This has been picked up by a couple of different people but the Tigers may be looking at a deal with the Dodgers that would bring George Sherrill to Detroit. According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, the Dodgers are looking for a starter. Edwin Jackson started with the Dodgers so that would make an interesting circle trip if he ends up being the guy sent over. My guess is the Tigers don’t pull the trigger until they see whether Fernando Rodney or Brandon Lyon have taken up the Tigers offer of arbitration.
According to Tim Brown, the Angels have gotten some interest in Gary Matthews, Jr. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes because if Gary Matthews, Jr. gets dealt, it could more readily open up a spot for Curtis Granderson to come right in. With Torii Hunter in centerfield, the Angels would have a formidable defense (and offense for that matter) having both Granderson and Hunter in the outfield.
It’ll also depend on what the Angels get for Matthews. It’ll probably be a bad contract for bad contract, but the Angels also need a third baseman so that may be where the Angels are looking.
It looks like the Tigers aren’t the only team in the division looking to dump a bad contract or too. It appears that Dayton Moore has been talking to the Mets about sending Gil Meche and another bad contract (i.e. former Tiger Kyle Farnsworth) to the Mets. The Royals took a lot of heat for signing Meche to that big multi-year deal and while he probably hasn’t been worth what the Royals have paid, it hasn’t been as bad as most people initially thought. The deal would probably big Luis Castillo to the Royals, who’s due $12 million total over the next couple of years. That compares to $24 million over two years for Meche and $4.5 million (not including a $0.5 million 2011 buyout) for Farnsworth if he’s the throw in.
Bob Nightengale at the USA Today recently twittered (I like that term better) that most executives think Edwin Jackson will be traded soon. He didn’t give the potential suitor, but it’d be nice if there’s a few so Dombrowski can drive up the price and have a choice. I think that’s one of the reasons the Tigers trade rumors have been tempered lately. They’re going to be sellers, but they don’t want to appear too motivated or teams will take advantage of the fact.
The Tigers have already set the bar when they turned down a trade that would have brought Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelly to the Tigers. It’ll be interesting to see who turns up for this one. For a guy like Granderson, there’s only a few teams that could both take the salary and use him out on the field effectively. Just about every team could have an interest in Jackson.
The Winter Meetings begin today and with it we could also see the shape of the Tigers for years to come. You’ve heard the rumors about the Granderson, Jackson and Cabrera but now the Free Press is saying Gerald Laird is also on the trading block. Laird is in a similar boat to Jackson and he’s getting close to free agency and with Alex Avila showing the Tigers something last year, it makes Laird expendable. He’s also due for a raise with this being his third and final year of arbitration.
Is Dusty Ryan still in the fold or did they cut him loose? Laird didn’t show much with the bat but he did a good job behind the plate. I’ve talked about how shortstop is one of the few positions I’ll sacrifice some offense for some defense and if there’s a second spot, it’d be catcher so I can live with Laird and his career .247 batting average.
The arbitration deadline is tonight at midnight so we’ll get to see whether Fernando Rodney or Brandon Lyon are coming back. I blew this one too and it looks like Lyon might go to the Phillies while Rodney stays home. I figured the situations would be reversed.
Alright, it’s almost silly to try to predict what the Tigers roster will look like on Opening Day, but that’s not going to stop me from taking a stab. Keep in mind, this isn’t what I WANT to happen, it’s a prediction and it doesn’t look pretty. Also keep in mind, I have no inside information so this is just speculation. Anyway, let’s take a look at a projected opening day lineup:
1) Ryan Raburn LF – Raburn doesn’t have the OBP you’d want from a leadoff hitter but he landed there in 13 starts last year.
2) Carlos Guillen DH – Guillen moves back to third after Curtis Granderson and Brandon Inge are traded to the Angels.
3) Magglio Ordonez RF – Where else, although he’ll be splitting time with Wilkin Ramirez so he doesn’t have a big payday in 2011.
4) Miguel Cabrera 1b
5) Clete Thomas CF – See Guillen above for Granderson’s fate.
6) Bobby Crosby SS – Until he gets hurt and Ramon Santiago gets in there.
7) Scott Sizemore 2b – Future All Star if you believe the hype
8) Brandon Wood 3b – Wood is one of the guys the Tigers get, along with prospects, in their trade with the Angels.
9) Gerald Laird C
The big move will have the Tigers sending Granderson and Inge to the Angels for Wood and a couple or three prospects. And now the pitchers:
1) Justin Verlander – Duh
2) Rick Porcello
3) Armando Galarraga – I think Galarraga will have a bounce back year. Not like 2008, but definitely better then 2009.
4) Nate Robertson – He could be trade bait if he has a good second half. They won’t be able to move him now, so you might as well ride and see if you can get him anything at the deadline if he performs. Plus I’ve always been a fan of Nate’s so there’s some wishful thinking here.
5) Jon Kibler – I have a fondness for Spartans and I think Kibler will be the surprise out of camp. He pitched okay in a hitter’s league on a mediocre Erie team last year.
Edwin Jackson is also traded. My guess is he goes to the Yankees again for prospects. The Yankees have said they want to cut payroll so Jackson would be a low cost plug in rather then spending big money on a guy like Halladay. I think Ryan Perry will be the closer out of camp and Fu-Te Ni will start out as his set up man.
The next question would then be, if I’m right, how many wins does this team end up with?
In case you missed it, Kurt over at Mack Avenue Tigers has done a really good series of columns on Dave Dombrowski. He finishes things up with some comments from other bloggers, but if you missed it, be sure to back and read the complete series.
If you want even more Dave Dombrowski, be sure to check out Bill’s interview of the general manager. Bill also wrote a really cool piece on Dombrowski in the The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2008. It looks like there’s still some in stock but its a seven page summary on Dombrowski’s GM style.
Jon Paul Morosi is now saying the rumor on the street is Miguel Cabrera will probably stay with the Tigers. My guess is his salary will make it cost prohibitive but we’ll see. I also don’t like the Granderson to the Angels rumor because, this validates a prediction I heard yesterday. Not that I want to prove the other guy wrong, just that I don’t want to see Granderson leave Detroit.
I found the “Tigers fielding a contendor in 2010″ quote a little disingenuous though. Who are they trying to fool?
Jason Beck has brought up the fact that the Tigers may be looking to Bobby Crosby as a backup plan if the Tigers don’t sign Adam Everett. Crosby’s career has been an injury filled one so there’s definitely some risk there. I know Adam Everett won’t light it up at the plate, but he’s a solid defender and if there’s a spot where you want to give up some offense for defense, it’s at shortstop. And Crosby has played six seasons and in only two of those has he gone more then 100 games.
I guess if the Tigers can’t come to a decent agreement with Everett then Crosby would be an option. It just has me worried that the Tigers might have an injury prone shortstop to go with a rookie second baseman. That’s probably way too many at bats for a guy like Ramon Santiago.
This is according to Buster Olney’s blog (Insiders Only), but apparantly the Tigers aren’t shopping Curtis Granderson as aggressively anymore. There’s a quote from an official who says the outcry over Granderson may have caused the Tigers to take a step back on trading the popular centerfielder.
After breaking his ankle during the Arizona Fall League, Scott Sizemore should get off crutches today. This is pretty important since Sizemore has all but been named as the Tigers second baseman after the Tigers declined to offer Placido Polanco arbitration. Right now, the best alternative to Sizemore at second would be Ramon Santiago but I think he’s proven he’s a reliable fill in off the bench, not neccesarily a guy who can start every day.
It looks like Placido Polanco could go back to his old team. What’s funny was these rumors broke a month or so ago, then they were muted. I’m sure the Phillies didn’t want to overplay their hand and it might have paid off because now they can get Polanco and not have to give away their draft pick. The move would also move Polanco to third base.
B illy Wagner was one of the guys who some thought might end up in a Tigers uniform in 2010 but it looks like he’ll be signing with the Braves. He’ll make $7 million and that kind of sets the market for all of those closers out there. I also read that both Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon were being looked at by the Yankees. The Winter Meetings are next week so things should get interesting pretty quickly.
It looks like despite Ernie Harwell’s health problems that he hasn’t lost his sense of humor. His ears must have been burning because Alan Trammell and Kirk Gibson were telling stories about him at a talk in Grosse Pointe when he showed up at the top of the steps. This looks like an event that was well worth attending and I’d be interested to hear from anyone who was there.
My latest business report is up over at the Hardball Times. It was a slow week but I touch on Bud Selig’s retirement and where salaries landed in 2009.
The Tigers decision to not offer Placido Polanco arbitration is pretty telling and rather worrisome. Basically it looks like the Tigers are maxed out and they don’t even want to take the chance at picking up Placido Polanco’s contract in the event he took arbitration. This, when you take it with all of the trade rumors, is a little troubling and my bet is, a lot of people who have been sitting on the fence with regards to their season tickets are going to step off. I know having those draft picks looming hurts Polanco’s signability but still.
It’s also the first REAL sign that the Tigers are more worried about cutting costs then they are about winning. I know there’s high hopes for Scott Sizemore, but Polanco brought both a reliable bat and glove at a pretty key spot. Sizemore’s had one good season and a couple of decent ones and while I think his glove is there, you have guys like Jeff Larish who could rake and who still struggled at the plate at the big league level.
Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon were both offered arbitration. My guess is Lyon takes it and Rodney tests the market. Of course I was wrong about Polanco so who knows.
Jason Beck also answered some emails. He talked about all of the money coming off of the Tigers books at the end of 2011. I also liked the one about what the Tigers do on their off days between road series.
According to this article, SI’s John Heyman has said that the Mariners rejected a deal that would have sent Edwin Jackson to Seattle for Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelly. I already talked about Morrow but I don’t know much about Kelly.