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.”