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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Trust in Dave Dombrowski «

Bum Phillips famously said of Don Shula, “He can take his’n and beat your’n and take your’n and beat his’n.” Well, Dombrowski can trade his’n for your’n and win the trade, then take his’n back and win some more.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2014 at 07:50 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dave dombrowski, general managers, tigers

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   1. I am the Can Posted: April 12, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4684986)
And if the Fielder and Cabrera deals fail to pan out, what of it? Fielder may not have been worth the money, but he cost the Tigers only dollars, not talent, and Ilitch has plenty of the former. Fielder was still a valuable player in his two years with the Tigers. Cabrera may not be worth anywhere close to $32 million when he’s 40 years old, but as one of the premier hitters of his generation, he’ll still probably be worth something.

I RTFA, and while it's interesting, it seems to have somewhat of a split thesis: on the one hand, Dombroski's style since he came to Detroit has evolved into using young talent to wipe the mat with his trade partners. Hard to disagree with that: an interesting chart later in the article shows the BWAR differentials of the Dombrowski trades, and they're pretty staggering, the occasional Jacque Jones notwithstanding.

But on the other hand, there seems to be some sort of magical thinking that since he's made such good trades, the Fielder and Cabrera deals will just sort of work themselves out. We may already be seeing the permanent decline of Fielder, and we saw from the Pujols thread the other day that they're both more likely than not to tank out somewhere in the next two or three seasons. And with those contracts, they're untradeable if that happens. So Dombrowski has put himself in a position with those deals to be stuck with talent that, unless everything works out just right, leaves him with zero room to leverage it.

What do I know, of course. It certainly doesn't have to turn into Bobby Bonilla or Mo Vaughn, and I'm looking forward to watching a guy put up legendary numbers with the same team for years to come. It just looks more likely to be that than it does to be the opposite.
   2. Tricky Dick Posted: April 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4685024)
And with those contracts, they're untradeable if that happens.

But the Tigers have already traded Fielder. If he declines more, that is the Rangers' problem.
   3. Bote Man Posted: April 12, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4685127)
The jury is still out on the Doug Fister trade, of course, but when it was made the overwhelming disbelief from all quarters made me suspect that Dombrowski knew something that nobody else did. Maybe he had special insight into Fister's injury history that scared him?

The latest reports are that Fister is feeling no pain throwing a 35-pitch bullpen session on flat ground. No word on whether alcohol was involved in feeling no pain, though.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: April 12, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4685145)
The Fielder contract was a really bad idea. But he got out of that one pretty smoothly. Might still turn out as an overall negative for Detroit but it can't be a big problem now.

The Cabrera extension is silly but ... I don't recall if I posted this in the earlier thread or not but ...

We should only take comps so far. I use them a lot as quick and dirty and fun ways to project a player and I think they work out pretty well for that purpose. But, maybe especially for a guy like Cabrera with few peers, we know they're not destiny. It's true that even great players usually don't produce hugely from age 33 on, often due to missed playing time.

But it's also the case that when you look at some of the players with high WAR totals from 33 on, you see a number of guys who were not as good as Cabrera through age 32 and/or were more fragile. That is, there's no good reason why he can't have Edgar Martinez's late career. Or Molitor's. Or Chipper, Schmidt, Fisk, Palmeiro. Brian Downing had 27 WAR from age 33 on, Da Evans had 26 -- if they can do it, clearly Cabrera can do it.

Things look even a bit brighter from an oWAR perspective. Tony Gwynn was quite the tubbo in his late 30s but still put up 27 oWAR. So did Stargell and Sheff and McGwire (in just 5 seasons). And FRob, Winfield and Manny.

By Rbat, you pick up a few more encouraging names -- Thome, Moises Alou (Cabrera-lite), Galarraga as very good hitters. Who knows if he'll last but Ortiz is on pace to join and pass a number of these elite hitters over the next 2-3 years.

A realistic upside of 30 WAR is not worth $250 M. And to make it to that level, he probably has to be an average defensive 1B for several years which isn't very likely. But there is a pretty good chance that he will be fairly productive, esp with the bat, over this time.
   5. DanG Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:49 AM (#4685271)
Most Batting Wins age 33-40, past 100 years

Rk            Player BtWins  Rbat OPS+   PA From   To
1        Barry Bonds  58.57 563.6  220 4233 1998 2005
2          Babe Ruth  48.16 513.9  196 4338 1928 1935
3     Edgar Martinez  34.55 362.1  156 4848 1996 2003
4         Hank Aaron  34.01 313.4  163 4547 1967 1974
5        Willie Mays  29.80 279.9  153 4611 1964 1971
6       Tris Speaker  27.11 290.0  148 4363 1921 1928
7            Ty Cobb  26.01 282.3  146 4404 1920 1927
8        Stan Musial  25.54 227.3  145 4381 1954 1961
9    Willie Stargell  22.89 200.3  153 3610 1973 1980
10     Chipper Jones  21.64 217.6  142 3980 2005 2012
11   Rafael Palmeiro  21.62 198.5  134 5165 1998 2005
12    Frank Robinson  21.45 190.8  149 3583 1969 1976
13       Bob Johnson  21.32 204.2  140 4263 1939 1945
14     Gavvy Cravath  21.20 171.5  154 3141 1914 1920
15      Mike Schmidt  20.76 182.6  144 3839 1983 1989
16        Tony Gwynn  20.48 193.9  140 3826 1993 2000
17     Manny Ramirez  20.06 194.5  150 3199 2005 2011
18     Eddie Collins  20.04 222.5  131 4603 1920 1927
   6. bookbook Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4685368)
I know it won't count for much WAR, but the Tigers will be glad to have the offense from his bat from the DH spot, which they couldn't easily replace.
   7. donlock Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4686296)
I always thought the football quote referred to Bear Bryant, not Don Shula.
   8. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:32 PM (#4686298)

I always thought the football quote referred to Bear Bryant, not Don Shula.

When it was first spoken, it was. It was first said about Bear in the 60s.* Bum later used it to describe Shula.

* To be fair, it quite possibly was spoken about some other coach or coaches in the south before Bear, but it was first publicly attributed to a coach describing Bryant.

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