Friday, December 09, 2011

Tigers fans disappointed they haven't landed any "big names?" They shouldn't be

Guess the Florida Marlins and Los Angeles Angels will meet in the World Series, and they shouldn't even bother playing the 2012 baseball season.
Not trying to be cynical here, but I guess I am.
My point is the off season is to make teams better, not necessarily to make "a splash."
This town understands that more than any other. The Tigers were the Marlins and Angels of the winter meetings in 2007. It's when they made the big deal getting Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from the Marlins , subsequently were the talk of baseball and sold out most of their first-half home games.
Oh, then the season came. Worst one the Tigers have had in recent memory - by far.
Although that trade eventually worked out well for the Tigers, it was only because of many twists and turns - and because Cabrera was young. Albert Pujols is perhaps the greatest hitter of this generation, but he is also older. C.J. Wilson is a solid starting pitcher, with the benefit of being left-handed. Nothing more. There is a cable television war going on in LA. The Angels have been benefactors of this by getting a local TV deal worth billions, so good for them putting money back into the team, which was already pretty good. It also kicks the Dodgers while they are down.
But it guarantees the Angels nothing.
The Marlins are getting a new stadium. Signage. Luxury boxes. Revenue upgrade. There is a nucleus on that team that isn't bad. Mike Stanton is going to be baseball's next great player. Yet, it's a bad baseball town. They show up when the Marlins win championships. That's it. Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle are terrific additions, but still seems more likely they are behind Philadelphia and Atlanta in every way. And the Marlins spent a fortune to get those players.
Remember, Tampa Bay and Arizona made the postseason in 2010 after getting shedding money. The Giants won the World Series in 2010 with a bunch castoffs from the Tigers in their lineup.
It's not about big names and that feel good press conference clubs often pay for with their blood for years afterward, it's about winning.
The odds are a lot better the Angels and the Marlins won't reach the postseason in 2012 than they will get anywhere close to the World Series.
Yet, they still owe all that money.
I'm not saying teams should never spend. Sometimes it's the wise move, and it does have a chance of paying off for the Angels, who were sorely lacking punch in their lineup and Pujols does provide that.
But it's a gamble. A big one. The Tigers don't need to take that gamble just for gambling's sake.
They have their "big names." The Tigers just have to find the right parts to fit around them.


Blogger Core Contrarian said...

The Tigers got to the ALCS last year. I don't see a need for a big splash or a supposed "improvement". Trading Perry is addition by subtraction as he can (maybe) find the strike zone on someone else's dime.

I heard a (new) radio host (on the other station) yesterday complaining that the Tigers did not go after Pujols. I almost fell out of my chair.

11:36 AM 
Blogger Farris Khan said...

"Moneyball Caputo".

I agree with you. Play the first third of the season and get answers to each of the following:
1. Delmon legit? Can he get .280/28/90? Don't care about fielding if he can.
2. Fister a 1A with an ERA under 3?
3. Scherzer a #3 finally?
4. Porcello a #3? (playing in a #4 role)
5. AJAX on base percentage better. All he needs is a bunt base hit every other series to get his on base percentage into the .350s
6. Can any youngster take the #5 role?
7. Is Alburqueque back?
8. Any injuries?

If any of these answers are negative, then you make a move. Otherwise, keep what they have and they win the Central easily.

6:06 PM 
Anonymous woody said...

like the move for Dotel. another reliable bullpen arm should make Leyland's job a bit easier.

generally speaking, free agency is not the way to build a competitive ballclub. overpaying for veteran players on the downside of their careers, for the most part. these moves can be a real setback...Dunn is the most recent example.

Leyland likes Kelly, but 3B still needs to be addressed. teams who are spending the big $ on free agent talent will be looking to move players who no longer fit in their everyday lineup. the next Tiger 3b could come from this pool of players. a guy like Callaspo from the Angels might soon be available.

1:08 PM 

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