It is quite interesting to watch this offseason begin to unfold. The two players the Tigers have met with or will be meeting with are major surprises to me. When I thought of potential candidates to rebuild the franchise with, the names Troy Percival and Jeff Kent were certainly off the radar. Not that each player does not posess a certain amount of intrigue as valuable players, I guess I had hoped the Tigers would be looking at players on the south side of 35. Percival and Urbina could make a nice end of the bullpen. Just as easily, Urbina could become trade bait.
The decision to meet with Jeff Kent is puzzling. He mentioned during the season that he had been considering retirement. So rather than retiring, he visits a team who MIGHT be on the cusp of becoming a contender and have one of the best pitcher’s parks in all of baseball. That coupled with his character issues, poor fielding, and the perception that his best performances have been inflated in lineups where he has been surrounded by big-time hitters. As an everyday DH, Kent may be suitable, but I thought the Tigers already posessed one of them in Dmitri Young. Equally perplexing would be the decision to move the solid Omar Infante to a new position. I really would like for the Tigers to acquire a Third Basemen as opposed to trying to develop one on the spot ala Eric Munson and Brandon Inge (although Inge did a yeoman job!). I know Infante did an okay job in his limited time in Center Field but again why fix that which is not broken?
The Tigers named has also been mentioned in connection with the likes of Carl Pavano and Troy Glaus. The ESPN Top 50 free agent mentioned that they thought that Matt Clement would be signed by the Tigers. I think that ESPN’s experts assumed this because Dombrowski had already acquired Clement while general manager for the Florida Marlins.