After quite a bit of research, and quite a bit of writing, I finished the first installment of a historical look at the Montreal Expos for The Hardball Times. I appreciated Aaron Gleeman for inviting me to write for the site. Look for the second, and probably more interesting, installment in the next couple of weeks. I also appreciate the comments I received via email (which taught me even more).
A lot is going on in the free agent market, and so far, the Tigers haven’t been involved. But, apparantly Peter Gammons said the Tigers are the mystery team who’s heavily involved in signing Carlos Beltran. I’ll believe it when I see it, but Scott Boras owes the Tigers a little bit for taking Ivan Rodriguez off his hands when nobody wanted him, so maybe something can be worked out.
The other tidbit I’ve heard is the Tigers are looking at Edgar Rentaria. Not sure if this is true, but with Carlos Guillen on the shelf, this might not be a bad pickup. Guillen can play third, and a move over there would solve some of Tram’s problems. He’s got two gold gloves, but his Fielding Runs Above Replacement over at Baseball Prospectus puts him at a below average fielder. I’d save my money for some pitching.
And that gets us to Carl Pavano. At first, I didn’t like them going after him because I figured he’d be overpriced, but I’m rethinking that. Yes, he’s only had one good year. But he doesn’t walk many batters, nor has he given up a lot of homers the last two years. His strikeouts might not quite be where I’d like them either, but how about this for an opening day rotation:
1) Carl Pavano
2) Jeremy Bonderman
3) Mike Maroth
4) Nate Robertson
5) Jason Johnson/Wil Ledezma
If Bonderman, Robertson and Ledezma can all take steps forward, and Maroth can pitch solid like he did last year, that’s pretty nice, even if Pavano matches his 2003 numbers, and not his 2004 numbers.
Winter meetings are this weekend, so there should be quite a bit of news. Hopefully the Tigers will be in the thick of things.
Have a great weekend.