The annual baseball winter meetings get started today, and for baseball junkies who can’t get enough of the so called “hot stove” chatter, it’s like Christmas in…December? Baseball’s version of teenage girls’ gossip and innuendo has become a part of the baseball year that gets look forward to almost as much as the start of the season itself. The Tigers of course, due to the sheer spending will of owner Mike Ilitch, have become a central figure in writer’s and fans speculations about where players are going to go. This season, the reality is despite a lot of rumors floating around about the Tigers, I don’t really expect much from them.
Looking at the current Tigers roster, it’s certainly good enough to win the A.L. Central. We know the sights are set a little bit higher than that, but the Tigers are the defending American League champs, and have already added right fielder Torii Hunter to the mix. What more can they do?
Well, they do seem to be interested in upgrading the shortstop position. Rumors have the Tigers involved in Stephen Drew and Asdrubal Cabrera. Neither of those guys seem like quality options in my opinion, but I don’t really have a say. Drew’s actual production doesn’t match the price tag he appears to be looking for. Is it just me, or do both the baseball brothers Drew have a mildly inflated sense of their own value? Cabrera on the other hand is flashy, and probably slightly better than Jhonny Peralta, but no so much so that he would be worth the assets in trade that it would take to acquire him. Besides, the Tigers are on Cabrera’s no trade list.
The Tigers of course could stand to get another bullpen guy, and maybe a back up catcher, and a right handed hitting left fielder. While these things are important over the long haul, it’s not like the Tigers need to get overly aggressive here. Especially during the winter meetings, because after all, guys can be signed and traded for later. This isn’t a three day sale or something.
I do suspect there is going to be quite a bit of activity this season, however, I tend to believe that the meetings are mostly a time for GM’s to lay down the framework for deals we are going to see in a couple of weeks.
I don’t think these meetings will generate much for Tigers fans to follow, but then again, maybe we just can’t see that really nice present hidden under the tree.