In one of his latest columns, Jason Beck ponders the Tigers choice of closers. Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon are gone so that leaves a laundry list of potential closers with Ryan Perry and Joel Zumaya probably heading the list. The Tigers are still being mentioned in the talks for Jose Valverde but in my opinion, the Tigers should probably look within to fill the spot. They have several solid relievers (Perry, Seay, Zumaya if he bounces back again, Ni, Daniel Schlereth) with big league experience and a couple of guys (Cody Satterwhite and Robbie Weinhardt) who are coming up through the pipe line. Adding an injury prone Valverde for the money he’s asking for seems a bit much.
The salary arbitration period has begun with the deadline sitting at January 15th. No Tiger has ever gone to the arbitration table since Dave Dombrowski has took over but this year, there’s the whole Justin Verlander situation. It’ll be interesting to see if the Tigers lock him up long term. Verlander looks like a keeper, but the Tigers have been burned before in signing pitchers to longer term deals during their arbitration years (i.e. Bonderman, Robertson and Willis).
Congratulations to Andre Dawson for getting into the Hall of Fame. Bert Blyleven just missed and fell five votes short and Robbie Alomar was right there as well so I’d expect both to get in next year. Jack Morris came in fourth place with 52.3% while Alan Trammell continues to get no respect with just 22.4%. My guess is Morris squeaks in the next few years (being the top pitcher not in once Blyleven is finally inducted) while Trammell falls off after 15 years. Kind of sad.
Edgar Martinez only got 36.2% and that was a little surprising. I know he was mostly a designated hitter but he did he have some awesome seasons. He’s also hurt because he didn’t hit some of the big milestones but you have a guy with a career .312/.418/.515 line and his .933 career OPS is good for 34th all time. Tim Raines also appears to be getting little play, which is too bad because he’s also Hall worthy (more so, in my opinion, then Andre Dawson).
Probably the biggest travesty is Dale Murphy, who got just 11.7%. Murphy had an .815 career OPS in 9,040 plate appearances while Dawson had an .806 in 10,769. Murphy didn’t last as long but he was just as productive, won back to back MVPs and won six straight gold gloves. I’m not saying Dawson doesn’t deserve to get in because he had a very good career, I’m just trying to say there’s not that big of a difference between some of these guys at the bottom and they players at the top.