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Monday, August 21, 2017

Justin Verlander’s domination of Dodgers looked like an Astros audition | ESPN

“I went out there against the best team in baseball, and this morning I just kind of told myself I was going to take a playoff type of intensity out there and not let these guys sweep us,” Verlander said.

“It’s impossible to really create a playoff atmosphere without being in the playoffs, but I tried my best to do that and use that much more focus and intensity on every pitch.”

It’s almost as if he took out a full-page ad in a Houston paper saying, “This is Justin Verlander dialed up to postseason intensity.”

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 21, 2017 at 03:18 AM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, dodgers, verlander

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   1. Tim D Posted: August 21, 2017 at 09:14 AM (#5517747)
A long playoff run would generate plenty of revenue. He'd be worth it for the Astros. But I hope he stays a Tiger.
   2. cmd600 Posted: August 21, 2017 at 03:22 PM (#5518012)
A long playoff run would generate plenty of revenue.


Verlander represents about a five percent increase in winning one game, not a long playoff run.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 21, 2017 at 03:47 PM (#5518025)
It’s almost as if he took out a full-page ad in a Houston paper saying, “This is Justin Verlander dialed up to postseason intensity.”

It's almost as if columnists live for reading narrative into throwaway comments.
   4. Tim D Posted: August 21, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5518040)
"Verlander represents about a five percent increase in winning one game, not a long playoff run."

Those rolling eyes belong to the players in the Astros clubhouse, not me.
   5. Lest we forget Posted: August 21, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5518041)
He was dominant; it was fun to watch. He was throwing mid to high 90s, and just smoking it.

In today's game, when a pitcher is on like that, you get lots of strikeouts and the occasional home run. He killed it.

Any team would be happy to have him for a post season run.
   6. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 21, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5518071)
We went over this in the multiple other Tigers threads, but Verlander in his last nine starts has been outstanding: 61 IP, 42 H, 17 walks, 67 Ks, for a 2.36 ERA and a .189/.248/.351 slash line. Seven of these last nine starts were QSs, and only one of them was bad. (And in THAT start, it was just one bad 4-run inning.) The size of his contract is obviously a problem, but he's been every bit as good as he was the last two seasons.

I think he's a guy who's going to age well and I'd love to see him rack up enough wins to be a serious HoF candidate. I don't think the Tiggers are in a position to get Verlander 15 wins a season for the next four years, so it would be better from that perspective that he end up elsewhere pitching in front of a better offense.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 21, 2017 at 04:45 PM (#5518073)

Those rolling eyes belong to the players in the Astros clubhouse, not me.


Yeah, the idea that Verlander only gives you a 5% boost over Mike Fiers or Joe Musgrove is not believable.
   8. TDF, FCL Posted: August 21, 2017 at 05:08 PM (#5518090)
We went over this in the multiple other Tigers threads, but Verlander in his last nine starts has been outstanding: 61 IP, 42 H, 17 walks, 67 Ks, for a 2.36 ERA and a .189/.248/.351 slash line.
The thing I didn't realize until listening to the game yesterday is that Verlander hasn't been pitching very deeply into games. While his current stretch is a pretty good 6.8 IP/G, for the season it's just 6.1; that compares to 6.6 for his career and 6.7 each of the past 2 seasons and is the 2nd lowest of his career.

That can't be a good sign.
   9. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: August 21, 2017 at 06:10 PM (#5518129)
The thing I didn't realize until listening to the game yesterday is that Verlander hasn't been pitching very deeply into games. While his current stretch is a pretty good 6.8 IP/G, for the season it's just 6.1; that compares to 6.6 for his career and 6.7 each of the past 2 seasons and is the 2nd lowest of his career.

That can't be a good sign.

Seems more like a reflection of league trends than a sign of Verlander wearing down. Verlander leads the league in innings pitched since the All-Star break, and for the season as a whole he ranks 13th. You could count on one hand the number of guys who average 6.7 innings a start. Isn't it just Sale and Kluber, maybe add Scherzer if you round up?

Through 2014 the league always had at least 30 200-inning pitchers. Last year that number was cut in half, and this year there might be even fewer.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: August 21, 2017 at 06:34 PM (#5518136)
Morton's last 8 starts: 3.26 ERA
Keuchel's season ERA: 2.58 (but bad since coming back)
Peacock as starter: 3.64 ERA
McCullers pre-injury: 3.92 ERA but 2.95 FIP

The Astros have gone 11-7 in Morton starts, 13-11 with Fiers, 12-7 with McCullers, and 12-4 in Peacock starts. How much more likely are they to win with Verlander?

Their offense hasn't been as good so far in the 2nd half but they're still scoring nearly 5 runs a game.
   11. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: August 21, 2017 at 06:50 PM (#5518142)
I think they need him for the playoffs.
   12. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 21, 2017 at 07:23 PM (#5518156)
The Astros have gone 11-7 in Morton starts, 13-11 with Fiers, 12-7 with McCullers, and 12-4 in Peacock starts. How much more likely are they to win with Verlander?
They've already won the division, and probably the league (though Boston's edging closer). In the playoffs? I'd say more. Fiers isn't very good, and Peacock hasn't been very good four straight starts. We don't know what McCullers will be when he comes back — in July they were saying he'd be back in August, and he's only now getting bullpen sessions. To the extent that there's a gettable frontline starter I trust in the playoffs, I trust Justin Verlander.

Again, his contract is an obvious problem, but I think Verlander's more likely to maintain or even improve on 2017 than Gonzalez, Marisnick, or Gurriel are of matching their 2017s. Plus, Verlander's contract is costly but not that long — two more years, and then that third year would depend on him being awesome in 2019, which is what his team would hope for anyways.
   13. TDF, FCL Posted: August 21, 2017 at 07:47 PM (#5518167)
Plus, Verlander's contract is costly but not that long — two more years, and then that third year would depend on him being awesome in 2019, which is what his team would hope for anyways.
Plus, if it vests (meaning he's awesome) it isn't even costly (and possibly a bargain!)
   14. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 21, 2017 at 08:49 PM (#5518186)
Again, his contract is an obvious problem, but I think Verlander's more likely to maintain or even improve on 2017 than Gonzalez, Marisnick, or Gurriel are of matching their 2017s. Plus, Verlander's contract is costly but not that long — two more years, and then that third year would depend on him being awesome in 2019, which is what his team would hope for anyways.

Verlander has no-trade protection though and will have to agree to any trade. It may well be the case that after this year he costs 2/$56 for the Tigers and 3/$78 for any acquiring team if he is demanding the option be guaranteed in exchange for waiving those rights.
   15. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 21, 2017 at 08:56 PM (#5518187)
Ludnow was on Houston sports radio earlier late last week saying that the chances of the Astros trading for a starter was pretty low. I assume that the Tigers aren't willing to eat cash, want top-shelf prospects or even someone like Bregman, Verlander wants his option guaranteed, or some combination of the three.
   16. Wahoo Sam Posted: August 21, 2017 at 10:20 PM (#5518232)
A few times in the last three years, Verlander has had a bad stretch of starts. Then he rights the ship and pitches like a stud for 10-15 starts, (or more than half a season like last year) and is awesome. Yet, critics continue to jump up and say he's done any time he is inconsistent.

He's not a Type A Hall of Famer candidate, a monster like Big Unit or Pedro. Verlander had a quick, short peak. But he is going to have many good to very good seasons. His peak was better than Mussina and probably Blyleven and Hunter and other HOF pitchers. He's not Koufax or Maddux. He was pretty close to their quality for about 75 starts. But otherwise he's more like a Sutton or Palmer. The conditions of his era mean he'll win fewer games than any HOF-caliber pitcher ever has. He might come in at about 220 because so many decisions are now made in the last three innings.

There are so few great starters right now, and Verlander gets knocked a bit because his career is a little unusual. It's not all-time great like Kershaw, who JV will invariably be thrown in with when they're both on the HOF ballot for a few years. He's five years older than Kershaw, and I think some critics think JV should be doing what Kershaw is at this point. Well, few pitchers do that when they're in their mid-30s.

Think about the starting pitcher HOF candidates we have in the early 21st century era: Halladay, Sabathia, Hamels, Verlander, Price, Buehrle, Colon, Lackey, Sabathia, Greinke, King Felix, Kershaw, Scherzer.

Who among them is a slam dunk? The top win totals for any of these pitchers will probably be in the 230s, with many of them barely winning 200 if at all. It's good that wins won't be the measuring stick, but that will surely mean that peak performance will be very important. Verlander scores well there. He tossed two no-hitters and is a threat to add a third every year. He won the pitching triple crown, led a team to the postseason five times and had some dominant games in the PS. He was Rookie of the Year, he could theow the ball 100 MPH and he had an amazing run of starts going at least 6 innings, which only Bob Gibson and Tom Seaver ever matched.

I think Verlander has a better chance at the Hall if he stays in Detroit, where he could become the franchise leader in wins and continue to cement himself as an icon as a Tiger. I also still think he can win another CY. He should have won it last year, and over the last seven weeks he's been the best pitcher in the league.

   17. cmd600 Posted: August 22, 2017 at 12:55 AM (#5518283)
Neither was the idea that letting the batter hit away instead of bunting the guy to second was a better way to score runs. Then we learned.

We did this in the last Verlander thread. 538 projects the Astros to win on Saturday the 26th, behind Peacock, the guy likely to lose his spot to Verlander if the playoffs were today, at a 51% chance. This is represented by ELO ratings of 1559 for the Astros to 1551 for their opponent. Peacock is seen as worth -2 points, pretty much league average. Verlander is seen by them as worth +39 points, not quite Sale, Kluber, or Scherzer, but still one of the very best pitchers in the league. Switching Verlander in for Peacock, they raise their ELO rating for that day to 1600, a 49 point advantage over their opponent instead of 8. On Thursday the 24th, the Angels are favored over the Rangers by that exact same 41 ELO points, and are given a 56% chance to win. 51% to 56% by going from Peacock to Verlander.

We also see a league average team with league average starters, two WAR per starter - winning 50% of their games - become a 91 win team - or winning 56% of their games - when they have a rotation of four WAR guys. Going from a league average starter to Verlander is a 5% win boost.

Now, if acquiring Verlander will be the difference between the Astros hitters rolling their eyes or playing their best, sure, go pay for him.
   18. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 22, 2017 at 09:01 AM (#5518318)
A few times in the last three years, Verlander has had a bad stretch of starts. Then he rights the ship and pitches like a stud for 10-15 starts, (or more than half a season like last year) and is awesome. Yet, critics continue to jump up and say he's done any time he is inconsistent.

I don't see anybody saying Verlander is done. There is however a very large gulf between being done, and being paid like the best pitcher in the league. And those inconsistencies are absolutely part of the parcel you are acquiring now.

I made this point in a previous Verlander thread which had mostly died by then, so I will make it again:
2013-2017: 944.1 IP; 112 ERA+

That is just not a small sample size anymore. Not that there is anything wrong with a 112 ERA+. It is good, even very good. But the notion that a team should be willing to pay him like a super star AND throw in an A+ prospect is simply delusional.

The comparison I find striking:
Sonny Gray
2013-2017: 728 IP; 116 ERA+

Yes fewer innings (in part because 2013 was his first cup of coffee season at 64IP, but he was also hurt. If you look 2014-17 the advantage for Verlander is 62IP). But given the relative ages and the absolute bargain of a contract Gray is on, I would much, much rather have him over Verlander. And he was not able to pull in an A+ prospect or anything close.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5518332)
But the notion that a team should be willing to pay him like a super star AND throw in an A+ prospect is simply delusional.

No one is saying this. Everyone here agrees that you don't give Detroit an A prospect for Verlander.
   20. Tim D Posted: August 22, 2017 at 10:33 AM (#5518407)
"Everyone here agrees that you don't give Detroit an A prospect for Verlander."

But the Tigers don't. The more relevant question is should the Astros, for their fans, for their players, whatever, take on all/most of the salary AND meet Detroit's demand, which, for PR reasons has to be at least one top-flight prospect. No other way a deal gets done. I think they should, although I acknowledge it goes against the numbers. But I don't think they will, and as a Tiger fan I completely fine with that. I would, like most Tiger fans, be unhappy if they traded him just for salary relief and some middling prospects. He has more intangible value to the franchise, and would have a lot of intangible value to the Astros as well.

BTW, Drysdale is in the HOF with 209 wins.

   21. cmd600 Posted: August 22, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5518424)
The more relevant question


And, of course, the question on the other side, should the Tigers be willing to throw $60M down the toilet in seasons where they should expect near 90 losses chasing intangibles? $60M that could be put away for the time they might expect to contend again. The Tigers are, unequivocally, not in a no lose situation here. Passing on prospects and saving money for future rosters puts off the necessary rebuild, and a longer spiral downward before it looks like the young guys can get you in a pennant race has a lot of intangibles that come with it too.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:01 AM (#5518433)
But the Tigers don't. The more relevant question is should the Astros, for their fans, for their players, whatever, take on all/most of the salary AND meet Detroit's demand, which, for PR reasons has to be at least one top-flight prospect.

The reality is you meet in the middle. Detroit pays a decent chunk of the contract, and gets a B prospect and some high upside Cs.

And, of course, the question on the other side, should the Tigers be willing to throw $60M down the toilet in seasons where they should expect near 90 losses chasing intangibles? $60M that could be put away for the time they might expect to contend again. The Tigers are, unequivocally, not in a no lose situation here. Passing on prospects and saving money for future rosters puts off the necessary rebuild, and a longer spiral downward before it looks like the young guys can get you in a pennant race has a lot of intangibles that come with it too.

Teams never "save" money for future payrolls. It makes sense, but it doesn't happen. Any reduction in payroll goes to the bottom line. If the Ilitchs don't care about drawing more cash, there's no economic reason to cut payroll.

If they don't get at least a B prospect, it's not worth trading Verlander. Anything less than a B prospect is basically a total wild card. You can find guys of C-prospect quality as minor league FAs or on the waiver wire.

Winning games still has value even if you're not a playoff team. And given the 2 WC set-up, Detroit could well be a playoff contender next year, with some luck and a few shrewd moves.
   23. cmd600 Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:22 AM (#5518457)
Any reduction in payroll goes to the bottom line.


We don't have anywhere near enough evidence to say this. But, sure, if the Tigers don't find it prudent to shift 2018-2019 dollars to 2020 and beyond, that's a sign of incompetent management and will disrupt the necessary rebuild, Verlander around or not.
   24. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5518460)
No one is saying this.

Tigers fans here and in previous Verlander threads very much seem to be.
   25. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:34 AM (#5518471)
And, of course, the question on the other side, should the Tigers be willing to throw $60M down the toilet in seasons where they should expect near 90 losses chasing intangibles? $60M that could be put away for the time they might expect to contend again. The Tigers are, unequivocally, not in a no lose situation here. Passing on prospects and saving money for future rosters puts off the necessary rebuild, and a longer spiral downward before it looks like the young guys can get you in a pennant race has a lot of intangibles that come with it too.


They aren't throwing $60 million down the toilet, they are providing their fans, the people who actually give them money by buying tickets, watching TV and frequenting their advertisers, with a reason to watch Detroit Tiger baseball. If the Tigers trade Verlander for some kind of great prospect (Tucker, Martes) that's one thing but there is no reason they should just give Verlander away. There is also no reason the Astros should trade Tucker or Martes for Verlander and the big contract.

As for the money being better spent elsewhere...where? Let's say the Tigers do trade Verlander for salary relief. What are they going to get for the value of his contract in the FA market that is going to be materially more valuable than Justin Verlander the next couple of years?
   26. cmd600 Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5518495)
They aren't throwing $60 million down the toilet


You can disagree with the turn of phrase, but however you want to put it, it is widely considered foolish to be paying full value prices for wins in 90 loss seasons.

more valuable than Justin Verlander the next couple of years


This is exactly the issue. They shouldn't be buying 2018-19 wins. They should sacrifice as many they can to be competitive as soon as 2020.
   27. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: August 22, 2017 at 12:11 PM (#5518510)
if the Tigers don't find it prudent to shift 2018-2019 dollars to 2020 and beyond, that's a sign of incompetent management


They shouldn't spend those dollars on 2018, but it doesn't follow that shifting them to 2020 is a good idea. Management's job is to make money for the people who employ them. Sometimes the way to do this is to invest in the future, and sometimes the way to do it is to send profits back to ownership. (After all, the whole point of investing in the future is so that eventually you can send the profits to the folks who own the team.) Failing to shift money from 2018-19 to 2020 isn't necessarily a sign of bad management.
   28. cmd600 Posted: August 22, 2017 at 12:25 PM (#5518520)
Management's job is to make money for the people who employ them.


Sure, I'm on board that if Ilitch Jr's goal is to put more money in his pocket than back into the team, don't spend money in 2020 either. But this seems to be generally saying the same thing - immediately stop investing in 2018-19. Whether they want to be the Marlins or not after that is a different conversation.
   29. Tim D Posted: August 22, 2017 at 12:29 PM (#5518526)
Avila won't have a job if he doesn't at least look like he's trying to keep the team competitive for 2018/19.
   30. cmd600 Posted: August 22, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5518543)
Avila won't have a job if he doesn't at least look like he's trying to keep the team competitive for 2018/19.


Then he should be out of a job already. Becasue they dont look competitive, and they're clearly on the side of moving veterans rather than acquiring them.
   31. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 22, 2017 at 01:05 PM (#5518547)
They should sacrifice as many they can to be competitive as soon as 2020.


That assumes that sacrificing wins makes a dent in their likelihood of competing in 2020. This isn't the NBA and drafting a single superstar doesn't make you an automatic contender. As others have noted with the two Wild Card system the path to contention is short enough that having good players is better than not having good players. Saving $60 million the next two years is not going to have virtually any impact on them succeeding in 2020.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 01:43 PM (#5518601)
Then he should be out of a job already. Becasue they dont look competitive, and they're clearly on the side of moving veterans rather than acquiring them.

Their veterans have no surplus value. Why not try and compete?
   33. cmd600 Posted: August 22, 2017 at 01:51 PM (#5518612)
having good players


The Tigers are projected to win .479 of the rest of their games. Thats a 77 win pace. They have 77 wins worth of good players right now, and with a lot of that talent on the wrong side of the aging curve, it will likely go down the next two years. 75ish wins worth of good players is not something to try to take a run at it with.

For however many timea now, sure, if they dont want to take $60M in savings in 18/19 and use it in 20 and beyond, thats another problem. But, yes, if they can turn their $28M/year guy into money for a $28M/year guy when thry might be good, that will have a big impact.
   34. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 22, 2017 at 02:52 PM (#5518666)
75ish wins worth of good players is not something to try to take a run at it with.
They won't be able to trade for a prospect as highly rated as Daniel Norris was two years ago. Expecting Norris to break through and Boyd turning into a reasonable #5 starter isn't unreasonable. Add a healthy Miggy Cabrera returning to form and a nice free agent bat between him and Upton, and the Tigers with Verlander are a reasonable dark horse team. They don't have much of a farm system right now anyways, so if they can't get anything for Verlander, why not try?
   35. cmd600 Posted: August 22, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5518715)
Expecting Norris to break through and Boyd turning into a reasonable #5 starter isn't unreasonable. Add a healthy Miggy Cabrera


That .479 RoS projected win percentage has Miggy near a .900 OPS, Norris about league average, and Boyd as fifth starterish already. Upton can, and should opt out. Sure, maybe their 75 win team can luck into the low 80s, and they'll be lucky enough that the second wild card spot will be that low. At $200Mish, that sounds like good business.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5518719)
At $200Mish, that sounds like good business.

Better business than losing 95 games with a $170M payroll.

.500 teams with some stars are a lot more entertaining and generate a lot more revenue than 65 win obvious teardowns.
   37. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 22, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5518732)
That .479 RoS projected win percentage has Miggy near a .900 OPS, Norris about league average, and Boyd as fifth starterish already. Upton can, and should opt out
Is Upton's market value going to be more than ~4 years/$90M? I dunno, but that seems high to me. Right now, the Tigers' commitments for next year are less than $140MM, assuming Upton stays put. They've got some guys coming up on arbitration, but it'll still leave them well south of $200 million, I'm WAGing maybe $40 million south. That's more than enough to, say, bring back J.D. Martinez and/or sign another arm if they choose to jump in with both feet.
   38. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 04:40 PM (#5518753)
.500 teams with some stars are a lot more entertaining and generate a lot more revenue than 65 win obvious teardowns.


Again, though, this isn't actually a .500 team. It's a team that might be able to sneak its way up to .500 if absolutely everything goes right.
   39. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 22, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5518758)
At $200Mish, that sounds like good business.

Better business than losing 95 games with a $170M payroll.

.500 teams with some stars are a lot more entertaining and generate a lot more revenue than 65 win obvious teardowns.

Verlander is not the difference between a 81 win team and a 65 win team.

Their veterans have no surplus value. Why not try and compete?

What they should do, is eat salary to create surplus value, and get actual talent back.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5518768)
Verlander is not the difference between a 81 win team and a 65 win team.

No, but moving Verlander for a single good prospect doesn't get you anywhere.

What they should do, is eat salary to create surplus value, and get actual talent back.

But that creates terribel short-term economics. You still have a high-payroll, and you get the shitty revenue of a terrible, starless, team.

Also, what are you going to get for Cabrera and Zimmermann, even if you eat half the contracts? Not much.

I really see no point in taking your team from .500-ish dark horse, to a basket-case that still has a $150M payroll, just to gain a couple of B and C prospects.

Better to try and stay respectable, while you rebuild the farm system. There's no reason the Tigers can't re-tool similar to how the Yankees have over the last 5 year.
   41. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 05:09 PM (#5518782)
There's no reason the Tigers can't re-tool similar to how the Yankees have over the last 5 year.


The Yankees started with a better minor league system and a better ML roster, and also had a substantially larger budget than the Tigers are likely to have over the next few years.
   42. BDC Posted: August 22, 2017 at 05:20 PM (#5518795)
.500 teams with some stars are a lot more entertaining and generate a lot more revenue than 65 win obvious teardowns

I don't really have a strong opinion, but how true is this, if the teardown is truly obvious?

The 2010 Astros were milling around, just under .500 where they'd been for several years, with a payroll of $93M and attendance of 2.3M.

The 2013 Astros, at the nadir of the teardown, were playing .315 baseball, with a payroll of $15M and attendance of 1.6M.

700,000 fans is a lot of fans. Let's say they pay $30 on average. A $21M loss. But you're saving $78M on payroll. OK, they also don't park in your lot or eat hotdogs. But still … and at the same time, the Astros' TV money was $100M a year no matter what, which helped them brace for the teardown in the first place. I don't know the Tigers' TV situation, but it's not obvious to me that teardowns are economically disastrous. People will come out in certain numbers to see other teams' stars and just to enjoy the ballgame, no matter how the home team is doing.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 05:23 PM (#5518797)
I don't know the Tigers' TV situation,

Their contract is up soon.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 05:25 PM (#5518802)
The Yankees started with a better minor league system and a better ML roster, and also had a substantially larger budget than the Tigers are likely to have over the next few years.

I'm not saying they'll do as wel on the field, or rebuild as quickly, but they can use the same approach.

The Tigers can clearly sustain a $175M payroll, and go higher if they want to. Every team except the Rays can sustain $125M these days. The sport is awash in money.

The only real reason to "tear-down" while you rebuild is to put extra profits in the owners' pockets.
   45. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: August 22, 2017 at 05:32 PM (#5518809)
Which is the whole point of a professional baseball team.
   46. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 22, 2017 at 05:40 PM (#5518819)
The only real reason to "tear-down" while you rebuild is to put extra profits in the owners' pockets.

The reason to do a teardown is to get actual good players, who won't contribute in the present (which is a lost cause), and will contribute in the future. I am not saying it's a great option. But well the Tigers have dug themselves a hole and have no great options.

The Tigers loaded up to the hilt to try and win one for "Mr.I" before his time was up, and those bills are coming due now, and are going to have to be paid one way or another. They are going to be bad in the near future, pretty much no matter what. Other than Fulmer, they have a bunch of guys who are either, old, expensive, or terrible, or some combination of the three. Other than the opting out Upton (their only all star caliber player), their next best position player is a 35 year old middle infielder with 2.4 WAR. Getting to ".500-ish dark horse" already requires huge bounce backs form the likes of Cabrera and Zimmermann, and is a huge longshot. And that's the upside?

You can try and get as much for the future as you can (by eating money), and draft and develop well, while you clear the books of dead money and overpays from guys like Zimmermann, VMart, and Verlander. Or you can keep everyone, pay them and play them, and still end up a 70 win team, with fewer bullets 2 years from now when you have some flexibility to actually add pieces.
   47. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 05:43 PM (#5518822)
I'm not saying they'll do as wel on the field, or rebuild as quickly, but they can use the same approach.


They almost certainly won't rebuild as quickly if they're picking near the middle of the first round for the next couple of years, rather than near the top.
   48. PreservedFish Posted: August 22, 2017 at 05:55 PM (#5518828)
Which is the whole point of a professional baseball team.


It really isn't though. Billionaires buy baseball teams because they love baseball, not because they want to make money. Billionaires always want to make money, so it's not unimportant, but it's not the primary motivator.
   49. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 22, 2017 at 06:03 PM (#5518833)
I assume Loria is the exception to that rule?
   50. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2017 at 06:23 PM (#5518842)
The Yankees never picked higher than 16th, had no 1st round pick at all in 2014 and none of 2015-17 have made the majors yet. Aaron Judge was a #32 pick in 2013 and no other Yankee first-rounder is currently on the roster.

This deal probably could happen if the Astros had somebody useful but not good on a bad 1-2 year contract. That way Detroit could "hide" the contract-eating. If say Mike Fiers was owed 2/$20 then Verlander for Fiers and a top prospect looks like a real trade to the fans but would really be the Tigers eating $20 M of Verlander's salary.

Discussed somewhere above: Kershaw is a lock -- he's already the Koufax of today's game. The last 7 years is 1400+ IP, 2.06 ERA, 181 ERA+, 115 wins, 1600 Ks, 46/34 WAR/WAA, 3 CYAs, 1 MVP. He's in.

I think Halladay will make it but maybe not. Scherzer is on track, Verlander and Greinke have pretty good shots, Felix probably needs a second CYA to get into serious consideration. (I might be under-rating Greinke's chances ... HoF voters I suspect will still tilt towards great seasons over career excellence, but Arrieta did sneak that 2nd CYA away from him.) Assuming Sale wins the AL CYA this year, he puts himself on the Greinke track.

If starter IP continues to drop, I'm not sure what the future standards for pitchers will look like. For this generation, given career IP and wins probably won't be there (you never know who's going to last until 43), they'll look for dominance. And guys will still pass 3000 Ks (Kershaw is nearly at 2100 already).
   51. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 22, 2017 at 06:34 PM (#5518847)
You can try and get as much for the future as you can (by eating money), and draft and develop well, while you clear the books of dead money and overpays from guys like Zimmermann, VMart, and Verlander.
VMart's contract is going away by itself after next season. No one's going to take Zimmermann's contract for anything at this point. If trading Verlander's the only move you have and that move isn't going to get you anything but C prospects, there's no point in doing it.
   52. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 22, 2017 at 07:21 PM (#5518876)
VMart's contract is going away by itself after next season. No one's going to take Zimmermann's contract for anything at this point. If trading Verlander's the only move you have and that move isn't going to get you anything but C prospects, there's no point in doing it.

Well that's why I said eat money in the Verlander deal to get something decent back. But yes, they have no assets, and a ton of commitments, which is why they are screwed for the next 2 years no matter what they do. Which was very much the point I was trying to make.

The question is if they want to be somewhat less screwed when those 2 years are up. Or if they want to try and claw for an extra 5 meaningless wins those 2 seasons.
   53. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 07:24 PM (#5518879)
The Yankees never picked higher than 16th, had no 1st round pick at all in 2014 and none of 2015-17 have made the majors yet. Aaron Judge was a #32 pick in 2013 and no other Yankee first-rounder is currently on the roster.


The Yankees had better prospects on the farm (Sanchez, Severino, Betances, Bird, etc.) and also had some moderately valuable veterans who were able to be traded for prospects. Since the Tigers don't really have many of either of those, they're going to need to be picking high for a couple of years to assemble the necessary prospect biomass.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5519182)
Since the Tigers don't really have many of either of those, they're going to need to be picking high for a couple of years to assemble the necessary prospect biomass.

The Yankees never picked high and yet assembled that "biomass". Ditto on the Dodgers.
   55. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 23, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5519471)
The Yankees never picked high and yet assembled that "biomass". Ditto on the Dodgers.

Yankees
Judge - drafted 2013
Hicks - traded 2015 for a guy drafted in 2009
Gardner - drafted in 2005
Didi - traded 2014 for a guy drafted in 2009
Sanchez - Amateur FA 2009
Severino - Amateur FA 2011
Montgomery - drafted 2014
Green - traded for a guy they traded for a guy they signed as an Amateur FA in 2003
Betances - drafted in 2006
CC - signed FA 2008

That is their top 10 in WAR, and where I stopped because I was getting bored. Every single one of them was either in the Yankees system 2 years ago, or acquired by trading somebody who was.

Dodgers
Saeger - drafted 2012
Turner - FA 2014
Taylor - traded 2016 for a guy drafted 2010
Bellinger - drafted 2013
Kershaw - drafted 2006
Wood - traded 2015 in a mega cluster #### trade. 1 of the three guys the Dodgers gave up was an amateur FA signing in the 2015 offseason... so maybe kinda if you squint hard enough.
Jansen - amateur FA 2004
Puig - amateur FA 2012
Grandal - traded 2015 for a guy drafted in 2003 and a guy drafted in 2008
Barnes - traded 2014

So yeah, of the 20 players the Yankees and Dodgers were built, one of them was produced within the last 2 seasons. Kinda. Maybe. But not really. Everyone else was either in the system, or acquired for an asset within the system. For a team like the Tigers that has almost no assets, and a terrible farm system, that is not really a path they can emulate. Oh yeah, and of course those are the two teams who since the Dodger's sale are consistently 1 and 2 in payroll.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5519489)
So yeah, of the 20 players the Yankees and Dodgers were built, one of them was produced within the last 2 seasons. Kinda. Maybe. But not really. Everyone else was either in the system, or acquired for an asset within the system. For a team like the Tigers that has almost no assets, and a terrible farm system, that is not really a path they can emulate. Oh yeah, and of course those are the two teams who since the Dodger's sale are consistently 1 and 2 in payroll.

They can emulate it; it's just going to take more than 2 years. It's probably a five year project to rebuild the farm system. The Tigers have shown they can spend $200M. Money is not an issue.

The only issue is whether you try to be decent during the five years while you rebuild your farm. Giving the lack of tradable major league assets, and the fact that money is no real constraint, I see no reason for the Tigers not to hope for a rebound from Cabrera/Zimmermann/Kinsler and try to compete while those guys are under contract.
   57. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 23, 2017 at 02:10 PM (#5519510)
If the Tigers can spend $200 million in service of maintaining an extended period of mediocrity then the Yankees haven't really been trying after all.
   58. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 23, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5519527)
What still isn't clear to me is what the argument is that says trading Verlander is going to have any positive impact on the Tigers. They save $30 million in 2018 and 2019 and then in turn the idea is that they will spend an extra $30 million those years to acquire good players? Is that how it works? And what happens when the Verlander-less Tigers go in the tank in 2018/2019 and see a $15 million/year decline in revenue? That wipes out a big part of the savings.

If the Tiger system is as bad as people seem to think AND they are ###### long term with contracts they really are better off keeping Verlander and going in hard for the next couple years because it sounds like the 20s will be anything but roaring.
   59. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 23, 2017 at 02:47 PM (#5519537)
What still isn't clear to me is what the argument is that says trading Verlander is going to have any positive impact on the Tigers. They save $30 million in 2018 and 2019 and then in turn the idea is that they will spend an extra $30 million those years to acquire good players?

I mean, how often do I have to say that my position is that they should eat the money in the trade, in order to get legitimate prospects back? I mean this is at least the 4th time...
   60. cmd600 Posted: August 23, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5519543)
they will spend an extra $30 million those years to acquire good players


No, in the forthcoming years, when the rebuild looks like it's ready to contend.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 03:43 PM (#5519597)
I mean, how often do I have to say that my position is that they should eat the money in the trade, in order to get legitimate prospects back? I mean this is at least the 4th time...

But ownership will hate that b/c, if you do that with all your big names, you're left with a high payroll, and a no-hope, starless team that's going to see revenue fall.

You could eat most of their contracts and get some talent for Verlander, Cabrera, and Kinsler. But then you have a 60-win team, with no star players, and still have a $150M+ payroll.
   62. cmd600 Posted: August 23, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5519653)
But then you have a 60-win team, with no star players, and still have a $150M+ payroll.


And some prospects that give you hope for the future. Which is better than trying to luck your way into 80 wins with a $200M payroll for a couple years before those guys leave and you still have few good prospects.
   63. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 05:13 PM (#5519694)
And some prospects that give you hope for the future. Which is better than trying to luck your way into 80 wins with a $200M payroll for a couple years before those guys leave and you still have few good prospects.

Not for the owners. A Tigers team that averages 75 wins over the next 4 years, but competes in a couple of years, and has hope, is going to generate way more revenue than a 60 win, tank job team. If that tank job team is still going to cost $150M, the owners won't take the losses.

The choices are 1) keep spending money and try to compete while waiting out the Verlander/Cabrera/Zimmermann/Kinsler deals, and meanwhile rebuilding the farm system, or 2) tear it all down, trade those guys for whatever you can get to get rid of as much payroll as possible, and suck with a low payroll.

A option where you keep 80% of the payroll of option 1) (because of buyouts to get better prospects), and still have the crappy revenue of option 2) is going to lead to massive losses, and the owners have no reason to accept that.

They certainly won't accept it just so you can add 3 or 4 B prospects who may never amount to anything. You're asking Tiger ownership to buy B prospects for $20M a piece. That just will never make economic sense.
   64. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 23, 2017 at 07:36 PM (#5519783)
Sure, maybe their 75 win team can luck into the low 80s

A 75-win projection comes with a built-in +/- 12. The fact that some of you think the absolute ceiling for such a team is .500 is baffling.
   65. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 08:02 PM (#5519796)
The fact that some of you think the absolute ceiling for such a team is .500 is baffling.

Yup. Baffling.
   66. cmd600 Posted: August 23, 2017 at 08:41 PM (#5519818)
A Tigers team that averages 75 wins over the next 4 years, but competes in a couple of years, and has hope, is going to generate way more revenue than a 60 win, tank job team


I'm going to need something a bit more precise than "way more" to buy into this, but a couple points need to be addressed first. A team that averages 75 wins over four years, but contends, which will take about 85 wins, in a couple, is going to have a couple of those 65 win, might as well be a tank job, as the other two. The math doesn't work any other way. They're going to have to put up with those very-low win and low-revenue type years by this method.

But also, what's the endgame for this pray-a-75-win-team can contend for four years strategy? Keep buying older talent, keep watching it decline, keep watching your Verlanders' contracts expire while you get no young talent in return? This 75 win team is going to be a low 60s win team sooner or later. You rebuild to try to get that over with as quickly as possible. At some point the fans are going to be "way over" rooting for a 75 win team because it has a couple 35-year-old former all-stars, and those teams will bring big losses as well, and then you're going to still have to go through the rebuild. This idea that the Tigers can pull off the near-miracle the Yankees did is what is actually baffling. They are far more likely to look like the late 90s into the 00s Orioles.


A 75-win projection comes with a built-in +/- 12. The fact that some of you think the absolute ceiling for such a team is .500 is baffling.


As mentioned above, it's not simply just hoping that 75 win team can sneak into the playoffs. It's pouring in $200M a year, and an almost dead certainty that you're going to have to rebuild eventually, whether you want to do it now or four years from now, to take your shot at that 80th percentile or so chance. A team that is easily in the black, and has some young talent that looks to be on the upswing for the near future? Sure, go for it. A team that Forbes has at a negative $36M operating income on their $200M payroll and is going to need to spend big cash just to tread water? Rip off the bandaid.
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 09:04 PM (#5519838)
As mentioned above, it's not simply just hoping that 75 win team can sneak into the playoffs. It's pouring in $200M a year, and an almost dead certainty that you're going to have to rebuild eventually, whether you want to do it now or four years from now, to take your shot at that 80th percentile or so chance.

You rebuild the farm system while you're maintaining a hope of competing. The Tigers have way more opportunity to acquire talent by good drafting and int'l signings than by trading valueless veterans. Not gutting the roster does very little to hinder that.
   68. cmd600 Posted: August 23, 2017 at 09:31 PM (#5519873)
You rebuild the farm system while you're maintaining a hope of competing.


I'm sure the Tigers will trip over themselves to sign whatever piece of paper does that for them. It's not that simple though. The reason the Tigers are in the position they are in, is because they couldn't acquire enough talent by good drafting and international signings. Now they need to supplement the farm system through trades to bring in the necessary talent to contend in 2020.
   69. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 09:36 PM (#5519888)
Now they need to supplement the farm system through trades to bring in the necessary talent to contend in 2020.

Well they need to get better. Full stop. They need to replace their director of scouting, scouts, development people, etc., if they already haven't. There's no path to success in today's MLB that doesn't involve good amateur scouting and player development.

Now they need to supplement the farm system through trades to bring in the necessary talent to contend in 2020.

They don't have any assets that will bring back impact prospects. Whether or not they get a handful of B or C prospects for Verlander and Kinsler (Cabrera and Zimmermann are likely completely untradable unless you make them free) is virtually irrelevent to the larger project of rebuilding the farm.
   70. cmd600 Posted: August 23, 2017 at 09:51 PM (#5519926)
B and C prospects still get you closer than being left empty-handed after watching Kinsler and Upton walk and Verlander retire. Eschewing a better plan because it isnt perfect is foolish.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 10:05 PM (#5519939)
B and C prospects still get you closer than being left empty-handed after watching Kinsler and Upton walk and Verlander retire. Eschewing a better plan because it isnt perfect is foolish.

It's only a "better plan" because you ascribe no value to incremental wins between 65 and 85 over the next five years. Since those wins provide actual entertainment value to Tigers' fans, and revenue to the Tigers' franchise, they shouldn't feel the same way.
   72. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 24, 2017 at 09:16 AM (#5520068)
Mostly I am just talking about trading Verlander. I don't think the other pieces are worth it even if you eat salary in deals. Might as well hope and pray for some bounce-backs, and see if you can get better value next year.

Verlander is probably about a 3 win player going forward. How much value do those 3 wins really have to a 70 win team? To their fans?

Well let's see, they are paying Verlander basically about a million per start. Even if you say each fan brings in 100$ in revenue, between tickets, parking, and concessions (likely waaay high, but I am being generous), that's 10000 extra fans per Verlander start to break even. Oh wait, most likely he is starting about half his games at home, so make that 20000 extra fans...

Now unless my math is way off, the Tigers have averaged about 29500 per home game this season. And in Verlander starts, they have averaged... 28250. A bit short of the 49500 they would need to break even.
   73. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 24, 2017 at 10:01 AM (#5520082)
Mostly I am just talking about trading Verlander. I don't think the other pieces are worth it even if you eat salary in deals. Might as well hope and pray for some bounce-backs, and see if you can get better value next year.

Verlander is probably about a 3 win player going forward. How much value do those 3 wins really have to a 70 win team? To their fans?


The problem is, Verlander is a 3-4 WAR player, who's as likely to exceed that as anyone else you're going to get for $28M. He was at 6+ WAR just last year. And if you eat salary like you want to do, you have less money to replace him.

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