Monday, October 04, 2010

My thoughts on Dave Dombrowski's so-called "state of the Tigers"

Not much of what Tigers’ general manager Dave Dombrowski said Sunday was surprising.
The Tigers will bring back Brandon Inge. They will likely get a bit of a hometown discount. They want Jhonny Peralta to be their shortstop next season, but will try to sign him long-term for less than the $7 million per season his contract option calls for, should they automatically pick it up. The Tigers will also try to re-sign Magglio Ordonez, but only for considerably less than the $18 million he made last season. At this stage, Ordonez is a $7 million per year player. His agent, Scott Boras, undoubtedly will shop Ordonez around to get more than that.
They made the right moves by letting everyone know up front Johnny Damon and Gerald Laird won’t be back. Dombrowski also sees Alex Avila as the Tigers’ primary catcher next season, which to me was the only surprise. I just don’t see where Avila made significant progress in 2010.
Phil Coke will move into the starting pitching rotation, a move I thought might happen this year. The Tigers need a lefty in the rotation, but it does leave a hole in the bullpen, which manager Jim Leyland said is their most pressing need.
I see the Tigers adding a fourth- or fifth-starter type in the rotation, veteran help for the bullpen and a middle of the order hitter. Could be via trade or free agency. They definitely need power.
They won’t do anything at second base. I think their second baseman of the future will be neither Will Rhymes nor Scott Sizemore, but rather Danny Worth. Of all the position players the Tigers brought to the major leagues who were honed strictly by their system this season, I was impressed the most by Worth. He is a very good fielder with a surprisingly live bat.

Random Thoughts

- If the Heisman Trophy voting were held today, how could Denard Robinson not win it? Michigan hasn’t lost a game and he has been beyond brilliant. It’s one of the best five-game stretches in the history of college football. Hope Michigan fans are appreciating the true greatness of this kid’s talent.

- I had an American League Rookie of the Year vote this year. This is what my ballot looked like:
1. Austin Jackson
2. Neftali Feliz
3. Danny Valencia
Feliz had a brilliant year, but Jackson is an every day player at a premier defensive position contributing more overall. Sealing the deal for me was Jackson’s superior defensive play. If it wasn’t in conjunction with solid hitting numbers across the board, I would have put Feliz first on my ballot.



Blogger Barry said...

Well Pat, since the Tigers are going to lose their first round pick if they sign Type A player you might as well go with the same old same old and DD usually takes the easiest path. Tigers should offer arbitition to Inge because anything over one year is risky. Inge range has decrease since 08 and power # are dropping quickly. Beside you have Peralta if Inge walks. I think there are players ahead of Maggs to sign. Tigers should be going for Werth or Victor or Dunn first. With Victor you’re getting two for the price of one, you are getting a quality DH and your second catcher. Releasing Guillen does not make sense at $13 million and Guillen is productive when he plays. Signing a back end starter is not worth the money and beside you have a choice of Coke, Oliver and Galarraga at the back end. Tiger should be looking at a former ace pitcher that is going through rehab.

8:53 AM 
Blogger Core Contrarian said...

As to Inge, I think the Tigers get a "You will get what we offer" discount as I don't know that there would have been a whole lot of interest in him from the rest of the league. At least as a starter.

9:28 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy, elated!

Most good teams have the fortune to have a good catcher or third baseman (power) hitter in the lineup.

Alex Avilla and Inge in the offensive lineup.

That should lead to a pennant!

12:52 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Pretty much agree, but I think the Tigers need to sign a top notch LF AND a DH. We need to add TWO legitimate bats to this lineup if we've ever going to hope to compete with the Twins, who have 7 legitimate bats compared to our 2 or 3 (Mauer, Morneau, Kubel, Cuddyer, Thome, Span, Young)

4:23 PM 
Blogger Larry Baker said...

Now, granted, DD is capable of swinging a big deal that renders the "state of the Tigers" stuff meaningless; but regardless, expressing a desire to return so much of a 81-81 team is puzzling. This is particularly true since Ordonez and Inge are not exactly spring chickens. It's hard to imagine that just adding a "big bat", a right handed back up catcher and a couple of vet relievers will somehow get this crew back to the World Series (especially if DD is dreaming of Parlata and Sizemore defending in the middle if and Rayburn patrolling in the OF.

5:16 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The decision to stand pat with a team that has collapsed in the 2nd half 5 straight years is disheartening.
When DD was with the Marlins he was always more aggressive. It seems strange that Illitch, who wants a WS win and is advancing in age, would be dictating this passive philosophy.
The Twins runaway with a division with their top slugger out for the whole 2nd half. The Tigers lose one of their best hitters and fall completely apart. What makes Tiger management think they can truly win with this team?
This is very strange. Even guaranteeing Leyland his job.
I refuse to believe that B. Inge, Ordonez, Rayburn and Leyland are the "best" there is and are irreplaceable. If so, how come there is no demand for their services from other teams?
All of this is weird and starting to become reminiscent of the way WCF ran his team for so long.

7:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Tigs have some obvious holes that need to be addressed but I think the biggest one they need to address that wasn't mentioned is depth, depth and more depth (and quality). I mentioned earlier in the year that I saw the Tigs play the Angels and they had similar teams. Decent starting squads and no one to fill in. At the end of the year that had similar results (injuries to starters and a mediocre record). It sure seems like the good teams have players that dont just step in but produce and if they have a bunch of 4A players on the bench, I'm willing to bet that they have a similar result.

lil rob

11:16 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DD's mistake was signing Everett, even for cheap. That absolutely crushed the bottom of their order. Peralta is almost a must for them at this point. Had he been here all season, it might have made a difference.

Laird performed OK when he was the primary, and you could always bank on his arm and leadership. But platooned with Avila, he seemed to drop off, even defensively. Another DD move that disappointed. Avila is a huge question mark, still.

Magglio is fine at his true price. Boesch, I'm not so sure about. They need another lefthanded hitting corner outfielder.

Coke to the rotation makes sense, but opens up another huge hole.

Whatever they do at 2nd, it better pay off. And it can't involve a hopeful rookie, with Guillen as a tattered backup option, like this season. Sizemore wasn't ready. Rhymes may be.

3:20 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

It's not like they will be giving up the first overall pick in the draft. The draft is made by picks past the first round, not just first rounders. So I have no issue with getting a power. I do believe they will go after Dunn, that it's part of their plan.

12:22 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Core Contrarian,
Inge could start for a lot of teams, but I don't think he'd be able to command a huge free agent deal, either. Remember, offensive numbers are down in baseball. It made Inge's season better than it would have been five or especially 10 years ago.

12:23 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Thing the point about this, if you really look at it, is that most don't. That Inge and Peralta, while not ideal, are not that bad compared to other clubs in these areas.

12:25 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
I agree about the two bats, but I figure they will actually only get one and count Ordonez as the other.

12:26 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Larry Baker,
I agree with a deal. Could change everything. But one thing about Dombrowski is that he isn't the type to say one thing about his plan and do another. Only exception was when Ilitch stepped in and wanted Damon. If there is a deal, it would probably involve getting that bat for the corner outfield and middle of order - and then bypassing on Dunn in free agency.

12:28 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I wouldn't say they are standing pat. There just won't be wholesale changes. You'll see more help for bullpen, obviously a bat added in the middle of lineup and a possible fifth starter.

12:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

lil rob,
Your point is well taken. At first it looked like the Tigers had tons of depth because these guys from the minor leagues played pretty well at first. Then they were exposed.

12:31 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

That Everett-Santiago platoon fell apart in a hurry this season. Peralta, to me, is a solid major league player. And those aren't that easy to procure. Think we're found that out this season when the Tigers leaned heavily on their farm system.

12:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew you would say that, Pat.

Only about 6-8 teams have a third baseman or catcher that can hit and hit for power.

Problem is, Twins have one and one of the best in the league.

Dombrowski has to not only build the best team with the resources available, but build a team against the most viable opponent.

Yeah, it's a crapshoot sometimes.

5:25 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I just don't think the Tigers should cut off their nose to spite their face.

9:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well to the guy asking about Illitch's passive philosphy maybe he just doesnt trust DD any more after he gave slugs like Sheffield,Robertson,Willis,etc bloated long term contracts.One was washed up and the other two were on a downward statistical climb since their best year.a BASIC LOOK AT THEIR career stats would have shown that.

12:18 PM 

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