On the precipice of MLB's Winter Meetings in Orlando, so far the Tigers have dealt one of their starters, for a very dubious return, obtained a decorated closer, and shed Prince Fielder's burdensome contract while acquiring a replacement for the steady Omar Infante and a potential leadoff hitter in Ian Kinsler.
Dave Dombrowski, whose grade can't be any more than an INC at this very second, travels to Orlando with the spoken words that they're about done. From MLive's Chris Iott last week, "We'll just wait and see what takes place," Dombrowski said. "We'll have conversations with clubs. There are some free agents out there. Again, it's Dec. 4, but I don't anticipate any of the major names that are being thrown out there." It's likely posturing, also, he didn't rule out T-R-A-D-E.
To quote the great Snoop Dogg, based on the Tigers moves this offseason they had their mind on their money, and money on their mind. The budget was not endless. We can surmise they had never had the intention of financially chasing a title, breaking towards that $189 lux tax and recklessly spending their portion of the incoming TV windfall.
With Granderson and Beltran, both of whom I desired for Detroit at a time this offseason, both off the market, many peg the Tigers, regardless of Dombrowski's statement, as a potential destination for Shin Soo Choo.
I hope not.
From their course of action so far, I cannot see the Tigers spending what I project it'll take to sign Choo; 6 years $108 million. Again, I can't spending that much for a lot of OBP, a little pop, good fielding and dwindling success against left handed pitching. I know I sound ultra critical, but in a handful of seasons, it'll be painful for me to think you're paying someone nearly $20 million to do something a little leaguer to do - take four pitches. I'll develop that type precise plate discipline in my minors thank you very much.
There's no such thing as a healthy Andy Dirks. If he could stay off the DL, I'd LOVE his 344 PA and 2.3 WAR '12 season off the bench. Limiting his playing time may allow him to sustain better health.
It seems all but decided that Nick Castellanos will be the Opening day third baseman. Eh, I'd have him in the OF/1B/DH/3B mix, but you wanna re-ordain his third baseman-ship, it's tolerable.
The Tigers need an outfielder. LF or RF. Yep, Hunter COULD slide to LF.
After coming across this yesterday, The Yankees have received significant interest in Gardner, and are willing to trade him, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person requested anonymity in order to speak freely. The organization does not plan to deal Gardner, who they view as a versatile, valuable player. But they will listen to offers as they attempt to fill various voids on their roster. That's from NJ.com's Andrew Mccullough.
The Yankees, who Rob Neyer says were a 71 win team, and Tigers can help one another.
Gardner will make around $4 million in arbitration this year, and next year he'll be a free agent, just like Max Scherzer, except Scott Boras is not his agent.
With CC Sabathia at nearly 2900 career innings, coming off a nearly replacement level year (making at least another $75 million), the Yankees undoubtedly need a new ace to place in a rotation with Kuroda, Nova, and possibly, Michael Pineda.
Scherzer wouldn't been an appealing trade piece to most teams because there's little chance Boras would bless an extension. I suspect that wouldn't be the case if Scherzer were to become a Yankee. I sense most Tiger fans are coming around to the reality that they can't and shouldn't give Scherzer what Boras will ask for. I think the Yankees would gladly settle with Boras/Scherzer on 6/150, 7/175, or perhaps that 7th year is some type of option.
The Yankees get their ace, the Tigers could get their left fielder, and potentially offer him a reasonable extension. Yes, Gardness struck out 152 times last year. He also STILL produced an OBP of .344.
Scherzer is the reigning AL Cy Young winner and owner of a 2013 6.7 WAR. Gardner was a 4.2 guy.
One for one wouldn't work for me.
The Tigers need more potential bullpen arms. The one Yankee that jumps out at me in that sense is former starting prospect Dellin Betances. Last year in Scranton the 6'8" Betances transitioned to the bullpen. Outside of some control issues, it worked. 84 innings, 52 hits, 11.9 K/9 a 1.12 WHIP and a 2.68 ERA. Exactly the type of power arm the Tigers need to continued restructuring their bullpen.
With Scherzer gone the Tigers rotation is down to Verlander, Sanchez, Porcello and Smyly. They obviously need a starter. While he's not quite what he was in Tampa, Matt Garza, for the same deal Ricky Nolasco got from Minnesota (4/49), I'm in.
Garza's 12 plus Gardner's arb at 4 (or an extension which is feasible since it's Hunter's final year) is not much more than what Scherzer will settle on in arbitration this winter.
1. Gardner LF
2. Hunter RF
3. Cabrera 1B
4. Martinez DH
5. Jackson CF
6. Kinsler 2B
7. Avila C
8. Castellanos 3B
9. Iglesias SS
In reality, you've got a ton of lineup flexibity among Kinsler, Hunter, Jackson, Gardner and at some point, possibly Castellanos.
Dirks, Holaday, Kelly, Lombardozzi.
Verlander, Sanchez, Garza, Porcello Smyly.