Dombrowski: Ordonez, Guillen likely gone, iffy on Santiago

Lot of updates from president/GM Dave Dombrowski today in his talk with reporters. More in-depth stuff coming, but here’s the rundown …

  • Dombrowski said there won’t be a “real strong push” to bring a lot of their free agents back. Most likely, he said, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen are done as Tigers. “I would say in their case it’s highly unlikely they’re going to be back. In both cases,” said Dombrowski, who said he let both of them know that in the last month of the season.
  • Brad Penny also won’t be back. “With the young pitching we have coming, I would doubt we would re-sign him,” Dombrowski said.
  • Dombrowski wasn’t completely clear on the fifth starter situation. Ideally, he said, they’ll have a veteran as “protection” in case Jacob Turner or one of their other young guys aren’t ready. At another point, though, he said that if they sign a veteran for the job, Turner would start the season at Triple-A Toledo.
  • Here’s the main quote on the rotation: “The most likely scenario would be that those young guys come to camp with the four guys that are set and  compete for the fifth spot, and we have protection of a veteran type pitcher that can fill that if they’re not ready. But I also would say that, hey, if there’s some great starting pitcher that we really liked and was available for us, and we thought it was the type of move that made the most sense to get us better, would we be open to it? Yes. We like them all. We like every one of those pitchers. But can I tell you 100 percent that they’re ready? No. Now, can they be ready? Yes.”
  • Ramon Santiago is basically in a bad situation, at least as far as returning to Detroit goes. There’s mutual interest,  but Santiago wants a more regular role, and the Tigers don’t see him that way. “I think our feeling has been that we just don’t see him as the guy going out there and playing – we may be wrong – 150 games a year,” Dombrowski said. “We just don’t happen to see him as that guy, and we may be wrong. He’s done a very fine job for us and we like him a lot, but that’s not the role we see him in. If we thought he was our everyday second baseman, we’d go out and we’d make that move.”
  • This quote from Dombrowski on the market for free agents at second and third base is pretty telling: “I don’t think they’re real strong. And that’s why, too, not only free agents, you’d also have to talk about the possibility of trades, too.”
  • His evaluation on how slow this market will move compared with the way they took care of business quickly last year was also telling: “I don’t think we’re going to be rushing out like we did last year. We’re in a different situation than we were last year, where we identified a couple guys right off the bat in [Victor] Martinez and [Joaquin] Benoit. We’re still prepared; I don’t mean to say that we couldn’t make a move if the right move came about. But I wouldn’t think we would make a real quick move. I think we’ll take more time to go through it and let it work itself out.”
  • The Tigers are open to re-signing Joel Zumaya, but it would have to be a minor-league contract with a Spring Training invite. At this point, it sounds like the Tigers expect Zumaya to wait and see if another team offers him a Major League deal. “He’d like to come back, and we would like to have him back,” Dombrowski said.
  • While Dombrowski didn’t anoint Delmon Young as the starting left fielder, he said he looks at his outfield being Young alongside Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch. But he left open the possibility they could try to upgrade in left, and he acknowledged they have time before they have to decide whether to tender a contract to the arbitration-eligible Young.
  • Tigers will look at both free agents and trades to upgrade at second. They will look at possibilities at third as well. That said, Dombrowski left open the possibility they upgrade at one spot and platoon at the other. They could also go with grinders there. “You can never have enough good players,” Dombrowski said, “but you don’t want all star players. You want some of those gritty role-type players. Jim likes those on his club and is very successful at fitting them into his club.”
  • Dombrowski confirmed that the Tigers will look for a backup hitting catcher, preferably a right-handed hitter, to back up Alex Avila. The challenge, Dombrowski acknowledged, is convincing a good catcher to sign with a team where he isn’t likely to play very often. Even with a drop in playing time, Dombrowski said Avila could catch 120-125 games next year. He is an All-Star, after all.
  • The Tigers are open to possibly beefing up their bullpen with one more veteran, Dombrowski said, but he probably wouldn’t be a seventh- or eighth-inning setup guy. They like the core they have with Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque and Daniel Schlereth.
  • No chance of Phil Coke returning to the rotation.
  • Dombrowski basically threw down the challenge to Ryan Perry. ” He’s at the point where he needs to step it up for us,” Dombrowski said.
  • The door is open for the Tigers to add a leadoff hitter, but that isn’t a sure thing. “We need to get better offensive production out of Austin [Jackson],” Dombrowski said. “We think he’s capable of doing that. Will he be our leadoff hitter next season? We really can’t answer that question.”
  •  Chances of the Tigers shifting Jhonny Peralta to third base and pursuing Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins? Not likely. Peralta is sounding very likely to stick at short. “I would think so,” Dombrowski said. “Would I say 100 percent? No. Would I say most likely? Yes.”
  • Another factor seemingly working against a Reyes pursuit: The Tigers have their quota of $20 million players for the foreseeable future. “I would think so,” Dombrowski said.
  • The entire coaching staff will be back for next season, Dombrowski announced, unless somebody gets hired for a managerial job elsewhere. Dombrowski said he has not received any calls so far asking permission to talk with McClendon for such a job, but he would have no problem granting permission.


any GM thoughts on the pen? would not be surprised if the first move this offseason was for another veteran bullpen arm.

One area that there are plenty of options is among relief pitchers. There are more “closers” than there are jobs for them, and there are some decent set up men as well. Very likely that DD lets the market sort them out and see who falls through the cracks and is available at a discount in January.

Funny after Ramon basically played everyday there towards the last month or so then into e playoffs he sill isn’t an everyday player? Maybe there right, but how do they know, he has done nothing to prove it otherwise!

just throwing this out there: maybe JL and DD know something we don’t about ramon. I know the numbers don’t suggest anything in particular but i seriously doubt ramon is outta here just cuz JL didn’t like him. these guys are professionals.

I guess Ramon is not “gritty” enough. Jim likes Rugburn in that role. Lord have mercy.

So jose reyes hasnt played 2nd at all? Sure would be a shoe in if he did. Speedy and hits lead off plus hits well. With guillon and maggs pay off the books seems like he would be affordable.

It’s Raburn🙂

I nicknamed Ryan “Rugburn” several years ago:>)

For the lineup, the Tigers need two guys that can bat in the top three slots in the order that get on base at a .350 plus pace ahead of Cabrera. Ideally, those are two guys that play decent defense at 2B and 3B and make contact at the plate.

2b who had OBP>= .350: pedroia, carroll, kinsler, phillips, zobrist, weeks
3b who had OBP>=.350: headley, youkilis, callaspo, arod, a.ramirez, sandoval, longoria, zimmerman
realistically, Tigers have a shot at Carroll who’s 37 and hasn’t been a fulltimer, A. Ramirez if they’re willing to spend big, and maybe Callaspo. Needless to say, a difficult task for GM to complete.

played >140 games last year……..sounds full time ish

Since Jason ruled out Doumit and Snyder is too expensive , José Molina is the player that seem to fit the requirments as backup catcher. Since , as expected VMart will be full time DH.

They could have had Bengie after SF let him go. He wanted to play but it seems no one was interested. Would have been a good backup. Guess they figured he was too old.

Not sure if Bengie wanted to come back to be a lowly-paid backup, or at least lowly-paid compared to starting catchers. Jose Molina made $1.2 million this year. Gerald Laird made $1.1 million. Treanor had a base salary of $850,000.

Stuck watching college football on ESPN2 because the score is more like a basketball game score. Gold gloves were supposed to start at 10:00pm.

what an interesting game that was, living in Toledo I was not happy with the final score but have never seen such silly defenses in all my life!

Tigers management has always had a hole in their thinking when it comes to secondbasemen. My money says Santiago signs elsewhere and we end up with a lesser player at the position. Then we can complain about it for years to come.
It would be best for the club if Zumaya signed elsewhere. Otherwise you risk being short in the bullpen. If Zoom comes through ST healthy, he’ll make the club but is still an injury risk.
Overall, there’s really not much new in what we’re hearing at this point. This is going to be an uncomfortable offseason.

we could probably sign Carroll for the same money – and he’s not lesser – just slightly different as we’ve already discussed.

Matt Wieters- gold glove

Ellsbury – gold glove.

that’s a shame. Ellsbury had a great year and the accolades will continue to roll in for him.

no errors and good hitter, too. I thought Paul Blair schooled folks on the fine art of being a gold glove fielder.

Placido Polanco at 3rd base. Not “gritty” enough for the Tigers, I guess. I wrote a commenbt on this, but it seemed to disappear on another thread. We have to upgrade the infield.

So is third Inge/Kelly or Inge/Betemit?

A lot of this is not surprising, was glad to see Boesch in there, was worried they might be looking to trade him, but of course they wouldn’t say that even if they were. There really must be something we are missing about Ramon, maybe we don’t know everything. I don’t mind him being our everyday guy, but if we keep him everyday we need a better third baseman at the plate. Ramon is good for situational hitting, getting the bunt down, hitting to the correct side of the field to move runners, etc but his hitting for average isn’t great so we can’t have 2nd and third hitting too low in the averages.

Thanks Maggs and Carlos, you have been 2 of my favorites guys for a long time and I will certainly miss you. We all knew it was coming but I am still sad that I have to find someone to replace you in my spot for yelling your names the loudest at the games.

I agree with Tiger Girl about Boesch. Boesch is “my Tiger” and I would HATE to see him get traded. It doesn’t help that I have invested a large amount of money into his trading cards.

I think Young is going to produce next year, but I am confident with Raburn if they do not sign him.

I will not miss ANY of the guys that are probably bouncing this year.Bye (hopefully) Magglio, Guillen, Coke, and Zumaya.
So are they keeping Inge and Betemit? We need a bat on 3rd!

BTW very informative post. I am starting a blog and i am looking for bloggers to interview. Please think about it

don’t think coke is going anywhere – and glad he’s not. maybe you were thinking of penny

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