thing, and Jason Beck thinks this means that Maggs will sit deep into free agency before making a decision.

– Heyman furthered the notion of a Grienke deal, and ponders – why not Soria too?  Interestingly, Soria has a limited no-trade clause that gives him the right to veto deals to the Cardinals, Cubs, Phillies, Red Sox, Tigers and Yankees.

– Apparently, no trade to the Tigers clauses are popular these days.

Tigers sign Benoit (and Adam Dunn talk)

3 years at $16.5M is a hefty price tag for a setup guy who has really only had three good years over his 8 year career.  Benoit had a sick .68 WHIP last year with 75 Ks in 60.1 IPs.  Problem is, that he’s never had a WHIP lower than 1.17 in any of his other 8 full seasons (3 of them primarily as a starter), and he has a career 4.47 ERA, and 1.35 WHIP.

I’m not fond of 3 year deals for middle relievers, and I’m not fond of overpaying for a career year.  Though I will say props to DD for addressing a huge need, and doing so quickly.  I think we’ll get one more in the pen before camp next spring.

I also thought this was interesting – at least some are reporting that Phil Coke will be in the starting rotation next year.


Dunn – It was reported around noon central that talks were heating up with Dunn, but Jon Heyman recently sent this out via Twitter: “hearing dunn isn’t close yet with any 1 team, tho tigers are showing keen interest.”)

News & Notes: 11.15.10

Welcome to the Hot Stove – the GM meetings began today.

AJax has a nice showing in Rookie of the Year voting, but hats off to Feliz.  Feliz took 20 of the first place votes, with Jackson receiving the other 8.

Casper Wells gets hot in the Dominican Winter League, then tweaks his knee.

If anything, the Tigers are at least talking to the Marlins about Uggla.

In other news:

Kirk Gibson’s bat that took Eckersly long and created a legend sold yesterday for a measly $576k.

River Ave Blues takes a look at the long term implications for the Yankees if they sign Lee.

Ken Rosenthal writes that the Brewers may be putting their infield on the block (including Prince Fielder), and expresses concern that 4 years would be too much for Victor Martinez.

Jon Heyman just tweeted that Kuroda signed a 1 year deal with the Dodgers for $12M.

Cabrera Wins Silver Slugger Award, and Hot Stove Talk (really Victor Martinez talk)

Miguel Cabrera won his third Silver Slugger award today, and joined Albert Pujols in the distinction of winning it at three positions (remember he predominantly played OF for the Marlins when he first came up).

But on to the more pressing issues at hand:

The Tigers are being routinely mentioned as the team most who will make the strongest bid for Victor Martinez (for four years, surmises Peter Gammon), but does Manny Ramirez make sense in Detroit?  Apparently Battlestar has the inside scoop on Martinez, telling Morosi that the Tigers’ Venezuelan faction could help.

I agree that Carl Crawford is the crown jewel of the hitters, but the rumors put him at $100MM over 5 years, and I don’t think that we can do that, and fill our C need.

Note that Casey Fien signed with the Astros today.  He had a career 8.36 ERA and 1.643 WHIP with the Tigers.

Wrapping up the week

It’s Sunday evening and this concludes my foray into full time blogging. I took this week off to delve into the winter meetings and cover them to the best of my ability. It proved to be an especially eventful week for Tigers fans and this blog. With that we’ll do one last set of hot stove rumors and news nuggets and a couple other thoughts as well.

Continue reading Wrapping up the week

Why the Granderson take down?

Lynn Henning was ahead of the curve on the Curtis Granderson trade front. He started beating the drum for a Granderson trade in October. It’s  something that I never would have seen coming. So kudos to Henning and his crystal ball. But why in the aftermath of the trade has he become so completely anti-Granderson and such a staunch supporter of all things Tigers? Continue reading Why the Granderson take down?