Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Look for the Tigers to land one, maybe two premier free agents

The best part about the World Series being complete is the Tigers can now look toward to the off season in earnest.
I do believe the Tigers will be bigger players in free agency than in the past, and will be taken more seriously by premier free agents such as Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn and Victor Martinez. I believe the Tigers will be looked upon as more than a destination of last resort, which, face it, they were for the likes of Ivan Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez and Johnny Damon.
The Tigers still drew well in attendance last year - despite a second half that was mediocre. And while the economy isn't exactly roaring in this area, there isn't quite the level of panic there was after last season. The Tigers clearly cut payroll at this time last season. It's why Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco were unloaded. But they amended that with the Damon signing late on a whim by owner Mike Ilitch.
This off season, a definite plan should already be in place. The Tigers needed to regroup after the late-season collapse in 2009, and were very low key for a long period of last winter. This will be different. More like before the 2008 season.
Another reason players will want to come to Detroit is because the Tigers do offer contention. They are going to at least be respectable with Justin Verlander leading the rotation and Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the lineup. Both are are still in their 20s and signed long term. Both have just entered their prime. It wouldn't surprise me if the Tigers wind up with two of the above-mentioned free agents. Crawford will likely sign with the Yankees, but it's wide open on the other three. Others clubs are not throwing around money like they used to. The market for big-money free agents has shrunk. I do believe the Tigers' focus will be on position players and bullpen, not starting pitching - at least at the high end. They might to take a crack a fourth- or fifth starter type.



Blogger Barry said...

Pat, I wouldn’t count the Tigers out on any free agent including Lee. Tigers can match the money and increase the length of the contract. Is 32/33 year old Lee really going to get a seven year contract with the Yanks? That is a long time for a 32/33 year old to be effective. The Yanks are foolish to sign Lee that long. Tigers could step up to the plate for a six year deal. Beside Jeter and A-Rod range are below average and the Tigers have a very nice pitcher friendly ball park. If the Angels can sign Werth than that leaves Crawford and Crawford mention “money is an issue”. Tigers have a shot at Crawford. Martinez would be the easiest to sign if the Tigers come up with a 4 year contract. Dunn might be looking for a short fence to right and plus play the field. This is a good year to pick up a reliever or two. Kuroda would be a nice pick up for a starter.

2:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tigers aren't far off the Giants core blueprint to success. 3 quality young starters, lights out closer, one big impact bat for both. Where the Giants trump the Tigers is in the surrounding cast...all the other Giants everyday hitters were avg to above avg offensively. Now some of the Tigers young hitters could emerge as that type of player next season (if they're lucky one or two will), but currently C, 2B, SS, LF, RF, and DH are all either unfilled or have players who are essentially unproven or inconsistent. Tigers need multiple decent veteran hitters, not just one loud bat.

7:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The terms "Jayson Werth" and "premier free agent" should NEVER be used in the same sentence unless "is not a" comes inbetween. Signing him for 3 - 4 years would be a bigger millstone on the Tigers future payroll down the road than Carlos Guillen is right now. He plays in a bandbox in Philly and his stats are already declining.

There are only 2 premier free agents this year, Lee & Crawford. The rest are average players that look good in comparison to a really bad class.

12:37 PM 

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