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Free Agent Signing Eve

Or should it be Hot Stove Eve?  I don’t know but whatever you call it, tomorrow players are able to negotiate and sign deals with any team, effectively kicking off the baseball off-season.  And a little segue, but this is one of the best things about baseball.  There’s very little downtime and there are always things to pay attention too.

The big question is, what do the Tigers do with their money.  It seems like the front office has hinted they’ll be going after some top notch sluggers, but no specifics have come out yet (which is SOP since you want to go in with you best negotiating position possible).  Odds are a lot of the big deals won’t happen until the Winter Meetings in early December but it’ll be interesting to see what that first “big” deal brings because it could set the pace for the rest of the signings.

I’d like to see them focus on pitching but once you get past Cliff Lee, there’s a pretty sharp drop off.  Rotoworld has their top 50 free agents list and while Lee is number one, the next best starting pitcher is Huroki Kuroda at number ten and then Jorge De La Rosa at number eleven.  While a Lee/Verlander/Scherzer/Porcello rotation has me salivating a little, it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.  But still, if you keep Ryan Raburn in left, Brennan Boesch in right, sign Magglio Ordonez to be the DH and bring back Jhonny Peralta to be the shortstop, the Tigers would probably have the money for Lee, it’s just too much wrapped up into a few guys in the rotation and they have another thing to worry about.

That thing is Max Scherzer.  The Tigers have to decide whether to lock him now and potentially get a bargain or push the problem forward.  They might want to worry about him next year when Carlos Guillen’s contract comes off the books.

Still, this is always a fun time of year as teams build or re-build their teams.  And the Tigers are always good for a surprise or two along the way.

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