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November 17, 2009

Detroit Tigers 2009 Off-season game plan

by @ 11:38 pm. Filed under 2009 Mets

Positions filled: 1B(More on him later)…. 3B(Great glove, power, leader)… CF(huge hole vs. lefties but otherwise solid)… Top 3 rotation(young as well)…. RF($18 million for a singles hitter, have fun moving that contract!)… LF-DH(Good bat who cannot be counted on in th field)

Question Marks: How the hell do you spend almost a 100 million on a roster and have about 15 holes? … Closer… Set-up man… 2B… SS… a corner OF slot….How does this team respond to a complete and total gas job in September…  Who the hell decided to sign stiffs like Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis long term? …. How does GM Dave Dombrowski have a job?

Improve from within/Rookies: The good news is this club has talent at two spots of need(middle infield and pitching,particularily relievers) that appear to be close to major league ready. 2B Scott Sizemore, was in all star while splitting time between Double and Triple A. Sizemore injured his ankle in the offseason but should be ready for spring training.  Short stops Cale Iorg and Triple A stud Brent Dlugbach are not far away either. Reliever Ryan Perry saw time with the parent club and appears ready for a full major league season. Starters Casey Crosby and Alfredo Figaro also could contribute in 2010.  C Alex Avilla is also a candidate to break camp with the club.

Budget: Oh, Boy… In a word, wow. Not good, awful. In a cash strapped Midwest, this team might have the worst collection of bad contracts since Bernie Madoff.  Team has over 100 million due to studs such  as Willis, Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman and OF Carlos Guillen. Guillen is a good offensive player but cannot stay healthy when playing the field. Bonderman cannot stay healthy and has never developed a 2nd pitch. Robertson is a decent 4-5 starter who makes 10 million! Memo TO ALL OF MY FRIENDS WITH KIDS- KICK THEM OUT OF THE HOUSE AND TEACH THEM TO THROW LEFT HANDED!!! DO IT NOW!!!  Willis? To quote my late, great grand father, If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  Simply put, the reason you have seen some good players names linked to trades(CF Curtis Granderson, SP Edwin Jackson) is the club’s perilous financial situation. They need to clear some contracts and just have too much money tied up in players that are not even worth 10% of their salary.

Maglio Mistake: To follow up on my above paragraph, the Tigers foolishly allowed RF Maglio Ordonez enough at bats to kick in his $18 salary for the 2010 season. Ordonez, who was a great player and is a huge fan favorite, has lost power(30 homers in the last 2 campaigns)  and is a poor outfielder with bad knees. This might be the worst contract in all of baseball. You want so more bad  news? He is also owed 15 million in 2011. I am in the wrong line of work!

Off-Season priorities:

1- The Bullpen- A team strength in 2009 with closer Fernando Rodney and set-up man Brandon Lyon both having huge seasons in walk years. The Tigers will be hard pressed to sign either with their money situation. They have some internal candidates and might chase some free agent bargains as well.

2- 2B- Club mainstay Placido Polando is also a free agent and will more than likely get offers that surpass what the Tigers can afford. A good candidate to have played his last game in a Detroit uniform.

3- SS- Defensive wiz Adam Everett was a solid player here but the Tigers should look for a stop gap veteran type to bridge the gap until either Iorg or Dlugach is ready.

What I would do:

1- Trade 1B Miguel Cabrera- and No, I have not been drinking or taken any drugs tonight. (Not so sure about Miggy though) This guy is a stats sheet but name me one big hit he has gotten to make a difference. Educated Tigers fans will tell you Brandon Inge is their top clutch hitter. Besides that, the guy goes out and gets tanked during the biggest series of the season, goes home and scares the jelly beans out of his poor wife. The cops come over and he is taken away to the drunk tank. Dombrowski is summoned to pick him up at the jail. Does this sound like someone you would want as your franchise player? For valuable prizes, name me a championship club that has won with a player this irresponsible. I am waiting……

Trade him for a bag of balls, I have no use for people you cannot count on.

2- Sign SS Orlando Cabrera- The good Cabrera. He will not command big money and is perfect for 1 or 2 seasons here. Another bonus? He could lead off and you could move Granderson down the order, where he belongs. This helps your line-up in 2 spots.

3- Sign a veteran 1B- A Russell Branyan or Adam Laroche type. around 8-10 million a year. This team has too many holes to carry a 20+ million plus player at First base. Jorge Cantu also makes sense.

4- Sign one veteran RP— To either close or help bridge the gap to Perry. Besides Rodney and Lyon, LH Billy Wagner and Michigan native J.J. Putz would be solid signings.

5- Sign a strong defensive oriented OF- This club plays in the Baseball equivalent of the Grand Canyon, yet continues to play corner OFs who could not catch a cold. It is amazing Granderson has not blown out both hamstrings! I would look at a Coco Crisp type to at least platoon in the OF or spell Ordonez in RF(bad knees) and Guillen(He will be hurt by May if he plays 130 games in the OF).

Prognosis: This team will be around .500 in 2010.(75-85 wins in a bad division) However, they have several bad contracts coming off the books in 2011 and should be set up to contend for the Division in 2011 and beyond. Some excellent young talent on the way and an owner who has spent in the past could combine to make the Tigers a strong contender for years to come.

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