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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, April 02, 2004

Detroit Tigers

Released P Esteban Yan; traded OF Cody Ross to the Los Angeles Dodgers for P Steve Colyer and a PTBNL.

Wow, what an awful, pointless trade.  Ross has little star potential, but the Tigers are simply starved of offensive talent in the majors and upper minors.  And to trade their last shred of depth for an old LOOGY prospect?  As others have already chimed, the PTBNL better be fabulous.  Losing Ross isn’t a blow to the organization, but pointlessly losing him for something they don’t need is awful; LOOGYs don’t come in handy if you can’t get a lead to begin with.

Dan Szymborski Posted: April 02, 2004 at 04:34 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. jlp Posted: December 11, 2001 at 11:52 PM (#552083)
They could have had Kevin Millwood for Young, and instead they go for...Juan Encarnacion? Yikes. I would be pretty cheesed off if I were a Reds fan.
   2. jlp Posted: December 12, 2001 at 03:57 AM (#552087)
to David G:

ah, mea culpa; that was the rumor I'd been hearing all week. It seemed to me that Millwood was a high price for a border-line slugger with a low OBP, but nothing John Schuerholz does surprises me anymore.
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 16, 2001 at 03:35 AM (#552205)
Cruz's defensive numbers have been declining over the past two years, to the point where he was actually hurting the Tigers with the glove. And he doesn't give you enough with the bat to justify letting him cost you in the field.

Otherwise, this is just the usual churning by the Tigers to make it look as though they are pretending to put together a competitive team.

-- MWE
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2001 at 06:25 AM (#552207)
Cruz's defense had declined in recent years, but it was still above average for the position (Baseball Prospectus credited him with a +8 on fielding runs, not a terrible figure). The perceived decline is greater than the actual decline because he LOOKS less like a shortstop now that he has all those muscles. Up until this year, he had showed steady improvement with the bat, and while he's no Alex Rodriguez (and, for that matter, no Ricky Gutierrez) he is in most seasons near a league-average hitter for his position. Again, his hitting value is underrated in sabermetric circles because so much of it is tied up in batting average, but he is pretty capable for a guy who never saw a pitch he didn't like. It's not like he's some grizzled ancient with gimpy knees and a lifetime of bad habits. He's 26, and if people think that Alex Gonzalez will improve and Edgar Renteria will bounce back, Cruz deserves the benefit of the doubt.
   5. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2001 at 12:47 PM (#552209)
Happily for me, the Orioles appear to think Tino is a big money superstar and thus, won't pay him what he wants. It's pretty sad when you count on a team's stupidity to save them.

Perhaps the Tigers were smart and supplied Paquette's contract with a different kind of "club option," if you catch my drift.
   6. VegasRobb Posted: December 16, 2001 at 03:14 PM (#552210)
Is Cruz being made the scapegoat for Detroit's problems? As someone said earlier, he's 26 with about 5 years of big league experience. Hopefully, he gets a chance someplace else. Any ideas where he might end up?
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 17, 2001 at 05:42 PM (#552211)
Going back to Joe's reply, I didn't include Macias or Young because it seems as if the Tigers are pretty set on keeping Macias in the outfield and using Young as the starting first baseman. As for Young's defense at 3rd, it didn't look pretty and his zone rating is pretty pug fugly.
   8. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: December 17, 2001 at 10:15 PM (#552214)
Duquette?
   9. Buddha Posted: January 24, 2002 at 05:46 PM (#553172)
As soon as Weaver grows up mentally (which may or may not be this year) he's going to be an excellent starter. Plus, this way the Tigers avoid going to arbitration every year and the situation turning acrimonious and lock him up the for his first free agent season. Weaver in turn gets security of knowing that he's financially secure even if he blows out his elbow tomorrow. It's a win-win situation.
   10. Repoz Posted: January 24, 2002 at 06:32 PM (#553174)
Even though Jeff Weaver at times seems a few steps from the Piersall Puzzle Factory and his Sikorskyesque windup takes him to the crucible of arm slot release points.....A cross between The Eck and Ed Halicki's buggywhipping flail of endangerment.
   11. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 24, 2002 at 07:54 PM (#553176)
CRAIG PAQUETTE~!
   12. JB Posted: January 24, 2002 at 11:14 PM (#553179)
Damn, where's that "jerk store" comment from??
   13. Buddha Posted: January 24, 2002 at 11:30 PM (#553181)
I think the fact that Sweeney kicked Weaver's butt is an indication of a couple things:

1) Weaver's a jerk, Simi valley kid with an attitude that may get better.

2) Sweeney's not a total choirboy, he attacked Weaver from behind for God's sake when all he had to do was breathe on him and Weaver would fall over.

3) Weaver's teammates are a bunch of pansies for lack of a better word.

And I don't mind a little fiery attitude if he could just stop getting so worked up when the umps miss a call or he gives up a home run. If he wants to throw inside well God bless his little cotton pickin heart, thank God someone will. And if Carlos Lee gets offended and needs to say something well that's ok too.

I wish more Tiger pitchers would hit batters rather than just insisting on hitting their bats.
   14. Buddha Posted: January 25, 2002 at 01:52 AM (#553184)
Amen brother.

But would signing Lofton for one year be that bad? If they are hell bent on bringing Torres along too quickly and the only other thing they have in center is Macias, why not sign Lofton for a single season? Then try to trade him at the deadline to some team that will actually have a winning record (I know, as a Tiger fan it is hard for me to imagine my team having a winning record at any point past April 1). Then they can bring up the youngsters and get them some playing time later in the season.

Are you sold on Macias as an answer in center? I think he would be better as a utlity man in the infield. Oh wait, the Tigers already have Paquette and Halter to do that. Well, at least they've cornered the market on utility guys who aren't that good. Hats off to Randy Smith.
   15. Buddha Posted: January 25, 2002 at 05:47 PM (#553189)
Amen again.

And as mouthy as Weaver may be, at least he hasn't shot his mouth off the way Tavarez has. Weaver may goad God-boy Sweeney a little too much or "offend" the almighty Carlos Lee by daring to throw inside, but at least he hasn't mouthed off about any bigoted homophobic ideas like Tavarez. There's really no comparison between the two.

And again, the fact that Sweeney tackled him when he wasn't looking and Weaver's teammates (other than Fick) didn't do anything says more about the gutless losers that his teammates are (Encarnacion, Easley, Clark, Cruz, Cedeno) than about Weaver.

Keep on keepin' on Jeffy-boy. Next time you face Sweeney, plunk him again.
   16. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: January 25, 2002 at 10:15 PM (#553197)
Dan,

I have no idea what the record is, but I'd set the over/under for record of "most fights started, career" somewhere around 30, and I'd bet that Cobb is at least in the top 15.
   17. Repoz Posted: January 25, 2002 at 11:57 PM (#553199)
Some top fight initiators I've seen.
   18. Buddha Posted: January 26, 2002 at 12:52 AM (#553201)
Dan,

I love you analysis that Wright's pitch obviously got away and hit Tony Clark in the "helmet" while Weaver was obviously throwing at Manny's "head".

I don't know but a pitch really has to get away from someone to hit a guy who is 6'7 in the head...I mean helmet. And as for Weaver, he was protecting his teammate by hitting Manny in the back...I mean head, something Tony Clark's wussy butt would never do.

The Tigers need MORE guys with attitudes like Weaver. And plenty of pitchers do it.
   19. RJ in TO Posted: January 26, 2002 at 03:02 AM (#553204)
How can you have a fight list and not include Don Drysdale. I mean, according to baseball legend, he had an immortal (immoral?) exchange with Hank Aaron.

- at the batting cages before a game
   20. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: January 28, 2002 at 08:49 PM (#553207)
I always thought that "protecting your hitters" was kind of funnny. Like the other team is less likely to throw at your team if you throw at theirs.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 29, 2002 at 02:37 PM (#553209)
While we're talking about beanballs and chickenbleep, someone needs to mention Ben Christensen. I'm not real proud of it, but it's my active hope that he tears something in his arm and has to go stock shelves for a living. Here's some links why, if you don't know already:

http://www.jred.com/benchristensen.htm
   22. Shredder Posted: January 29, 2002 at 05:51 PM (#553210)
The problem, in my opinion, is MLB's reaction. Guys get hit all the time, and in my opinion, more often than not its either an intentional beaning, or there was an intent to send a message with an inside pitch. Tom Browning hit Mike Soscia a few years ago, and did it intentionally. Nothing would have happened to him, but he came out and admitted that he did it on purpose because Soscia was stealing signs, and he ends up getting suspended. Soscia had to know it was on purpose, and the Dodgers could have dealt with it however they chose. In my opinion that was ridiculous. Just because he was honest about it, he gets hosed.

Its gamesmanship as well. If I'm on the mound and in a groove, and Garciaparra wants to take a decade to adjust his batting gloves between every pitch, he's gonna take one in the back. Hitters get away with far too much.

If Baseball really wanted to crack down, they would impose some penalties with teeth. How much does it hurt to suspend a starter 5 or 6 games. With the appeals process, most guys end up just taking their suspension when they plan on missing a start anyway. Who's hurt more if Weaver gets suspended five games and Sweeney gets suspended five games. (The answer, of course is neither, because no one really cares about the Tigers or the Royals).
   23. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: January 29, 2002 at 07:44 PM (#553212)
Vlad:

I agree about Christensen. To me, intentionally throwing at a batter's head is a worse offense than betting on baseball. In the World Series last year, I hoped Clemens would start against Johnson at the BOB and be killed by a pitch like that infamous bird. Sadly, it was not to be.

I agree with Shredder's notion that the penalties are ridiculous (especially when they get appealed down), but I think the batters getting away with too much requires action by the umpires, not the pitchers.
   24. Shredder Posted: January 29, 2002 at 10:03 PM (#553213)
Well, in a perfect world umpires would enforce the batters box and call stikes on pitches in the actual strike zone, Major League Baseball would outlaw body armor, the Angels would be 5 time defending world champions, and the Kings would be skating with the Stanley Cup. However, I don't see any of those things happening real soon. So until the umpires want to do something about it, pitchers have to take it upon themselves to take back the inside of the plate. Sometimes its warranted.

Example--A couple of years ago Ramon Ortiz outdueled Pedro Martinez at Anaheim Stadium. With two outs in the ninth, Jurassic Carl came to the plate and proceeded to take about two minutes to brush the dirt in the box around to his liking in a clear effort to rattle the rookie. That's gamesmanship, and it has its place in baseball. But if you're going to do that, you've got to be prepared to pull the next pitch out of your kidney. To this day it bugs me that Ortiz didn't plunk him.
   25. Repoz Posted: January 30, 2002 at 02:04 PM (#553215)
Dan
   26. Shredder Posted: January 30, 2002 at 03:46 PM (#553217)
Hey now, I never suggested that anyone intentionally try to injure another player. I could have suggested that Ortiz should have thrown at Jurassic Carl's head. But I do think that a message pitch certainly has its place in the game.

And the thing about Christiansen being pissed about somebody timing his pitches? Maybe I misunderstood the jargon, but I thought that's what you were supposed to do in the on deck circle. Aren't you supposed to pay attention to what the pitcher does. Stealing signs is wrong, but if you can pick up tendencies... Would Christiansen say he never looked for a hole in guy's swing that he could consistenly exploit?
   27. Jason Posted: January 31, 2002 at 01:04 AM (#553220)
All hail the Weaver signing! Give him a team that can score some runs, and we'll see how that combination of being a jerk and throwing inside pans out. Cubs fans need to stay the heck out of this talk, as they have enough problems of their own to be worrying about the Motor City Madmen.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 31, 2002 at 05:50 PM (#553221)
Re: Dan Contilli

Yes, it's worse than Roseboro/Marichal. Roseboro provoked Marichal by asking Koufax to throw at him and (immediately before the brawl) by gunning the ball right past Marichal's face on a return throw to the mound. It's _possible_ to make the case that Marichal was acting in order to defend himself from potential bodily harm. Molina was _allegedly_ timing pitches, not charging the mound.
   29. Buddha Posted: February 01, 2002 at 04:17 PM (#553222)
How is Weaver plunking someone because he throws the ball inside and they crowd the plate (Lee) or in retaliation for the other team hitting their best hitter in the HEAD (Ramirez) or being a smart-ass with God-boy Sweeney even on the same LEVEL as Christiansen throwing at someone who is standing 15 feet away from the plate and is totally unprepared?

You must either REALLY REALLY REALLY love the Cubs or REALLY REALLY REALLY hate Jeff Weaver.
   30. Buddha Posted: February 02, 2002 at 10:28 PM (#553964)
This is potentially a good move for the Tigers. We'll see if Garner gives him a chance to play. Monroe might need to get in a fight or two during spring training just to show how scrappy he is.
   31. Robert Dudek Posted: February 03, 2002 at 12:02 AM (#553966)
Olperfessor...

If it's true that Monroe's been a corner OF in the minors than there is little chance he could handle center in the majors without being a huge liability on defense.

At his age, the Orioles could use him as a corner outfielder.
   32. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: February 03, 2002 at 05:36 AM (#553967)
Wow, it goes to show you that signing 377 starting pitchers tends to put a strain on the 40-man roster...

I was also going to write that the Orioles might have wanted Monroe, but the Tigers snapped him up first, then I realised what the claim order was and slapped my head. God, Baltimore are a bad team.

When I looked at the Baltimore roster, it was the first time that I realised that Vince Horsman, who is from my hometown, is on the Oriole staff...
   33. Dan Szymborski Posted: February 09, 2002 at 04:12 AM (#554136)
I've given up trying to guess which gun means what. Anderson's pretty damn fast, though, and looks it.
   34. Voros McCracken Posted: February 09, 2002 at 04:31 AM (#554138)
Whenever I watch hard throwers on TV I see this weird optical illusion where the ball seems to speed up after it leaves the pitcher's hand, like it was going 89 the first sixth of the way and 100 the final five-sixths.

Anderson is one of those pitchers.
   35. Buddha Posted: February 09, 2002 at 06:56 PM (#554141)
Peter Gammons once wrote (so take it for what it's worth) that Anderson is one of three guys who legitimately throws over 100. The others being Percival and Johnson.

Now that he has seemingly mastered the control problems that bothered him the last three years AND developed a nasty 85-88 mph slider to go with the 100 mph fastball that moves, I think he will be an elite closer for a long time. That is, unless he gets Ankiel-itis.
   36. Buddha Posted: February 15, 2002 at 04:37 PM (#554465)
This is the last (this winter) in a serires of signings to shore up the "nucleus" of the team for a number of years. Young is a good hitter well suited for Comerica park.

Maybe more importantly, it is important for the Tigers to sign these players (Anderson, Weaver, Young) to deals that are going to keep them around. If ever there was a team with serious morale problems last year it was Detroit. By making these guys feel that the organization is committed to them - and committed to winning - it could go a long way to making the Tigers competitive again.

As a Tiger fan I think it's a good move even if they do end up overpaying for Young eventually. We shall see.
   37. DEF: hates freedom Posted: February 15, 2002 at 05:01 PM (#554466)
The thing is, they're already overpaying for Young. Sure, he always hits .300, but with a mediocre walk rate and only decent power, so you end up with a guy hitting .300/.350/.500 (and probably less than that, in pitcher-friendly Comerica). He's a defensive liability anywhere other than 1B, and he's nothing spectacular at 1B either. He's a slightly younger, not quite as good defensively version of Lee Stevens or Kevin Young, and I don't think that's worth $7M a year.
   38. Mike Posted: February 15, 2002 at 05:15 PM (#554467)
It may seem like an unnecessarily big contract, but it's an important PR move. The Tigers are desperately in need of anything that shows their fans that they're committed to improving.

An it might not turn out to be to bad of an investment. DY is only 28, and he's shown he's a consistent (if unspectacular) hitter. Barring injury, I'd expect 300-15/20-80/90 each year, with maybe a career year thrown in at age 30 or 31. He's not great defensively, but he can play other positions, and that at least gives some flexibility based on farm talent coming from below. And at $7MM a year it's a big contract, but to too big to prevent a trade if needed (again, barring injury).
   39. Buddha Posted: February 15, 2002 at 09:42 PM (#554470)
What other talent were the Tigers going to buy? No one else of value is out there and no big names are going to come to Detroit now. You have to start small and build your way up.

As far as spending cash, Illitch has proven with his hockey team that if he sees a chance to win, he'll spend money to win. Heck, he offered Gonzalez more money than God to stay with Detroit. The "plan" that was supposed to be in place earlier was to sign young talent and then build later with free agents. Signing Anderson, Weaver, and Young is sign that they think these guys are talented enough to be the future of the team. If they start winning games and more people start coming back to the park, Illitch will spend until he bursts to put them over the top. So I think the argument that this prevents them from spending elsewhere when they need to is not a good one.

As far as Young's talent, a guy who can put the ball in play in Comerica is the type of guy the Tigers need. Everyone here was up in arms when Olerud went to the Mriners and the Tigers didn't make an offer. Now I'm not saying Young is Olerud, but he is a decent hitting palyer who can hit for average and to all fields. Lots of doubles coming his way soon in Detroit.

Now they can still trade some of their young talent in the minors at first (Munson) to fill come other holes if need be. I think it's a good sign for Detroit that they are willing to commit to young players entering their prime and a good sign that the players are willing to forego some free agency to commit to them.
   40. Robert Dudek Posted: February 16, 2002 at 10:27 PM (#554473)
Olperfessor,

I have to disagree with you. We don't know what Young will do over the next 4 years and we don't know how much a typical win above replacement will cost in 3 years either.

Young is a good hitter. He's not old. He's a better hitter than almost anyone else the Tigers have. In the AL you have 1B and DH, so being a defensive liability is less of an issue than in the NL.

You can't get 16 hitters who are one win above replacement level because you won't be able to use them all. If you have more than 2 in your lineup they're going to weigh down your pennant hopes.

A 4 wins above player is worth much more than 4 players who are each 1 win above replacement. Similarly, an 8 WAR player is worth more than two 4 WAR players.

I believe there is a geometric effect. Let's assume that an "average" player is 2 WAR. Let's also say that with a little hard work and cash, a team can come up with either a shortstop or a second baseman who is average.

Team A has a star SS and a repl. level 2B - 8 and 0 WAR players. Team B has very good players at SS and 2B - 4 and 4.

For Team B, acquiring an average 2B or SS is only of value in that it allows a trade of surplus talent: you can trade one of your good players to fill another hole, or you can trade the average player and get something back to address your other needs. Either way, it is unclear that your team will be helped much.

But Team A can just plug the average player in the 2B slot and improve by 2 wins. That's a lot easier than trying to make a trade to sort out the talent glut.

Imagine two 10-player offenses as follows:

Team A: 7,5,5,5,2,1,1,1,0,0 = 27 WAR
   41. Robert Dudek Posted: February 17, 2002 at 01:29 AM (#554474)
I'd be willing to bet a fair number of doughnuts that Dmitri Young outhits Fick and Simon over the next 4 years.

Meluskey would help the team more if he shared catching duty with Inge (letting Inge start against teams that like to steal bases). I say that only because the Tigers seem intent on using Inge even though he can't hit major league pitching - I'd go with Meluskey and someone who could hit a little.
   42. Steve Treder Posted: February 17, 2002 at 05:12 PM (#554475)
"I'd be willing to bet a fair number of doughnuts that Dmitri Young outhits Fick and Simon over the next 4 years."

Sure, but Robert, I don't think that's the real question at hand. The question at hand is Young going to hit that much better to justify the 4-year $28 million deal? It's the price tag of the thing that seems so goofy to me.

There is always the Barry Bonds exception to be found, but as a general rule, I think teams should focus their big bucks and their long-term deals on the positions that are most difficult to find good replacements for: middle infield, pitcher, catcher, center field. Guys like Young -- good (though by no means great) hitters, who can provide mediocre-at-best defense at 1B or LF/RF (and terrible defense at 3B, in a pinch) -- are almost always available, and at far cheaper price tags than $7 million per year.
   43. Robert Dudek Posted: February 17, 2002 at 08:13 PM (#554476)
Steve...

I agree that Young is probably overpaid, but there are still worse ways to spend cash. Neifi Perez just got 4.1 mill by losing his arbitration case and he is very nearly a replacement level player.

Paying a couple of million a year for a scrub (which happens a lot these days) is also a waste of money and, additionally, doesn't help your team at all.

The first question we should ask is: a) is the guy a good player? and b) could he be?

Young is a good hitter and is enteriong his prime years. He's a safe bet to contribute something to the team's potential success, even if the price tag is high.
   44. Buddha Posted: February 18, 2002 at 01:23 AM (#554477)
Fellas, Detroit is taking a bit of a gamble in signing Young to that kind of deal. They are obviously betting that he can improve a bit offensively and become the type of gap hitter extraordinaire they have been looking for ever since they moved into the Copa. Whether it pans out remains to be seen.

I also think it is important that if they think he will be the type of aforementioned player that they sign him up long term. It's important for a franchise that has been nothing but a way station for players the last few years.

Also, Young is by reputation a "team" guy; somebody people like to have around. I know these things are often pushed by management in the press as to why a guy is valuable but in this case, I'm buying it. The Tigers have been so full of guys who don't care (Encarnacion), Guys who don't want to be there (Gonzalez) and guys who don't care about anything but themselves (cedeno) that they need someone who everybody likes and can rally around. I know it sounds wishy washy but I think that the "team" concept is important for Detroit at this point and I think Young will help them in that area.

Sometimes stat geeks get too caught up in numbers and forget about intangibles like chemistry and luck. Hopefully Young helps with the chemistry and the Tigers get some luck.
   45. Robert Dudek Posted: February 18, 2002 at 03:13 PM (#554479)
Olperfessor...

We are not far apart.

We also have to consider that if you made Fick or whoever the regular 1B then pretty soon he's going to be making multi-millions if he's any good. A few years down the road, some arbitrator might even give Fick 6 or 7 million.

As such, I think you overestimate the cost savings of having someone like Fick (who is not exactly a young ballplayer) instead of DYoung. The worst thing that a GM can do is to pay guys who are BAD ballplayers a lot of money. That hurts your team more than just financially, because you feel that you have to play the guy because of the investment you've made. And if the player sucks and is making major dollars it's tough to trade him.

I don't expect Young to be a bad player, so I wouldn't worry about paying him a few million a year more than what he's actually worth.

The stability/commitment issue is also applicable, I think. Showing commitment to your GOOD players seems to be something that Detroit needs right now and that's probably the main reason Dombrowski is proceeding along these lines.

It'd be nice for the Tigers to give long-term contracts to good players playing key defensive positions where talent is scarce but I don't see any on the roster at the moment, do you?
   46. Buddha Posted: February 18, 2002 at 08:18 PM (#554481)
perfesser: Tiger fans are DESPERATE for ANYTHING that seems REMOTELY positive. And any sports person who agrees to stay in Detroit that doesn't play hockey is positive at this point.

It'll be interesting to see what the Tigers do with their current glut of 1b/DH/RF types. Maybe they package Fick, one of their MANY catching prospects and someone else for some kind of talent? Who knows. Now that Dombrowski is there I have a little more hope for the future.

And, to echo Robert, who knows what a 1b who hits .310 every year will be worth in four years. Chnces are that by that time Young could be a bargain. We shall see.

I like the gamble for what it says to the team, that the team is willing to spend cash to win. Your argument that the money could probably be better spent elsewhere and that Young probably doesn't warrant that kind of investment at this point is well taken; however, I feel the move could turn out to be a positive one.
   47. Voros McCracken Posted: February 18, 2002 at 08:38 PM (#554482)
Also worth noting is that at Dmitri's size and relatively young age, you can't rule out a power surge from him.

I think Dmitri's a decent risk. They still have right field and catcher open for Fick and Meluskey (they should leave Inge in AA or AAA until there's some indication he can hit a baseball).

The Tigers problems are that they have some _very_ questionable players in their starting lineup (Jose Macias, Shane Halter, Craig Paquette) and their average Non-Roster Invite pitcher is better than their average roster pitcher.

The Dean Palmer signing and subsequent injury keeping him off third base has screwed things up immeasurably.
   48. Robert Dudek Posted: February 19, 2002 at 01:29 PM (#554486)
Teams like Detroit and Baltimore have had great difficulty attacting free-agents in recent years. If Detroit had offered Damon 11 million a year for 4 years, I don't think he would have signed. It seems that playing for a contender is becoming more of a factor in the free agent market.

The only way out is to improve your on-field performance sufficiently to convince quality players that your team is or will soon be a serious contender.

Detroit still has a long way to go. Lack of talent at the key positions and nothing great in the farm system means that they are going to have to work hard to fill the "skill" positions with good players.
   49. Buddha Posted: February 19, 2002 at 10:35 PM (#554488)
Dan, it MAY be just you, but it doesn't have to be.

The Tigers can win more games if everything falls into place for them. Tim is right in that they ahve too many 1B/DH types, but that may change with a few thoughtful trades. Now that Dombrowski is in charge, we may actually see some THOUGHTFUL trades rather than the usual Randy Smith variety.

There are rumblings of talent in the minor leagues. Infante in particular has caught people's fancy. Torres too. If those two pan out then you'd have a nice nucleus.

For the Tigers to win more than 75 games they need to get lucky and have a couple of guys have career years and make some wise moves (getting rid of Easley would be nice). But as far as them making a surprising move in the standings, well that depends on what you define as surprising. Winning 70 games would surprise the heck out of me.
   50. Shredder Posted: February 20, 2002 at 12:59 AM (#554489)
If you want to get rid of Easley, you could have Greg Gohr back. Another in long line of brilliant moves by the Angel front office.
   51. Jason Posted: March 11, 2002 at 07:26 PM (#555324)
Oh Oracle, please divine an answer for a downtrodden Tiger fan: How much longer does Andy Van Hekken need?
   52. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 11, 2002 at 09:12 PM (#555325)
I doubt the Tigers are even going to think about having him on the team this season unless he completely destroys the minors as Roy Oswalt did. He's not an overpowering pitcher, so I think the Tigers are going to promote him less quickly than they would if he had a mind-blowing fastball, which he doesn't.

Either way, picking up van Hekken for Brian Hunter was an incredible move. It being Randy Smith, though, makes you wonder if it was by design.
   53. Buddha Posted: March 12, 2002 at 11:46 PM (#555327)
Did Greisinger get beat up? I thought he was pulverized in one game and then pitched pretty well in another. Not to say he did well or should have or could have made the team, but I thought he did ok for pitching for the first time in 3 years.

With the Tigers' penchant for rushing pitchers to the majors (Weaver, Greisinger, Cornejo) I would expect to see Van Hekken soon if he has any kind of success in Triple A. Baugh as well.

Nice to see Matt Anderson feeling shoulder pain as well. Can we blame this on Randy Smith too? As a Tiger fan sho has had to endure the Juan Gonzalez trade (and then non-trade) and the ever-present pursuit for Brad Ausmus, this MUST be Randy's fault somehow.
   54. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 09, 2002 at 01:27 AM (#555820)
No, I didn't see the Cornejo game. That's not a good thing, but I still don't believe Garner has shown the continual abuse that he showed Garner.

As for having the wrong people in the game with the game on the line, do the Tigers have any of the right people?
   55. John Posted: April 09, 2002 at 03:43 PM (#555824)
Smith has received a ton of bad press for two trades besides the Juan Gone- Luis Gonzalez for Karim Garcia, and Phil Nevin for Nick Skuse. This takes me back to a day when the Phillies traded a player named Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs (mostly, if my memory is correct, because Juan Samuel was around). Does anyone know the context behind these trades? Hindsight is always 20/20, but what info are we all missing?
   56. Buddha Posted: April 09, 2002 at 07:01 PM (#555827)
Garner continues to abuse his pitchers. Tim's point about Cornejo is right on the money. He also is busy shredding Weaver's arm to a pitch count into the 120s on a daily basis. He also has the seemingly uncanny ability to let the starting pitcher always go one batter too many. Then, after, say, Toby Hall racks Steve Sparks for his fourth hit of the day, he brings on the "relief."

Additionally, Garner preached getting on base for years and the team never did anything about it (except maybe Higginson and Rich Becker). I don't know if that makes him a bad coach or a poor teacher or what. More likely, I think his teams are just bad.

But I agree with most of the post, the problem is mainly Smith. With high draft picks for a number of years they have accumulated little talent in the major leagues. In addition to that, he has made so many misguided trades it's sickening. No one seems to be mentioning his giving away of Travis Fryman when the Tigers "couldn't meet his demands" and then promptly overspending for Dean Palmer the following year. Taking Munson number 3 in the draft has yet to pan out either but it is too soon to pan Randy for that one.

More disheartening was his INABILITY to trade replaceable talent when he could have gotten something back for it. Instead of having the foresight of Scheluer to move veterans for prospects when your team wasn't really going to win it all, Smith clung to some vision that retaining Gonzalez or Todd Jones or Tony Clark or Damion Easley two years ago was somehow building for the future.

Tigers fans will be living with his mistakes for years to come. All hail Dombrowski.
   57. jwb Posted: April 09, 2002 at 08:01 PM (#555829)
John,

Dallas Green was Phils' farm system director. The Cubs hired him to generally manage. What he proved to be good at was raiding the Phillies' larder. He got Ryne Sandberg as a throw in on a trade of shortstops: Steve Jeltz for Larry Bowa. In other trades with the Phils, Green got Keith Moreland, Dick Ruthven, Gary Matthews Sr., Bob Dernier, and others for Mike Krukow, Willie Hernandez, Mike Diaz, Bill Campbell, and others.

So Green got five position starters for a division winning team for two players who had significant future value. Hernandez was traded to Detroit for Glenn Wilson before he had his Big Season. Krukow was traded to SF, with others, for Al Holland and Joe Morgan.
   58. Voros McCracken Posted: April 10, 2002 at 12:49 AM (#555830)
"What he proved to be good at was raiding the Phillies' larder. He got Ryne Sandberg as a throw in on a trade of shortstops: Steve Jeltz for Larry Bowa."

It wasn't Jeltz, it was Ivan DeJesus.
   59. All you Need is Glove Posted: April 13, 2002 at 11:04 PM (#555836)
My biggest burst of anger with Smith was a few years ago. The Tigers after a slow start finishe with 79 wins, not a bad season overall. But his knowledge of his resources never built on that team and then it underachieved/fell back to reality and they have been teading water the last three years. The resource I am talking about is the catcher positition. He had Ausmus and someone else (Zaun) in the back-up at the ML level. Robert Fick had just completed a highly praised season in the minors. Javier Cardona was making Baseball Prospetcus (TM) and The Sporting News (TM) top 100 prospect lists after hitting 28 homers in AA and Brandon Inge in A ball had made an all-star team. That is a pretty strong resource and one of the better depth of postions in recent memory (although none have the high upside of the Lamb, Blaylock, Texieria of the Rangers 3b). Where has Smith taken this strength and was he able to improve other weak areas or the team overall by parcelling out some of this stong position??? No, Ausmus was eventually traded in a package deal for Mitch Meluskey (himself part of a package) with the idea of getting a better "hitter" at the catcher position to take advantage of the larger Comerica Park. Zaun was traded to KC for a player to be named later (who I have never been able to identify). Fick became injury prone for a season and a half, then told he could not catch by the Manager in Spring Training only to eventually win the job 1/3 the way into the season. At the end of the season, he was promptly moved to the OF. Javier Cardona never really was given a chance in DET and was jumped over by Management in favor of Brandon Inge. He was eventually traded to San Diego for a failed infield prospect, Damian Jackson. Inge was awarded the starting catching job for the ML team in 2001 although never having played AAA and never proving himself a hitter. Although praised for his throwing arm, Inge was overmatched offensively and was sent down to minors/put on disabled list after a month or so into the season.

As of 2002, the Tiger's have another AA slugger, Mike Riveria, having never played AAA doing the bulk of the catching for them as Meluskey after being lost for a season tries to come back and is cathcing twice a week to begin the season.

I find that record pathetic and it is columns like this that should expose these frauds of "baseball men" for what they are, grown men blindolded playing pin the tale on the pennant.

Two other things, note why they traded for Meluskey, to take advanatage of Comerica, i.e. find hitters who would thrive in that particular environment. So two years later, how does having a utility infielder as your CF, a former catcher in RF, a utility infielder at SS and 3b, and a rookie catcher contribute to a larger ballpark that emphasizes DEFENSE, pitching, and strike zone judgement????

As for Clark being released, anyone who follows the team thru Detroit Media knows that Cedano, Cruz, Clark, Encarnacion et al. were the unnamed "malcontents" that were preventing the team from winning and refused to "embody" what Garner was preaching. The fact is that if they are bemoaning their hitters lack of discopline than institute it in the MINORS. Reward selective hitters with playing time and advancement, you can not give a couple of fiery speeches about controlling the strike zone and turn Randall Simon into Edgar Martinez. There is lots of free talent and AAAA players who do have a concept of the strike zone and can play defense tthat are available until DET gets the players they need to win in place. Last year they drafted the 2b from Seattle that had a .400 OBp in the minors. It would have been the perfect time to trade Easley and his big conract and get a decent prospect. Instead, they were going to contend, they said, and Easley was part of that so they lose Strong back to Seattle plus the fee they paid to take the risk. Poor idea of what he was doing. That is Randy Smith's failing.
   60. Voros McCracken Posted: May 07, 2002 at 12:37 AM (#556271)
"Well, at least he's not throwing couches off of balconies anymore."

Sofa, so good.
   61. Buddha Posted: May 07, 2002 at 06:53 PM (#556273)
Anderson is married with kids now. Apparently he's matured a little bit. Spent the winter driving up from Kentucky or something like that, then went back and took classes at Rice.

He probably hurt himself by not throwing as much during the off season and then trying to throw too hard too soon during the spring. Word is that he will be fine.

Anderson is they type of closer you want, throws over 100 and can get people out. He'll be a good one is his arm is ok. He may also be traded. There are rumors that he and Weaver are on the block.

As for Fick, he can't catch but he has been pretty good in RF so far. Unfortunately he's been in a huge slump and his BA is down to .270s. But he does take some pitches and some walks, which separates him from most Tigers.
   62. Buddha Posted: May 08, 2002 at 07:45 PM (#556275)
Sorry, no Rice roots for me.

Why do you hate Andersen so much?
   63. jwb Posted: May 09, 2002 at 02:57 PM (#556277)
I write this not to defend Anderson, but to remind us of the mindsets of 18 year olds with bellies full of beer.

A corollary of Graham's Law of Diffusion was once explained to me thusly: There is more furniture inside of the room than outside of it. A window is a semi-permeable membrane. Some furniture must go out the window.
   64. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: June 19, 2002 at 10:24 PM (#557238)
This just set up the Lombard trade. Good move for the Tigers. I've got to think John Shuerholtz (sp?) is the most over-rated GM in baseball.
   65. Colin Posted: June 20, 2002 at 03:35 AM (#557245)
I feel like I should play Taps or something. More likely I should just shout "Medic!"
   66. Brian Posted: June 20, 2002 at 04:17 AM (#557247)
Not enough duct tape, apparently.
   67. Klobedanz Posted: June 20, 2002 at 01:17 PM (#557249)
Lombard was only a hot prospect like 3 years ago, here in Richmond he never did much of anything. He is a pretty put together physical specimen who unfortunately has some mechanical problems under the hood. It was pretty frustrating seeing this Gabe Kapler looking guy riding the bench all the time because something was always wrong w/ him.
   68. Buddha Posted: June 20, 2002 at 01:28 PM (#557250)
Yes, but certainly not as funny as Police Academy 3.

Great trade for the Tigers. At the very least this means they will be getting more attention from Peter Gammons! Maybe now only 2/3 of his article will be devoted to the Red Sox?
   69. Buddha Posted: June 20, 2002 at 04:07 PM (#557252)
I think they would trade Higgy in a heartbeat. Question is, who wants Higgy? He's going to be making a LOT of money soon and he isn't that good.

Heck, I bet they're really trying to trade Damion Easley too, but who wants (not so) Mighty Mouse?
   70. fables of the deconstruction Posted: June 22, 2002 at 08:03 PM (#557241)
Geez guys, I ain't the wire!

True, but you are the Transaction Oracle. It says so at the top of my browser and also at the top of this page. As an "Oracle" aren't you supposed to have "all the answers" even if they are dispensed in a vaguely enigmatic fashion??? ;-) ...

-------------
   71. Greg Franklin Posted: July 02, 2002 at 08:47 AM (#557374)
Roe, the ironic thing is that Lima himself is underused and has popped off about not wanting to be forgotten for weeks on end.

I think the roster management argument against the Tigers is an unfair niggling. Lou Piniella is managing with a 23-man roster (Charles Gipson and Luis Ugueto get negligible PT), but he can get away with it because he has good front-line talent.

Detroit's front-line players would be benchwarmers on a decent team, and their 16th thru 25th guys would be fighting for the 25th spot on a decent team, so their bench weakness is overexposed.

In short, they have no roster for Luis Pujols to manage in 2002. Also, I think he may be managing this year in "ride-out-the-storm" mode and waiting till 2003 to impose his vision on the club. Sucks if you bought 2002 Comerica Park season tickets, of course ...

I think Buddha was proven right when he posted way back in February that the only way someone in this organization will take Monroe seriously is if he gets into a fight to prove his manhood.

Speaking of whom .... the transaction logs I see have Detroit optioning Monroe to AAA twice without being recalled in between. Once on June 15 (Dmitri Young activation), once on June 19 (Jacob Cruz activation). Does anyone know what was going on here?
   72. Greg Franklin Posted: July 02, 2002 at 09:52 PM (#557377)
Roe, thanks for the clarification. Jose Lima is the highest paid active Tiger at $7.2M (Palmer is at $8M), so now I really don't understand it. Either you pitch the guy and showcase him for a Mondesi-type trade for a non-prospect, or you release the guy and accept the sunk costs.

More evidence that Tigers management is not trying to use this year as anything to build on. Just "ridin' the storm out" to quote REO Speedwagon.
   73. Buddha Posted: July 06, 2002 at 01:15 PM (#557521)
Can you trade Moehler now, with Weaver gone?
   74. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 07, 2002 at 04:22 AM (#557380)
The Tigers have plenty of decent bench guys; it's legitimate starters they're short on.
   75. Klobedanz Posted: July 08, 2002 at 03:15 PM (#557524)
I used to love Brian Moehler because he got so much done w/ no velocity at all. And then there was the sandpaper incident and I lost alot of respect for him. I don't know why because I'm a big Whitey Ford fan and he was always up to somethin' but that video image of Moehler getting caught, I don't know, it's like if Bret Boone or somebody had a needle full of HGH fall out of his back pocket, you just never look at them the same way.
   76. jwb Posted: July 12, 2002 at 09:51 PM (#557651)
If Young really is going to have surgery and is out for the year, then acquiring Carlos Pena a few days ago looks really good. By not putting Young on the DL, they don't artificially increase the price for Pena. Nicely done, Mr. Dombrowski!
   77. Christopher Posted: July 12, 2002 at 10:15 PM (#557652)
What is Higginson's contract status. I was under the impression that he had another 2-3 years at $8M per left on a big deal. If so wouldn't that hinder a deal with just about everybody now that the Yankees have Mondesi?
   78. RJ in TO Posted: July 12, 2002 at 10:19 PM (#557653)
jwb,

I've got to agree with you about Dombrowski. This move reminds me a lot of one of the Amazing Gordo's few good moves. You know, the one where he scammed Tony Batista and John Frascatore for a year's worth of Dan Plesac by keeping A-Gon off the disabled list for a couple extra days.
   79. Bob T Posted: July 27, 2002 at 07:02 AM (#558011)
Bocachica had been designated for assignment, so if Dombrowski wanted to, he could have tried for a waiver claim on Bocachica. But I guess he was afraid that the Brewers were going to snap up him first!
   80. Darren Posted: July 29, 2002 at 01:35 AM (#558013)
Kenny Lofton to the Giants. Hello?
   81. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 29, 2002 at 02:55 PM (#558014)
I guess the Tigers are trying to corner the market on utility players. Sort of like the Hunt brothers in the '80s, except that silver has actual value. Blech.
   82. Greg Franklin Posted: July 30, 2002 at 01:57 AM (#557654)
Black Magic Truby is back in town; recent waiver claim Erik Sabel goes to Toledo to make room for him.

Higginson is still a Tiger as of this writing.
   83. Buddha Posted: September 04, 2002 at 08:43 PM (#558656)
I'm surprised there are no comments about how Van Hekken was left in the game to finish the shut out even though he had gone over 100 pitches and the Tigers were up by four.

First Tiger to open with a shut out since Schoolboy Rowe.

Are things looking up at the Copa? It would be hard to look worse. Then again, Victor Santos started his career with 23 straight scoreless innings and Mike Maroth debuted with a shut out over the Diamondbacks. Maroth seems ok, but where is Santos now?
   84. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 05, 2002 at 01:31 PM (#558663)
It certainly hasn't turned out well, but re-acquiring Lima seemed like a decent gamble at the time. He's a flyball pitcher, and his stats only went to hell when he went from the best park in baseball for a flyball guy (the Astrodome) to the second-worst (the park formerly known as Enron). The idea was that all those Lima-time homers would turn back into flyball outs in Comerica, his wounded psyche would heal now that he was pitching in friendly confines, and he'd go back to his old dominant self. Things didn't turn out that way, but I've heard many worse ideas.
   85. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: September 05, 2002 at 05:31 PM (#558665)
Funny thing is, Santos isn't getting hit hard at all, it's just that he can't find the strike zone with binoculars.
   86. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 10, 2002 at 02:44 PM (#558810)
If nothing else, Walt, they could bring him in for Souvenir Ball Day.
   87. Curtis Posted: September 10, 2002 at 06:35 PM (#558813)
I don't know, I would think the losers are the fans about 10 rows up past the outfield wall.
   88. Marc Posted: September 10, 2002 at 08:02 PM (#558814)
Well, I guess Jose got his wish. Now, can someone enlighten me as to MLB rules at this point? Can anyone pick him up or is it too late in the season for that?
   89. Bob T Posted: September 10, 2002 at 08:15 PM (#558815)
I believe that once Lima clears waivers, you can sign him and stick him on the 40-man roster if you want. He would be inelgible for post-season play however.
   90. Curtis Posted: September 15, 2002 at 07:59 AM (#558823)
I believe the first thing said:

Someone said something about the food that had gone to the outside. Or is it just the odor of Jose Lima I?

There really isn't a literal translation for the first part.

Second one:

Your mother corrupts the morals of donkeys.
   91. Stevens Posted: September 16, 2002 at 11:10 PM (#558825)
Your mother corrupts the morals of donkeys.

That's really funny.
   92. Veee Posted: September 18, 2002 at 05:19 AM (#558829)
Maybe you [Jose Lima] and Derek Bell can stage a package holdout in spring training.

Didn't Koufax and Drysdale try this? I assume the new CBA still has the anti-collusion clause?
   93. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2003 at 09:52 PM (#563802)
Didn't the Tigers pick up Travis Chapman via Cleveland and the Rule V draft? Wouldn't he be next in line behind Palmer (which is to say should be first in line ahead of Palmer)?
   94. strummer Posted: January 17, 2003 at 09:52 PM (#563803)
They never should have let Evans go the first time they had him.

In order to make up for past decisions, hopefully there will be trades in the near future where the Tigers re-acquire Jermaine Clark and Billy McMillon.
   95. klobedanz Posted: January 17, 2003 at 09:56 PM (#563805)
Wow, the HR/AB stat is pretty high for Mr Evans, I wonder why so few ABs.
   96. Mike Posted: January 17, 2003 at 09:56 PM (#563806)
Since we are essentially ready to punt 2003 anyways, why not look at Dmitri Young or Eric Munson? Or at least Damion Easley while Santiago and Infante surround second base.
   97. strummer Posted: January 17, 2003 at 09:59 PM (#563807)
Wouldn't he be next in line behind Palmer (which is to say should be first in line ahead of Palmer)?

No, actually Shane "Rally" Halter would be next in line. Unfortunately he is next in line for all of the Tigers' positions.

I never thought I would say this, but as bad as 3B has been for the Tigers the past few years, I am actually hoping for a Palmer return to 3B. Ugh, someone just shoot me now.
   98. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: January 17, 2003 at 10:33 PM (#563810)
Jacko, the 292 PA in 78 games means he was nearly always starting; I suspect he was hurt and missed some time but I don't know. 252/378/504 is pretty good, but the Pacific League is the weaker of the two leagues and I don't think that Evans (who will be 29 in July) is more than a useful guy to plug a gap and help the Tigers avoid 110 losses.

There's really no one for Detroit to play at third unless they decide to keep Chapman. Munson wasn't too comfortable at first by all accounts, so I can't imagine how he'd handle third. It seems a little rash to me to shift a guy three or four spots leftward on the defensive spectrum, when he has some hitting talent and is just trying to establish himself in the majors.

Tom Evans is better than all those guys, and if he performs well for you, you flip him before August for a B prospect, whence you can give the job to whoever is alive and breathing if no prospect has put himself forward; maybe even Chapman if he's still around.
   99. strummer Posted: January 17, 2003 at 10:47 PM (#563811)
Evans was with the Tigers for spring training in 2001, and may have even started the season in Toledo, before heading for Japan.
   100. Mr. Crowley Posted: January 18, 2003 at 12:19 AM (#563813)
It's a trap!
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