Sometimes I wish the Winter Meetings were documented in a video game easily installed to the desktop of your favorite PC or Apple. How wicked awesome would that be? You could take on the geeky, stat nerd approach of Theo Epstein, or document y0ur version of Money Ball with Billy Beane. Were you picked on in High School? Then choose either Brian Cashman, Omar Minaya, Jim Hendry or Ruben Amaro Jr. Some of us just like to make bad GMs look good. Neal Hunnington, Mike Flanagan and Jed Hoyer could really use your right hand.
Okay, so there are games like this out there (sorry 2k sports, you didn’t fill the void). Sometimes the best imagine comes working the pen and paper. How do you think dungeons and dragons became so popular? Let’s just say I’ve gotten the pen and paper out a few times and I have been trying to use my imagination to make a level 75 warlord to create some viable options at the Winter Meetings for Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski. Since I do not have a nice comb over, own any suits, or get a paycheck signed by Mike Ilitch, I am not in power to make some transactions that I believe would help the Tigers. But that doesn’t stop me from spilling some things I would try this weekend.
If MCB were in Indianapolis, here are a few moves that would get ran by other GMs.
Dear Dayton: Ill take a middle infielder and raise you a reliever and catcher- Let’s face it, both organizations do not have the pieces to make a run to the playoffs yet. Dayton Moore and company are trying to add a catcher and some bullpen help to actually get the baseball to Joakim Soria in the ninth inning. Depth wise, the Royals could afford dealing a middle infielder, something the Tigers could desperately use. If I’m Dave Dombrowski I would gauge Dayton Moore’s interest in Gerald Laird. Moore has made it clear he is looking for a catcher that can call a decent game, throw out runners, and hit a little. Laird might not be the offensive threat Moore is looking for, but he could be a good solution for now. Now Laird for a young player like Alberto Callaspo probably wouldn’t fly, but by adding the contract of John Buck and offering a reliever with high ceiling, it at least creates interest. Losing Laird hurts, but in all reality the hope is that Alex Avila is capable of what he flashed last season can only be preserved with true playing time. Buck is a serviceable backup in the meantime. It would probably take more to land Callaspo, but this at least opens the door.
Dear Doug: I have your Pitcher, You may have my Future- When publishing what teams would have interest in Edwin Jackson, I really liked where Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi was going with the Brewers. Doug Melvin is so desperate for pitching depth, he might be willing to get up one of his best hitting prospects in the system. Even thought the optimal return for Edwin Jackson would be a younger pitcher with a lot of upside, Mat Gamel is a player that I wouldn’t mind swapping for. It’s not probable, but if I can prime Melvin into realizing the benefit Jackson brings to the table, then I can make a deal that makes sense for both teams. If Melvin even would budge on Corey Hart, a two for swap could be interesting. There is no rumors out there surrounding either player, but there is no doubt this team needs pitching.
Hey A.J: Throw your former team a bone: If it is true that the Diamondbacks would be willing to add Edwin Jackson for Max Scherzer, than I am all over that like hot cheese on nacho chips. He might not be the best polished pitcher, but he fits in the Tigers rotation nicely and comes at a cheap price. If the Tigers feel a downfall, which could very well be the case, then why not bring in a youngster with a great arm, great velocity and a good head on his shoulders. It also wouldn’t hurt to gauge the possibility of adding Stephen Drew.
It’s going to be hard for the Tigers to be aggressive, which is understandable. For some reason though, if anyone is interested in taking on the dead money of Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis or Magglio Ordonez, then you have to deal no matter what you get in return. If I were Dave I would spend a majority of my time finding out if anyone is interested in any of this dead money. If you can move it then it gives some of your younger players time, plus it clears the books to add some major talent via trade if the Tigers really feel obligated to by mid-season. It’s hopeful to think that, but according to some writers there has been some interest. Jeremy Bonderman has been mentioned with the Diamondbacks. The Brewers showed some interest in Nate Robertson last season.
The way this off-season is going, it seems like it is going to be a long season in 2010. I hope I am wrong, but let’s at least hear of some talks this weekend. Hopefully the Tigers will come out of the Winter Meetings with some pieces, like the did last year. For some reason, I just don’t think it will happen.