Leyland hints at offseason strategies

Just a thought on a really cloudy day in Cleveland …
The Tigers will drop well over $50 from their payroll this winter through expiring contracts — some guys who will be free agents, others who aren’t on the team anymore. They have 
Sounds like the two ingredients of a massive free-agent splash, right? Well, depends on how you’re looking at it. They can spend money on a bunch of players, or they can concentrate their resources on throwing a bunch of money at just a few guys. Manager Jim Leyland’s comments over the weekend propels the idea that the Tigers will do the latter.
“Number one, that’s Dave’s area,” Leyland said Sunday morning. “Number two, you don’t spend anybody’s money just to spend it. You spend it if it makes sense. Is there some stuff out there that makes sense for us? There’s some. It’s not particularly a gorgeous free-agent list. But it doesn’t take much for this club. 
“This club has a chance to be real good. How many people are going to be going after some of that list? You don’t know, until you get into some type of financial bidding war, I guess. I don’t know that we’re going to do that. I think it’s one of those years where you try to pick the right piece at the right price, and we don’t need many pieces.”
It was an interesting mix of comments. On one hand, Leyland echoed the idea that there aren’t really any certainties in next year’s lineup beyond AL MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera and AL Rookie of the Year candidate Austin Jackson. At the same time, Leyland sees a lot of pieces they have. Does that mean maybe holding onto Jhonny Peralta and re-signing a free agent or two? Does it mean this lineup still having a good number of young players? Some combination? Good question.
“I think we have some real good pieces,” Leyland said, “and it does appear that we have a few dollars to spend.”

10 Comments

It would be an interesting mix of comments when it comes to this offseason. There are too many ways to go and too many areas of conjecture. I do know that if you took all the players that a large number of fans want to lose, some of them would be back. There’s just too many to move ‘em all. I have some too, i.e. I think we can do better than Peralta, but in the end, some folks will be disappointed.
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Bonderman is talking like the crusty ol’ veteran at age 27. He’ll be okay whatever happens. Laird may be in for a surprise as he looks for that starting gig somewhere. Inge could return and I’d be okay with that DEPENDING

sorry, miskey. DEPENDING on who is acquired this winter. Since Guillen is owed $13m and probably can’t be traded, I’d like to see him take a supersub role so he doesn’t eat up a position before, sadly and inevitably, he’s injured again. I have the feeling that Carlos understands where he’s at now. I like Wells outfield play, I’m not happy with Boesch’s skillset other than running and throwing. I’ve already touched on Sizemore’s defense. Galarraga is one of those enigmatic pitchers who always seem on the verge of getting it together. I think everyone knows we need bullpen help.
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Just throwing some thoughts out there for discussion if anyone is interested, here on a rainy day in the Blue Ridge.
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–Rich

We just don’t know what will happen. They might pick up a pitcher and 1 thumper. Then again, they could get something spectacular with a trade. We’ll just have to wait til the dominoes fall.
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Go Tigers.

I was thinking that we should just pick up a very good starter and a very good bullpen pitcher; nothing more. Let justin, sherzer and that new starter have the 1-3 spots, and let galaraga, bonderman (reduced salary), figaro, oliver and porcello fill up the last 2 spots. For positional players i was thinking the lineup would be Jackson(CF), Rhymes(2B), Guillen(DH), Cabby(1B), Boesch(RF), Peralta(SS), Inge(3B), Avila(C) and Rayburn(LF). With Kelly being all over utility, Santiago being infield utility, Wells being OF utility and Laird backing up the youngster.

I know people might be thinking we need a major signing for offense, but i disagree. I think the defense and base running will improve enough to overcome offensive and the pitching should improve with the signings.

What do ya’ll think?

I think we need a more dangerous bat to hit behind Cabrera, and that bat is not in our organization now. If we picked up a starter (would this be by trade or FA?), it would have to be a short term deal, read one year. I can’t think of many starters out there better than what we have in the organization. In general, I prefer developing our own pitchers, but I realize that’s not feasible all the time.
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I wouldn’t count on Boesch for anything, sorry to say. He needs more work than he may be willing to put in. Just my take.
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Dan had a good suggestion in the previous entry that I meant to address. That is, the quickest and least expensive upgrade would be at the manager position. In fact, we’d save payroll. These youngsters are playing hard right now because they have to. There’s no guarantee that would continue once they get comfortable with Leyland. I did say I would lay off Jim if he brought the team in at or over .500 and I mean to honor that, no matter how much teeth grinding it takes. Realistically speaking, this is an excellent time to change the managerial course. I see no point in keeping him for 2011. It’s time.
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–Rich

I think jim IS the answer for a young team. i.e. 2006 tigers and the marlins team.
I agree another bat behind cabby would be great, but i’m wondering why you think boesch is so bad. He’s hitting like .270 with good power numbers, decent speed, and a good arm.
-evan

Boesch can’t be counted on as the only reason his numbers look so good is because of his red hot start. Since the All-Star break he is hitting under .200. That is not even starter material let alone number 5 behind Cabby. This team must make a run at Crawford no matter the cost. They have the money and he fills more holes then anyone I can think of. He gives the team speed, power, defense, energy & finally an everyday left fielder. After that I agree a power bat is needed or possibly Maggs at a major paycut to hit behind Cabby this time around.

Porcello has bounced back nicely but the team needs another starter to slot behind the big 3. Assuming Zumaya can stay healthy the bullpen will be passable with Coke, Schlereth, Perry & Valverde rounding things out. A veteran righty would work wonders.

If this team can somehow land Crawford, get an experienced bat to protect Cabby, even Maggs, add 1 more middle of the rotation starter, and possibly one more dependable righty out of the bullpen they will improve dramatically & finally give the Twins a run for their money.

can’t think of many starters out there better than what we have in the organization.
Sorry sir, but this not Philies or Giants blog but Tigers, the too many pitching team with two starters.

Jim has already given Brennan a very long leash. IMO, he won’t make the team unless he miraculously improves in all areas. There may be some teams interested in some of our prospects. I believe JL when he says he has no idea what the team will look like. Will Raburn still be a Tiger? Another team might want him.
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I’m just not ready to speculate just yet because we have more games to play. Cleveland and Baltimore could be our undoing and if that happens, the roster may indeed look very different.

The Tigers need to make two more moves – sign Magglio to play right and hit third, and get another starting pitcher. Verlander-Scherzer-Porcello is a nice start for the rotation, but they need an experienced number two pitcher who can win 12-15 games. Carl Pavano would be perfect. Let Coke and Gallaraga battle for the fifth spot. Then you have a strong rotation. And please get on with it. It’s taking too long and we’re starting to worry that we’re going to be stuck without a quality third hitter, which would be a disaster!

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