Detroit Tigers Offseason Plan

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Let me make one thing clear right off the bat: I have no influence over the Detroit Tigers’ front office and nor do I have any unique insight into how they operate. I’m not trying to predict what Dave Dombrowski and Mike Ilitch will decide to do over the next four months. I’m just going to rattle off what my goals – as armchair GM – would be for the Tigers offseason as of the end of October 2012.

Now – let’s start with a recap of what I wanted the Tigers to do (which they, of course, did not do) after the 2011 season:

Oct 28, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Delmon Young (21) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of game four of the 2012 World Series at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

1. Non-tender Delmon Young: I’m not sure that anyone here at MCB (correct me if I’m wrong) thought that paying Delmon Young what he’s getting this year was going to be worth it. Leyland and Dombrowski clearly disagreed. Who was right? Despite his three postseason home runs, I’d have to say me and every one else here. Young’s .707 OPS was replacement-level for a DH or a corner outfielder, and coupled with his bad D in occasional time in the field made Young 7 runs below replacement level.

August 23, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Kelly Johnson (2) in the field against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

2. Sign Kelly Johnson. We all knew that the Tigers had desperate need of a decent second baseman going into the 2012 season, but Dombrowski turned up his nose at the free agent offerings that were out there – preferring to stick with his bat/glove platoon of Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago. We know how badly that turned out – and we know that those two guys’ inability to hit or field over the season’s first half led to the Infante trade and the loss of two of the Tigers top 3 prospects. Kelly Johnson accepted arbitration from the Blue Jays – since no-one seemed inclined to make him a better offer – and gave them a .688 OPS and 0.7 WAR. Good? Not really. Despite the failure of the Raburn experiment, DD may have been right to steer clear of Johnson. I call this one a wash.

3. Decline Jose Valverde‘s option. Jose Valverde did not have the greatest of seasons. He wasn’t worth the $9 million dollars he got paid. The Tigers would have been a slightly better team had they spent that money elsewhere. But… the guy I wanted them to go after, with the money that they weren’t paying Papa Grande, was Ryan Madson. Madson ultimately signed a one-year deal with Cincinnati and blew out his arm before the season even started. I’d have to give this one to Dombrowski (though both of our picks were bad).

4. Sign Grady Sizemore. Others at MCB wanted the Tigers to make a big push for Carlos Beltran – to start in left field over Delmon Young (who we wouldn’t have signed) or Andy Dirks (who we didn’t think would have such a good year). That obviously would have paid off in a big, big way. My pick for a new, non-Delmon, left fielder was Grady Sizemore – who would presumably have come cheaper than Beltran and involved the same high-talent, high-injury-risk sort of equation. Sizemore didn’t play a game in 2012, though, so clearly my decision was bad.

There you go – my 2011 offseason plan for the Detroit Tigers… doesn’t seem like I’d make the greatest GM in the world now, does it? So follow through to page 2 to see my 2012 plan – but obviously take my ravings with a grain of salt:

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Tags: Detroit Tigers Drew Smyly Octavio Dotel Rick Porcello Shane Victorino

  • gstoye44

    I really like the ideas of Porcello in the pen and Victorino in LF. The Porcello notion is especially outside-traditional-Tigers-thinking, and that probably makes me dig it even more.

  • Matt Snyder

    I like Melky over Victorino because he’ll likely be willing to take a one year deal. Victorino will want more security, and I don’t like the idea of another aging veteran locked up quite so much.

    • Chris Hannum

      I have the nagging suspicion that 2013 Melky Cabrera is going to be like 2005 Pudge. Or the 2010 Melky Cabrera (.671 OPS, -1.1 WAR) before his now suspicious renaissance. I could be wrong, his 2013 could be like Ryan Braun’s 2012.

  • hunry4awinfan

    Here we go for next year. Trade Fielder if anyone will take him, then move Cabrera back to first base and we have a 3rd baseman in AAA who should do fine. Spend the bucks for Hamilton. We now have some flexibility with MC playing 1st or 3rd and onlt 1 guy who cant play more than 1 position (our returning DH) who can play abit of 1st base. That leaves RF for a battle between Dirks, mini Cabrera, Berry, Bosche

    • Chris Hannum

      I’d be cautious with 2013 expectations for Castellanos, he didn’t do very well in AA after he got promoted. We’d be looking for him to start next year in Erie, advance to AAA in a few months if he hit well and be in Detroit for a September call-up.

    • Michael Caligiuri

      Is that a real post, or a sarcastic post? Castellanos needs at least another full year in the minors and Prince is one of the most consistent sluggers on the planet, and a true star that also doesnt’ mind playing 3rd fiddle to JV and Cabby.

  • Tigerstalk

    You can probably sign Joakim Soriano on the cheap since he’s coming off Tommy John Surgery and KC will probably decline his $8 million contract. This leaves Porcello and Boesch as trade bait for a right handed hitting outfielder

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