There was a time that I would take any move David Dombrowski made and take it as a golden move that would pay dividends in the future. I was the happiest when we shipped Curtis Granderson to New York of anybody in the Metro Detroit area. I was even happy when Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller were shipped to Florida for Miguel Cabrera (even in Willis had to come along too).
But I have to wonder now, with a few different things having happened in the recent weeks, if this is the case anymore.
I first must operate under the assumption that he knows some things I don’t (which is a pretty safe bet).
Like, for one, do we really think the Tigers have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs next year?
I guess its possible. After all they do play in a division that has Kansas City and Cleveland playing in it. Chicago isn’t a power and Minnesota has some question marks of their own.
So I grant you, it is possible that the motor city kitties could make the playoffs. But is that all we shoot for? Making the playoffs?
I would rather watch another .500 team in 2011 if it meant that we could build a dynasty that would routinely go to the playoffs and win some pennants instead of trying to add free agents to try and make a run in 2011 and only 2011.
I have issue with the two major moves the Tigers have made this off-season.
Joaquin Benoit is a good reliever, his 2010 stats would indicate that he is a great reliever. Great might be a bit of an understatement (John Rocker looked great once too), but he does add a plus arm to a bullpen that is exciting at times–and not in a good way.
But for $16.5 million dollars? For a set-up guy? Seems a bit ridiculous to me.
And then there is Victor Martinez.
A solid hitter–even better when compared only to catchers–but lacks defensively and has for most of his career.
And for ten million more than anybody else was offering.
The thing is, I’ve stated my hatred for the Red Sox at length, so there is no need to do it further, but one thing I’ve noticed is that for everything they are they are most definitely not stupid.
They let Pedro go when he was in the twilight of his career and not worth the money he was asking. Shipped Manny out of town as soon as somebody was willing to take him. Are shopping Papelbon now that he seems to be slipping.
Their drafting has been awesome: Pedroia, Ellsbury, Youkilis, Bard, Bucholz, Lester, to name a few.
They even played hardball with Jason Varitek when he grossly overestimated his value–and he was the team captain.
So, with a franchise that is pretty smart (John Lackey and Marco Scutaro signings aside), wouldn’t it stand to reason that there was a reason the Red Sox weren’t going to budge on their offer.
A reason their line in the sand was drawn?
Especially considering their catching situation is abysmal by any standard unit of measurement.
And he’s 31. If he was a left fielder or first baseman I’d look the other way and say, fine, that’s a decent contract.
But he’s a catcher and at 31 he’s probably more like 41 and won’t go up with his production, only down.
Which brings up another point: we need to get younger as a team, not older. Signing free agents and over paying for their twilight years doesn’t work–unless your the Yankees who can afford to have $15 dollar bench players–and hamstrings your franchise.
Especially now that the rules in place end with a forfeiture of draft picks for certain types of free agents signed.
The Tigers have almost no legitimate prospects anywhere near making an impact on the major league roster in the minors.
They need draft picks bad. Signing, as we’ve heard rumored, Jason Werth might be a good idea short term (very short term and probably not at all) but is an awful idea for building a franchise.
Because the Tigers have holes: short, left, right, second, starting pitcher x3, and still in the bullpen.
Werth is older than Martinez and, since becoming a regular, has had one above average season and two average seasons.
He’s never driven in a hundred runs, hit .300, stolen 30 bases, or won a gold glove.
I’d really like to see some statistics on his 2009 36 homer season to be adjusted for home/road splits. That ballpark might make David Eckstein a 25 homer kind of guy.
Boras wants $100 million? I hope the Tigers aren’t seriously considering it and we sign somebody, as second tier guy, and keep our draft pick.
He isn’t worth (no pun intended) it.
But again, unless the Tigers know something I, and most everyone else, don’t, I hope the spending is done or it moves into intelligent places.