Everett deal finally final

One year deal expected to be at $1 million plus incentives. I know it’s been discussed plenty since the news came out a week ago, but it pretty much sets the positional roster. Plus we’ll get a better idea how Everett and Santiago will mix.

35 Comments

Again not thrilled with this signing. But what I wanted to say is that I wonder why DD would not see fit to try to sign Aqualina Lopez. Frankly other than Galarraga, he was probably the only reliable person on the staff we had last year. Makes no sense to me??? I would like someone to explain this decision to me??

I’m not thrilled either and not necessarily celebrating the changes to the team. I made the tough decision to not renew season tickets for the 2009 season. I am curious as well to hear about what happened with Kenny Rogers. His name seems to have been dropped from both the Tigers radar and MLB. Did he announce a retirement?

By signing Everett for only $1 million, doesn’t that leave some money for signing bullpen help? How about that Beimel fellow? Or Juan Cruz that everyone thinks would be good. Joe Nelson? I find it very strange that the weakest area for the Tigers in ’08 is the one that still has not been addressed appropriately. They may still be able to get Lopez back but he is not the whole answer. I haven’t heard anything about KR either. I commend you gambler fan for showing your displeasure by not renewing season tickets. I hope more did the same. Someone needs a wake-up call on this team.

I thought the Tigers traded for Jack Wilson. Just kidding. :-) I’m okay with the Everett pickup, since we’re obviously overextended payroll-wise. With Everett/Santiago/Inge out there, the team ERA has already gone down.
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I’m also waiting to see what kind of pitching improvements are made. We’re certainly not there yet, not by a long shot. There can’t be any relying on Zumaya and Rodney.
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GK, without knowing what kind of money was being discussed in the Lopez negotiations, it’s impossible to guess what went on there. With no further information, I’m left to my assumption that JL just didn’t like him.
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I’m curious as to what will happen with Derek Lowe. He’s not coming to Detroit, that’s for sure. No, it’s just something I’m watching regarding Scott Boras vs the current economics of the game.
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–Rich

People need to realize how our “new” left side of the infield is going to be massive upgrade. Lower ERA’s, shorter innings, less 2-out hits, FEWER RUNS ALLOWED! We don’t need hitters/power at EVERY position. We need better ‘D’, and now we have it. Good work DD.

Lopez was not signed for the simple reason he wanted more than DD had available to offer. With the failure in coming to terms likely being under $500k, it is another sign that money for player contracts is extremely tight. The 2009 player budget must be a fair bit lower following the savings made on Renteria, Pudge, Rogers and Jones.
With Nate $7m and Willis $10m proving untradeable, DD is hoping one steps up to again be an effective starter with the other improving the bullpen. DD looks like he is treating Miner as insurance for the likely scenario that only one will have an effective turnaround in 2009.
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DD was obviously hoping to offload a substantial part of Maggs and Sheff’s payroll at the winter meeting. Would be interesting to know what Texas were offering for Sheff – probably only picking up $1-2m of the $14m. I would have accepted anything close to half of his salary.
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The reality is Curtis and Cabs are the only tradeable commodities of the regular hitters. If they were even contemplated, it would rightly cause a riot downtown. The hard cold reality is we overpaid for most of our regular players who are now past their prime, some injury prone and all with defense and/or offense issues – Maggs $18m, Sheff $14m, Inge $7m & Carlos $10m.
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With no money freed up from existing staff, DD has only sufficient funds for a 2nd tier closer such as Hoffman for around $5-7m. A one year contract for the 40 year old would be fine. With his 30 saves from 34 (88%) opportunities in 2008, he represents a significant improvement on Rodney. With the bullpen needing a natural leader, I wonder how well he fits the role as the rest of the Padres bullpen failed to convert a single save from 22 attempts.
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I can’t agree with you more about the gains in defense. Everett or Santiago together with Inge or Larish is going to be great and if true competition for positions occurs, there should not be much drop off in offense. I can’t wait to see some athleticism and great infield plays. The slow, awkward moves of 2008 together with the dropped catches was embarrassing and a huge downer on team morale. Laird should also be very close to Pudge in offense.

Just a quick comment– I’ve been thinking through the Tigers issues and I’m surprised that no one has commented on Sheffield playing in the field. I know that the Tigers are always concerned about him getting hurt but if he’s truly healthy, it might be interesting to see what would happen. Guillen in Left Field is a bit concerning and by playing him, we take a huge risk of losing his bat while also risking a defensive liability.
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To be certain, Sheffield would likely struggle a bit in left but if healthy, his arm was always a strong spot for him. Additionally, he’s always complained about DHing and how it is hard for him to hit. I don’t usually side with Sheffield but I can understand how it would be hard to adjust to a DH role.
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In any case, I just thought I’d throw out a thought to generate some discussion. I like the signing of Treanor– it seems like a common sense/low risk move. I don’t like the idea of Rodney closing so I’m going to ignore Jason’s article. One question: Is Rodney going to pitch for the DR in the Classic? I do remember watching him close during the first Classic and perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence that his best year coincided with the Classic? I know the Tigers worry about him getting hurt… just wondering if there has been any announcement.
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That’s all. Chime in folks– it helps get through the winter to hear from Tiger fans, even when we don’t agree (or perhaps, when we do agree.)

whoops– I meant to say (or perhaps, especially when we don’t agree…)

I’ll throw out one more idea for discussion: the rotation vs. the bullpen. Here’s my thoughts (all assume health of the 7 starter candidates)
– Shoe-ins for the rotation include: Verlander, Bonderman, and Galaragga.
– The signing of Matt Treanor could point to the Tigers hoping to have Willis make the rotation. See the following blog for informationon Treanor/Willis battery: http://www.blessyouboys.com/2008/12/18/696526/treanor-the-tiger
– Zach Miner really earned a spot in the rotation last year and I think he’ll lock it down again.
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If those five end up in the rotation, it leaves Robertson and Jackson on the outside looking in. I’ve gone on the record many times stating that I think Nate could be great in the ‘pen. He does great on his first trip through a rotation and from my very limited viewpoint, he seems to have the mentality of a good closer/relief pitcher. Jackson definitely has the stuff to be a successful reliever and/or starter. Many have questioned his ability to throw strikes– and he’d have to get it under control– but perhaps DD has Jackson pegged for the ‘pen?
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If the rotation is healthy and successful with Verlander, Galaragga, Bonderman, Willis, and Robertson then here’s how the ‘pen looks:
– Robertson, Jackson, Seay, Rodney, Dolsi, Zumaya (hopefully), and a veteran yet unsigned (Hoffman/Smoltz/etc.) There will be lots of options in the minors including McBride, Rapada, Fien, Perry, etc.
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I’m an admittedly glass half-full kinda guy but that seems pretty good to me. (especially if Willis can make a turn around.) I guess I’m saying: we have a lot to be hopeful for in ’09.

I know how it is, Brent, being a Tigers fan in this neck of the woods, so I’ll go a short round with you. Or a long one, depending on what I talk myself into while writing. :-)
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The Sheffield in left idea is interesting. In fact, there are many things that could be interesting with this team, but no one is writing much of anything at this point, trade talk notwithstanding. I’d think if Sheffield can hit, he can play left. And vice versa. What’s to lose?
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I’m also steering clear of the Rodney as closer talk. If that’s what the club wants to put out there for public consumption, then so be it. Besides, there’s no point in working one’s self into a fit over something that hasn’t even happened yet.
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It’s too early to declare much of anything. Obviously, we have yet to address our greatest need (pitching, good pitching) and just as obviously, it’s early and more moves can be made. With that in mind, I’m of the opinion that this club as it stands right now doesn’t stand much of a chance. The word “hope” is being floated with great regularity. Sure, if everything goes just right, we can compete strong. You can say the same about every team in the AL Central, including Kansas City. I have to assume that everything will not go just right. That leaves us with problems for 2009.
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As I said the other day, it’s not enough to look at our own roster and try to determine our chances for success. I’m seeing the Yankees and Red Sox (about to sign Teixera) spend outrageous amounts of money (because they can) and other clubs that aren’t tied down by fat contracts making moves to make vast improvements. I’m talking about American League teams, teams that we have to PLAY. I’m not seeing how we stack up. We have a problem beating Chicago. We have a problem beating Minnesota. We have a problem beating Kansas City. We scrap with Cleveland but they’ve gone out and gotten better. Where do the division wins come from? I don’t care what Leyland says about “addressing that in spring training.” That’s a bunch of malarkey if ever I’ve heard it, and living around here we hear a lot. So…….while normally a glass half full guy myself, I have to be realistic.
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Back to your post. I see Verlander and Bonderman as being rotation stalwarts. There’s no reason to think Galarraga can’t continue his success, but there’s that sophomore jinx thing, and I think there’s something to that. Miner, if in the rotation (not a lock) would give you some sturdy starts, and I see him improving. Willis I don’t get any good feeling from. I know Treanor caught him in Florida, but so did Pudge. That’s five pitchers. Jackson is a huge question mark in my mind. I agree that Nate should work from the back end of the pen. Someone is going to have to get him to buy into the idea, though. If that happens, he’ll be good out there. And it goes downhill from here. Not one other guy you can count on, although I like Seay.
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To get me on a positive note going into 2009, I’d like to see a REAL closer, and someone to replace Zumaya. Can’t put all your eggs into the Zoom basket. And if there’s no Zumaya, there’s probably no Rodney either. So if we don’t acquire some more pitchers, we may as well begin bringing up those young arms this season to see what they can do.
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Again, this is my “state of the team address” while waiting to see what, if any, more personnel moves are made. I won’t even go into my thoughts on the manager.
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So everybody altogether now, say real loud “But Mr. Scrooge, it’s Christmas!!!!” :-)

That’s the spirit Rich. Geez– I was about to try and start a rumor that Todd Jones has had surgery as the Tigers are thinking of bringing him back as closer. I figured that would at least get a rise out of Dan. :)

I’d love to hear more about why you think the Tigers struggle so much with their division foes. Here’s some quick thoughts:
– The Dome in Minnesota gave them a huge advantage. Adios to that monstrosity.
– The Royals- can’t explain that one.
– The White Sox: I think Ozzie’s style gets under the Tigers skin. They just play with reckless abandon.
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Not real good explanations. I guess I’m trying to understand why we struggle so we could figure out how to adjust the roster. Me thinks that speed on the base paths probably plays a role… That’s all– have a good one.

I noticed a couple of comments on Miner and where he’ll fit in the rotation. I think he deserves an honest shot at making the starting 5. I have more confidence in him than Willis or Robertson but with the signing of Jackson my guess is that he’ll be the odd man out.

Also am shocked that nothing has been done to sign a closer. No shot at even being competitive in the Central if things are left the way they were last year.

Wish the statements DD has been making were as good as the ones we see here.
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The moves made so far have been tepid to say the least. Seems like DD is trying to impress Illitch with his business acumen after last years splurge.
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The player personel solutions made this winter so far do not constitute a championship caliber ball team. I think it is better than what we finished up the season with, but only marginally. The reliance on “Hope & Dream” is still prevalent with the inability or ignornace displayed in not securing a prmium closing pitcher. Rodney won’t cut it and Zumaya is still a huge question mark.
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I don’t think they got Jackson to pitch out of the bullpen and I think they will try to justify their acquisition of Willis so my guess Miner is being slotted for the pen.
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Maybe BJ Ryan is in the works?

I am also a half full person and I think there is some luck involved with pitching. I like the idea of throwing strikes with a good defense and we have not had that. I am a fan of Miner. Injuries are part of the game and we were grooming Zoom for the closer role. I have never been impressed with ups and downs of Rodney. Why are we not better against our Division foes? I like Leyland, I like him a lot. I just think he gets out managed.
–Dave

It is apparent that there is not going to be any more changes to the roster other than a possible closer. If we are not happy, we better start talking specifics as the team is looking just about set.
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Talk of a left reliever to back Seay has gone with the Jackson signing so they obviously feel that Nate and/or Willis will be in the bullpen. I agree with Miner getting a shot but he will be kept as insurance because he is not earning the big bucks. This is my major criticism of DD & JL supporting – not that he paid big $$ for guys but sticking by them week in week out as they failed to deliver. They act like bad investors, not cutting their losses on dud shares early and holding on as their value spirals down.
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Until management ignores the $$$ and choses the team purely on positional ability and performance, we will never succeed. They recognised the first mistake but I wonder if they are big enough to really address the second. They are fortunate that Inge and Sheff come off contract this year. Nate and Willis though each have two more years to go.
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I have not focussed much on the Bullpen until a closer is bought. Rodney is and never will be a closer. 68% does not cut it. The ability to perform under the pressure of having the game in the balance is something you either have from day one or you never will. Zoom until, he completes a year injury free should not even figure in team planning.
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The key to this year is whether JV, Gman and Bondo stay healthy and step up and perform. If they do, we can get to 2nd or 3rd in the Division. With a bona fide Closer that converts well over 80% of saves, we have a team that potentially can win the Division. Keeping up with the Mets, Bosox and Yankees is another matter again.

Now that the inkis dry on Everett, how about packaging him up along with Ordonez for Yuniel Escobar. Now there’s a productive shortstop with all-star written all over him.
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Really though, Orodonez being used as trade material now is unlikely, even for a closer. Now that Joyce is gone we don’t really have anyone ready to play RF. Clevlen seems lost again, Thomas is hurt, Raburn is prototypically suited to the bench, Ramirez and Wells aren’t ready and Thames would be a fish out of water out there.
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Joyce had true value as a potential RF for us.
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The closer situation will frustrate all again this year. Fans, players and management alike. The hope and dream mentality for the bullpen could even extend as far as Fien and Perry. Stranger things have happened!

Four comments:
1. Best message board ever. It’s good to be a Tiger fan.

2. How can you consider yourself a Tiger fan and be “glass half-full” about them? Ha. Seriously, there’s a difference between hope and actually seeing the glass as half-full.

3. How can you consider yourself a Tiger fan and WANT them to trade Magglio!? This is not acceptable! :)

4. In the wise words of Jim Price, “pitching, pitching, pitching.” This team cannot and will not compete in the American League Central. But with the volatility of the division the last few years, I reserve the right to be pleasantly surprised.

Trading Ordonez would be sad, but the Tigers had him last year and what place did they finish the season in? They need pitching–all kinds. I don’t think that Willis or Robertson are going to start–at least I hope not–Jackson and Miner might contribute, but there’s no guarantee there. There’s no closer! Maybe try Robertson there? Anyone would be better than Rodney…

Until this farm system helps some of those kids down there mature, this rotation is going to stink! Edwin Jackson???? LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You got to be kidding me???? Please, somebody just shoot me in the head…

Every year they go thru that “hmmmm… decisions, decisions, decisions stage… And then make the crappiest decisions if not in the league, then at least in the Central division.

Here’s what you do for starters DD!!! :

Tell Verlander, “look dude, you got 1 month to get some nad and then learn to pitch. Quit thinking your all that, cuz you’re not!!!! Quit swishing your foot back and forth across that rubber, and settle in, get yourself serious, and understand that at this level, they’re actually some hitters you’re facing that are licking their chops wanting to hit against you again. You see Justin, it’s “just that way” when the hitters know whats coming. And QUIT looking surprised everytime some guy jacks you….. YOU STINK !! Not cuz you don’t have stuff, but because you DO, and you have not a CLUE how to use it!!!

#2. As soon as Zumaya gets a clean bill of health(and this might be the last time he can)… trade him. They’re suckers out there that will give an arm for him. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the guy. I like his grit. But he’s obviously one of those bodies that either fall apart, or get hurt easily, and guys with those trends, never change. Therefore, get some value for him, while he’s still in 1 piece. Wait too long and you’ll end up holding the bag on this one.

#3. Shoot the next coach who allows Willis to take the mound again. No one seems to talk about this, but the guy hasn’t thrown a good game in nearly 3 years !!!! NOT just while with the Tigers. The Marlins were cracking up when they unloaded him.

#4 First chance. replace Inge. YEa I know…. everyone loves the guy. Great glove. But lets get back to some real baseball where you had to have some pop from the corners!!! 220 hitters shouldn’t be playing 3 rd base, no matter how good the glove is!!!!!!!

#5. and let the Dustin catch minimum 1/2 the games. These 2 stiffs they just picked up are rediculous.

As a Tiger fan for 42 years, my prediction is 4th place if they go with the group they have.

So the Yankees have swooped in and signed Teixeira, thus re-earning their rightful title as the Evil Empire. If I may whine for a moment, I wish MLB would do something about this kind of thing. It’s not about wins and losses. New York has proven that you can’t buy championships no matter how much you spend. Since the Nationals (and Orioles) are the closest clubs for me to attend games, I was hoping that one of them would get Tex, because I would have gone out to see those teams more than I normally do if they featured a star like him. So that’s not going to happen.
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As for Teixeira himself, he’ll fit right in with the Yankees. All that talk of playing near home (Maryland), but he “wanted to play with a winner.” Fine. He doesn’t need my respect anyway, and he’s not getting any. Just another creep in pinstripes. Hey Tex, it’s more meaningful to help build a winner than to join one. But you wouldn’t understand that. If I’m pitching to you, you’re hitting the deck, pal.
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–Rich

Rich,
I was on the espn site and took the survey. I think it is bad for baseball. 8 years for 180 million? And we are in a bad economy? Kaline is from Baltimore but if Detroit paid him that much he would be bailing out Michigan and Maryland.
Anyway, don’t trade Maggs, let’s just see who we can get to close and I have said it before DD, where is our farm system. The days are getting longer, the snow is getting deeper, and Spring training is one day closer. Go Tigers 2009! –Dave

Just when Illich must have been getting over 2008, to be then be the only team other than the yanks to be hit with a luxury tax for exceeding the 2008 payroll cap. You don’t get much for $160m these days.
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Everyone all the best for the Xmas break and hope 2009 is kinder to Tigers!!

Still waiting for a Xmas gift from DD.
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Rightn now it weems the biggest chance we have for a surprise impact is the signing of Rick Knapp.
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The moves made so far have been milktoast moves and the Joyce move is at best a head scratcher. We needed a closer not another back of the rotatins RHP. Joyce did give us some energy out there and I think he would have improved at the plate.
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My sacreligious wish to trade Ordonez is based on more factors than a nostalgia for the big HR of 2006. Ordonez is the one tradeable commodity we have. His recent bat championship and offensive reputation carries appeal to a team with a need for a strong RHB. He could have brought us a closer (or a premium starter), and a leadoff hitting shortstop or closer one trade.
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My images of Ordonez consist of more than the big HR off of Houston Street. There are all those images of tippy-toeing after fly balls over his head, fly balls dropping in front of him, everything hit down the line falling in safely, 1st pitch hitting double plays have to be remembered too. At his stage of his careeo we wil be an inverse relationship getting diminishing returns and increasing salary. I don’t want him to fall into the no contact zone (because of contract) that has happened with Sheffield, Robertson and Inge. This is a time that he can actually be the focal point of a good trade for the Tigers.
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Wasn’t infatuated with Aquilino Lopez but must admit he was better than most out in the pen last year and was hummin’ the ball in the Winter League. They non-tendered him.
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They can hope and dream that Kyle Bloom doesn’t become another McKay McBride.
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Treanor will fit right in with Inge and Everett as sub .230 hitters. In Fact if Inge does hit .230 it will not be an insignificant improvement.
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DD has saved some money this year. He has not improved the team enough to truly compet in the AL Central.
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My fingers are still crossed.

Sorry for all the typos. So many there isn’t much point in correcting them. Always worse when I am workking with the laptop. I’m scouting for a closer in the Baja.
Happy New Year to all.

Good morning Fellow TigaBloggers. it’s been about 3 months since I’ve been on the posting board, but I just wanted to offer my on opinions about 2009. Some posters are deemed idiots, and I think that I fall into that category, but the Beck Board and America are both “lands of freedom of expression.”
I am inclined to disagree that Dombo has not made any move that makes the Tigers a better team for 2009. I look more at the moves he didn’t make aka Lugo or Furcal or who knows what else he might have brought to Tiger Town. This team will be much better than last years for several reasons. First and perhaps the biggest reason is that the expectations game is not in play. This team will now play on day one as a predicted fourth place finisher in the Central( I apologize KC), and the expectations can only be better than last year. Secondly, we begin 2009 with Granderson in CF, and not on the DL. Thirdly, the defense will be set on opening day, and it will be much improved, even with Gullen in left field. Fourth, we hopefully will have Bonderman for a full season; that’s a minimum of 12 wins, if the health is 100%. Fifth, I see JV winning more than 10 games in 2009; I see at least 16. Sixth, any thing close to a final good season for Sheff will be a plus; if he hits 19 home runs again, we are no worse off tha we were last year. If he gets to 26 and 85 RBI’s, we win five more games there. Am I pollyannish? You bet! If I live to see opening day, it will be my 50th. as a Tiger fanatic. So there it is gentlemen! An improved team in 2009, even without the closer problem solved. My hat is doffed to DD for the trades that he did not make. Cliff Lee had the breakout year in 2008. Who’s to say it won’t be a Perry or a Dolsi or
even a Zack Minor? The Tigers have a solid team. They had one last year, but they left the team part behind on opening day. I am excited about 2009. Now Rich, what do you think about that?

Greg

Hi Greg, nice to hear from you again. Are you going to the Baltimore series this year? It’s at the end of May so hopefully will be a bit cooler than last year’s oven.
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What do I think about being excited about 2009? Well again, I think there’s enough talent to compete if things go right. Things rarely go right, however. There’s no guarantee that we won’t again open the season without Granderson or have a healthy Bonderman, although I do expect both to be there and doing well. If everybody were to stay healthy and have good years, we’d run away with the Central. Realistically speaking, I doubt that happens, but hope that it does.
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The best point you hit upon was the expectations angle. I’m looking forward to this year myself, as there’s no way it can be as painful as 2008 was. I think we may have dropped a lot of bandwagon fans who behaved rather badly in 2008, and the entire thing should be more enjoyable.
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But…………we haven’t improved the pitching staff and I don’t see how optimistic anyone can be with that hanging over the team. And, we still have Jim Leyland at the helm. That doesn’t inspire confidence in me. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to learn that the economic situation up there has caused DD to call in the dogs, so to speak. I’m thinking he’s going to try and dredge up some pitchers on the cheap, or maybe even start going to the youngsters a year early. If that’s the case and the reason for the case, I can’t blame Dave.
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But excited about baseball starting back up again? You’re durn tootin’ I am. Spring training is seven weeks away, buddy.
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–Rich
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p.s. Dan, you’re in the Baja?

I agree with Brent that Gary Sheffield should play left field. I’m sure it would help his hitting because he wouldn’t have to think about it so much. Playing the field takes your mind off your last at-bat. I’ve heard Ordornez say that’s why he doesn’t want to DH. The only reason Sheffield couldn’t play out there last year was because he couldn’t throw somebody out running the bases because of his shoulder surgery. Well now he’s had an entire off-season to rehab. Sheff is a good outfielder. He knows how to make plays. Heck the Tigers let Ordonez play right field and nobody complains about him. I’m sure Sheffield can do just as good or better. If you remember Sheff makes a lot of catches by sliding feet first instead of diving forward and falling with all his weight on his shoulders. He knows how to protect himself. Play Sheff in left. It will help his hitting.

Hi Rich–just gat back. Unfortunately no beisbol being played where I went.
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It.s the timje where we many are looking forward to the untetethered expectations of rookies and veterans alike and the time that many fans join with JL& DD in the Hope & Dream camp.
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The best move we made (and that debatable in its importance) is Laird. We did get a guy who loves is craft, has offensive upside to his career, and maybe might be a character guy we need in the clubhouse.
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We did not improve the team speed, reorganize the DH position, Balance our attack with a good competent LHB, secure a front-end rotation starter, find a lead-off man , wrestle a a closer from anyone or establish ourselves with an everyday hi caliber ball player at short.
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We also did keep Sheffield, Robertson, Inge, Rodney, and Willis. We get a rather por ROI on those guys.
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I was hoping we might be able to scoop a good hitting, good fielding shortstop that could leadoff. That would enable Curtis’ LHB in the middle of the lineup. I was also hoping that Florida would welcome home their prodigal son and free up the DH spot to shift our corner outfielders and Larish around there. I am not a believer in putting Sheffield out there. can’t stand to see him get his way and behaving like he has already been voted into the HOF.
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BTW, some people have complained about Ordonez playing RF–I am certainly one of them. His athleticism and effort out there ours clearly below average.
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DD still needs to “make a deal”

I understand your frustrations Dan about the need for further changes to make the 2009 season competitive.
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DD had no choice but to make a big a drop as possible in payroll from the $160m thrown away in 2008. Other than Pudge and Renteria, all the huge $$ contracts besides Curtis and Cabbs expire at the end of 2009 and 2010. Looking at the regulars, Polanco at $5m with Curtis and Cabbs are the only tradeable players. Maggs is the next closest but $18m for a slow (1 steal from 6 attempts!!) 34 yo and a liability in the field is never going to happen without receiving a dud in return.
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Management has never selected the roster on performance and will continue to play the high paid underachievers unless they become a embarrassment and collapse like Willis and Nate during 2008.
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Sheff as everyday DH has not worked and with only one year to go on his $14m a season contract, we have nothing to lose playing him in the outfield. Although far from being a fan, he does bring solid grit to a team generally too timid and polite to put pressure on the opposition. Sheff was our most successful base stealer getting caught only twice with 9 steals from 117 opportunities compared to Curtis’s 4 caught, 12 stolen from 165 opportunities. I really like the option of Sheff getting OF playing time with Carlos, Maggs and Sheff splitting the DH role.
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I wouldn’t be surprised to see the free agent Hoffman acquired for $5m (our absolute budget limit) with the possible sticking point being the need to sign the closer for 2010 as well.
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2009 is about being respectable and building for 2010 from the farm. Provided most of our starters get back to their potential, we will be a solid 3rd or 4th in a scrappy, hard fought Central with daylight to the top 3 teams in the East.

the longer the wait for bullpen help drags on and the more I’m convinced that the Tigers are going to save their money and take a couple of fliers on older pitchers by offering them minor league contracts with major league options if they make the team. I’m thinking that they’ll end up with one or two guys from the Chad Cordero, Derreck Turnbow, Eric Gagne, and others list. I’d prefer to see a more established bullpen guy but if they pick the right one, this could be a high upside, low cost acquisition. If I had to pick, I’d take Cordero as he’s still young and I’d hope his arm strength comes back. Living in DC, I always liked his make up as a closer even though his stuff is rather ordinary. He simply came in, threw strikes, and hoped the batters missed. Sometimes its that easy.
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As far as expectations, I think we have to remember that this is largely the same team that we all thought would win 110 games last year. Yes– they’re older and our expectations are adjusted based on last year’s disaster. However, good health and a few turnarounds (I’d take Verlander and Willis having solid seasons) and this could be one heckuva year. I know– I’m crazily optimistic.
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One more comment– I knew Dan wasn’t going to let the “no one complains about Ordonez’s defense in right” comment slide by. Read here– plenty of folks complain about Ordonez defense while loving to watch him hit.
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A few more quick comments:
– still waiting on the bag of peanuts for Sheffield. I’m back on the, he should go bandwagon– I jump on and off all the time.
– Too bad there’s too many corner outfielders available. I’d still try trading Thames to the Dodgers for a decent arm.
– Ordonez is unlikely to be traded right now but if the Tigers falter, he could be a great trading chip at the deadline…
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That’s all. As always, go Tigers. Also– one non-baseball comment. Gotta cheer on the Spartans in two days. I’m worried about Georgia and hope MSU can take care of business…

Another possible bullpen pitcher gone….Joe Nelson for $1.3 million. The Tigers can’t afford that? Dismal.

Good comments here, as always. Once the holidays end, we may see some transactions taking place. Slowest offseason I can remember.
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I’m going under the assumption that there’s very little money to do a whole lot, so I’m not expecting much. We do need to make some kind of pitching upgrade, and I think that can be done. As Brent astutely points out, Chad Cordero is out there. He’s certainly not a franchise saver, but if he has any kind of success at all he’d be a huge favorite in Detroit. He does come out throwing strikes, having seemingly learned at a very young age that the hitter still has to hit a round ball with a round bat, but hit it squarely. If healthy, he won’t blow any more saves than the next guy. Hoffman would be a good pickup, among some others. I did read that Nelson had interest from some 20 other teams (that’s nearly everybody), so I don’t know if we were really in the running for him. The guy I’d most like to see come to Detroit would be John Smoltz. There’s just something very correct about him ending his career here. On top of that, he’s a character guy, would bring a wealth of experience, and can even win you some ballgames still. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have the money to spend on him, unless DD is holding back. My thinking is that you have to take the tact that both Zumaya and Rodney need to be replaced, even if they don’t, and go from there.
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I like Dave’s suggestion of rotating the DH. I’m afraid Guillen will get injured, and I think Ordonez needs a break from the everyday grind. There’s no reason why Sheffield can’t take regular turns in the outfield. We just need JL to open his eyes to it, because he gets in such a rut with his thinking.
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I think Ordonez’s greatest value can come from a trade deadline deal, if it comes to that. We won’t get zip for him this winter. In the meantime, he still drives in runs and is arguably the most popular Tiger.
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It’s kind of an exciting time, actually. Despite our most optimistic or most dire predictions, none of us really have any idea how this club will perform. For all we know, Granderson could hit .350 with 32 homers, Larish could come into his own, and Clete Thomas may claim a starting job in the outfield before the year is through. I don’t find it likely that the season will be over in the first week like it was last year. :-)
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–Rich

well guys, i know the winter meetings are over, however i will be going to vegas monday to sign my free agent fiancee to a long term contract.
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haha!
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mike

Hey Mike, make sure you put a no-trade clause into that contract. I’d go for incentives myself. :-)
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Congratulations, man.
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–Rich

Best of the new year to everyone. Congrats to Mike and best of luck extended to this BLOGS newest “baseball widow”.
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No new year’s resolutions for me but I can suggest one to MLB Blog headquarters. GET THIS BLOG’S WEB PEFORMANCE FIXED!!
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Would seem like a relatively simple thing to do. Still have problems with this BLOG whenever we get a post with over 15 or 20 comments on it.
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Best of luck to the tigers this year. I think I may be a bit cynical with their prospects this year.
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Biggest problem I still have is Inge at 3rd. While I totally and completely agree that it will be fun and productive to see his glove out there, unfortunatley it will put pressure on an aging lineup to compensate for him offensively. Ordonez’s numbers will almost certainly decline, as will Guillen’s and Polanco’s. They will be challenged already in that they will not be getting a lot of production from the shortstop position.
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Meanwhile Inge blocks any advancement for Hessman or Larish. If I were DD I would be talking to the Giants who are getting desperate for both a 3rd sacker and some power and offense in their outfield. If we are not going to use Hessman maybe they could?
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All eyes will be riveted on Willis this year but I have a very bad feeling about that situation. The fact that the bid D did not want to bother with winter ball may be a harbinger of doom for him personally and for us in our quest to have some LHP in the rotation. Unless he has dropped 20 pounds or more from that frame and attended the Jack Morris School of Personality for starting pitchers, I don’t see how he will succeed.
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Ordonez may not reach 20 HRs, 100 RBIs or .300 this year. In fact, I will be pleasantly surprised if he is even able to play in 120 games.
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We still need an impact arm in the bullpen. I’m not sure DD is inclined to bother trying to find one this year.
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It will be a real shame if our starters right the ship with a new pitching coach but the bullpen soils the bed again and the bottom of the lineup can’t hit .220
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I do think Verlander, Bonderman and G-Man will have good years, though I do expect G-Man will find things more difficult this year than last. The rotation will bear the burden of this team on its collective shoulders. They are good enough to make the team contend if all goes right. I expect Jackson and Robertson to fill out the rotation and Willis will sail silently into the San Francisco Bay area in search of another career. I hope I am dead wrong about that.
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MCab is showing signs of becoming a very good 1st baseman. But one wonders what life in Detroit would be like if he had been able to have become a good 3rd baseman and we could have eased Larish into the lineup.
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Sheffield (though I don’t like this guy on the team) should have a better season but the club will need an outstanding season in order to offset the lack of hitting they will suffer from at the bottom of the order. .260 with 20 HRs and 70 RBIs will not be enough. Now if Inge could provide that—that would be nice. But from a one dimensional DH, like I say, not enough.
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Guillen will do his best but the transition to LF will not be easy for him.
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Placido will be dependable as usual and let’s hope that global warming intensifies in the Great Lakes becasue he is not a cold weather hitter.
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Curtis is Mr. Excitement but I hope he finds the edge he needs to maintain self confidence. If he does he will be one of the elite in the game. Last season’s year-end decline was painful to watch. I was really hoping we could have snagged a leadoff man (one that plays short) and been able to see what Curtis could do as a number 5 hitter.
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I think we will like Laird and I hope he can contribute offensively. Wonder how Dusty will do in Toledo.
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Marcus, what can be said that already hasn’t been said a thousand times. I’d like to see what this guy could do in a small park and a full playing schedule. San Francisco??
He deserves more than he has been given in Motown.
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This may sound a bit looney but if Rodney can’t cut the mustard as closer (and there is not much evidence that he can), I would not be surprise to see them give Zach a shot at the job. I think he could do it and has the demeanor to make the adjustment.
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I think it was not a smooth move to le Aquilino Lopez go. JL obviously does not like the guy much. He has many roles to fill in the pen and did most of them pretty well. At least he could throw strikes. The bullpen going to be a critical department this year and they simply have not improved it. I hope DD has something, anything, up his sleeve because the bullpen will take over laughing stock status from the Lions if he doesn’t.
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I hope this is the year that the Tigers can instigate my first trip to Comerica. The promise of last year has now become a challenge for this one.

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