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  1. What about Marlon Byrd, moving Delmon Young to DH? That would improve the defense substantially while keeping the offense respectable. He’s only under contract for one more year… and this is the weird part… Byrd’s contract is set to pay him $6.5 mil next season, which is the exact amount of VMart’s contract insurance is supposedly covering.

    Comment by CubbieBlue66 — January 17, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

  2. I’m sorry, Ramirez?

    Comment by Confused — January 17, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

  3. Pena clearly makes the most sense, though he’d platoon at DH with Young, and Raburn would head to LF against LHPs. Pena would cost at least the $10M he made last year on a one-year deal (Tigers can’t offer more than one year with V-Mart and Cabrera signed for a while)…a bit pricy.

    For the previous post, I do like the Byrd option too…LF is huge in Comerica, and Byrd would be a nice fit out there. Young would somehow be an even worse DH than he is a LFer, but those are the breaks (tears).

    Comment by Ian — January 17, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

  4. How about Garza and Soriano (eating a ton of salary) for Jacob Turner and Castellanos?

    Comment by rich101682 — January 17, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

  5. Chone Figgins is clearly the best option.

    Comment by M.Twain — January 17, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

  6. Umm no.

    Comment by Stringer Bell — January 17, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

  7. Any reason why not? They were thinking about Garza for Turner/Castellanos to begin with. Throwing in Soriano around $5 million a year after the Cubs eat about 75% of the contract, and it could solve both their needs.

    Comment by rich101682 — January 17, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

  8. They said “No” to any deal for Garza involving Turner. Castellanos wasn’t even involved. Even if they ate Soriano’s whole salary the Tigers would do this deal. Maybe Turner alone.

    Comment by Vegemitch — January 17, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  9. *wouldn’t do the deal

    Comment by Vegemitch — January 17, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  10. They weren’t even going to trade Turner for Garza, let alone both. Throw in Soriano, who is no longer a good player (especially for $5 million) and isn’t even an upgrade over Delmon Young or Ryan Raburn, and it makes the deal worse. That deal is an absolute abortion for the Tigers, and don’t pretend otherwise.

    The last time the Tigers plunged their system, they got Miguel Cabrera from it. They aren’t doing it again for a good but not great starter and a below average left fielder.

    Comment by Stringer Bell — January 17, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

  11. Carlos Lee might make some sense in the D…

    Comment by Jim Riggleman — January 17, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

  12. Detroit has very little depth and this kind of injury sends a ripple of decreasing return throughout their lineup. Cabrera was already getting too many IBB’s and this will certainly help teams minimize his ability with the bat.

    I don’t know why more teams/players don’t consider this, but why not a single year overpay for a player like Fielder? Say, $30-32 million for a single season? Risk of major injury (which is pretty remote) aside, how different would a contract that Prince would get next offseason compared to this one be? Wouldn’t it be setting an excellent precedent for his AAV worth as well? For the team to sign him, wouldn’t it be risk averse given that he could reasonably be worth that salary even if they didn’t have a long term need? Even if he “tanks” and gets a lesser contract, given his track record and 2012 overpay, wouldn’t Fielder be coming out about even financially with the possibility of getting about 10million+ more over the same timeframe?

    The Rangers and now the Tigers would seem to be best fits for Fielder on a one year inflated deal as they both have a limited need. For Texas, this would alleviate the need to decide to extend Hamilton and not pursue Fielder or vice versa after 2012. For Detroit, given the weak AL Central, they can pretty much bank on a playoff appearance to help defray cost and then make desicisons about the future following the 2012 season.

    Am I totally crazy?

    Comment by Vegemitch — January 17, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

  13. Yep, you’re crazy. Tough to bet that Fielder would be worth $32M this year – if a win = $4.5M, that’s a 7 win season from the DH position (ie. better than anything Ortiz has ever accomplished)! Not the safest wager around, ignoring that the Tigers don’t have that kind of cash available.

    Comment by Ian — January 17, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

  14. Sign Cespedes and move Delmon Young to DH. Even if Cespedes is average offensively the difference in defense between him and Young in RF(If Cespedes is as good defensively as some people are saying) would almost offset the difference in offense between Young and what Victor Martinez was likely to produce. Maybe a win difference there.

    Another dream scenario is to sign Fielder for 1 year to play 1B/DH(with Cabrera occupying the other obviously), but that is definitely a pipe dream. Even if Fielder agreed to a 1 year deal it would probably take atleast 20mm and I don’t think the Tigers would do that. Plus with as bad as Prince’s relationship is reportedly with his Dad I’m not sure he would want to play for Detroit since this is of course where Cecil played most of his career.

    Comment by Matt C — January 17, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

  15. *I meant LF not right

    Comment by Matt C — January 17, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

  16. In a vacuum yes, you’d be right. But the wins he would add could be very, very important. He’d be a lock for comp picks too.

    But as the Figlet noted below, it’ll never happen.

    Comment by I Agree Guy — January 17, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

  17. What if Prince went to Detroit to post the best “Fielder” season to show up his dad?

    Comment by Vegemitch — January 17, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  18. Thats the thing though… over the next 8 years wouldn’t he make more money by taking a $30 million AAV contract that runs only 1-3 years?

    Comment by Vegemitch — January 17, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

  19. Even though this article stresses his offense there is stIll way to much talk about his defense. The guy played 32 games in the field and 6 at first base. His defense is completely irrelevant.

    Comment by MikeS — January 17, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

  20. I just think he wouldn’t like the constant comparisons/questions from the local media if he was with them. I’m sure they would probably bring him up alot, but then again who knows.

    As a Tigers fan I of course wouldn’t be against it, even if it was a long term contract because V-Mart would only have 2 years and like 25 million left when he comes back in 2013, so even if he is basically a waste those 2 years because of the potential log jam of Fielder/Martinez/Cabrera at 1b-DH its not like that would cripple you financially. I mean this is a team that had no problem basically eating Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Gary Sheffield, Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson’s contracts the past few years so 25 million isn’t all that much compared to that.

    Comment by Matt C — January 17, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  21. Brian Sabean would listen if they called for Aubrey Huff…

    Comment by walt526 — January 17, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  22. David Ortiz for Jacob Turner solves it

    Comment by Jacob Harrison — January 17, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

  23. My brain shuts off anytime someone uses a strict (salary to WAR) value comparison. That’s pretty crazy also.

    Comment by baty — January 17, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

  24. The division is pretty weak. What about just waiting to see how things shake out and make a move in season?

    Comment by DWrek — January 17, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

  25. Pena has to be the obvious answer. They almost HAVE to sign him now. Could be an interesting little bidding war if the Yanks decide they are interested too… Hope that happens, actually. I liks Los Pena, and would like to see him be paid handsomely for those 28 bombs he’s going to probably hit again.

    Comment by Brian — January 17, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

  26. I figured this would be FG’s chance to free Brandon Allen and/or Kila.

    Pena makes some sense in that he can probably be had for a 1-year deal. Isn’t he also the “King of Scoops” at 1B?

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 18, 2012 @ 12:35 am

  27. Pena or Abreu as 1 yr bandage and you still sign Cespedes and let him take til June/July to face real pitching and warm up….

    Turner for X isn’t happening. Turner and Castellanos for X isn’t happening.

    Cabrera playing DH 3b or LF not happening

    Old crapstastic low OB% chumps like Vlad Soriano etc. Not Happening. Don’t even say Manny. Brutal.

    Prince HATES his Dad (probably for among other things gambling away his signing bonus (and Cecil’s entire MLB salary from his career)…he’s not going where people love Big Daddy

    Damon isn’t playable in the field, his power didn’t show up the first go round in CoPa and he’s also old and on the decline….

    Derek Lee? Maybe. Rather have a lefty though for platoon splits..ditto Carlos Lee except there;s a lot of salary getting eaten there by Houston

    laRoche? maybe…..

    I just wish I could believe Figgy was gonna not be the nightmare he’s been the last 2 years….

    paging Maggs? man IDK, he;s as brittle as they get now…probably no…

    Call it Pena Abreu or Derek Lee…and Cespedes….

    Comment by Tim — January 18, 2012 @ 12:55 am

  28. As a Twins fan, I agree for two reasons.

    1. Gives the Twins a better chance of winning the division (hey, gotta put my fanaticism first).

    2. The AL Central is definitely weak enough that the Tigers could still win without Martinez. The Twins need Mauer and Morneau to bounce back, the Royals are going to be awfully young still, and the White Sox are rebuilding but not really (but they are). I think the Indians may still be the best competition for the Tigers right now.

    Comment by Bryz — January 18, 2012 @ 1:03 am

  29. V-Marts kid probably tackled him.

    Too bad, he is a class guy.

    Comment by pft — January 18, 2012 @ 1:33 am

  30. As a Tigers fan I actually think people are underestimating the Twins(if they can stay healthy). They won like 95 or so games just 2 years ago with a team that is kinda similar to this one. I like the Doumit and Willingham signings and if Mauer and Morneau can return to form I think they actually could contend for this division since I think 87 or so games may take it.

    The reason I think that is I believe the Tigers pythagorean record was only 89 wins last year. So they weren’t quite as good as their record indicated. Plus they had alot of guys that had unbelievable years so they’ll be hard pressed to repeat them, like Verlander, Peralta, Avila, Valverde(in terms of traditional stats like save percentage) and Cabrera. Granted some guys may improve like Jackson, Scherzer and Porcello among a couple others, and they have Fister for the whole year but regardless there is a good chance that overall the team got worse even before the loss of Martinez.

    So anyway if things go right for the Twins and they stay healthy I can easily see them winning this crappy division, in fact I think every team in it has a chance except for maybe the White Sox, but even them I wouldn’t be completely shocked.

    Comment by Matt C — January 18, 2012 @ 1:37 am

  31. Couldn’t Carlos Pena basically turn himself into a mercenary? Just sign a bunch of BIG 1 year deals from teams desperate to fill out 1B or DH without a long term commitment. If he keeps hitting his 25 bombs a year with solid defense wouldn’t he be making more money instead of signing a multi year deal?

    Comment by Shaun Catron — January 18, 2012 @ 4:48 am

  32. Sure, if he keeps hitting 25 bombs a year. However, as soon as he hits a rough patch, he’ll have to settle for less and if he suffers a career-ending injury, the money stops. That’s why, if offered, he (and his agent) would probably prefer $24M/3 over $10M/1, giving up less AAV for more security. However, I don’t expect him to be offered a long-term deal.

    As an aside, someone asked above why Prince doesn’t seek a series of short deals for higher AAV’s and the answer is the same. $200M/8 produces less upside earning potential than $30M/1, but it also produces a lot less downside earning potential.

    This downside protection is important to most players, but even more so to their agents. The agents want to lock in their own cash flow certainty and protect their own downside. In addition, a guy like Boras doesn’t want to have to produce a new binder and do a new dog and pony show every off-season for Prince (or any other clients).

    Comment by hk — January 18, 2012 @ 7:28 am

  33. At his age, he might (rightly) think that’s a big IF…

    Comment by Brian — January 18, 2012 @ 7:28 am

  34. I’m not sure Boras needs a whole binder for Prince. Could he just send everyone a link to Prince’s Fangraphs page and maybe one or two photos of Prince eating salad? That would probably be enough to convince me to give him something like 7 yrs / 140 mm.

    Comment by Brian — January 18, 2012 @ 7:30 am

  35. How about JUSTIN Turner for x?

    This guy is awesome.

    Comment by Brian — January 18, 2012 @ 7:32 am


    I dunno, but my boy John Olerud made this list and I could not be more pleased.

    John Olerud for hall of fame.

    Comment by Brian — January 18, 2012 @ 7:37 am

  37. You really think Matt? Twins won *63* games last year…

    even if Mauer and Morneau put up an extra 5 WAR each, that only brings them to *73* wins all else being equal.

    They don’t really have a whole lot of great pitching outside of Baker – who I hate with a passion, btw.

    I don’t know, I’m certain I could be completely wrong, but I’m just not seeing it with the Twins…

    Comment by Brian — January 18, 2012 @ 7:43 am

  38. Sign Bonds. Problem solved and then some.

    Comment by puffy — January 18, 2012 @ 7:53 am

  39. One thing nobody has mentioned… Ilitch is old, and Ilitch wants to win a World Series.

    The money doesn’t at all appear to be there to make a big splash, but from Ilitch’s perspective, time may be running out, and he’s made no secret about his desperate desire to see the Tigers win a series under his ownership.

    Yes, it is a macabre storyline, but I do think it is valid.

    I don’t know all the contract details, but the Mets are obviously in desperation mode in more ways than one… would a deal for David Wright make sense? Certainly it would fill a huge hole the Tigers have had for a lot of years. More importantly, what would it take? Castellanos seems obvious, but would it also require Turner (meaning this isn’t really in the discussion).

    My opinion as a Tigers fan is that they have a very small but very real window of opportunity. The Central is incredibly bad, the Red Sox are dealing with huge changes, the Yankees are old and looking at a remade pitching staff. The Rangers lost one of their best starters. As bankrupt as the Tigs farm system is already, there’s not a lot of hope from this fan that the window is going to open much wider than it is right now any time in the next ten years. I say, no prospects should be off limits if it can get you a legit 4+ win player. Take your shot, and if it doesn’t work and the window closes in a couple years, then it’s time to gut management and rebuild the RIGHT way.

    Comment by Nathan — January 18, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  40. Then how would you analyze Fielder’s ability to return value on that contract? Not saying it’s a strict calculation, but it’s more relevant than saying that any price is okay for a great hitter.

    Comment by Ian — January 18, 2012 @ 9:18 am

  41. It depends on what they have available to spend. Pena is going to hold them over a barrel. An injury is exactly what he was hoping for at this point.

    It’s also kind of a waste to DH Pena who is a very good 1Bman.

    I’d say at the very least, the Tigers will bring Wilson Betemit back.

    Another thought – the Tigers were one team mentioned in connection with Daniel Murphy a while back. He could DH and also see time at 3B. He’s actually closer to the stick that VMart has than any of the others being mentioned. Of course the Mets would want Turner but probably settle for Smyly + or some other package of prospects.

    Comment by Spike — January 18, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  42. yeah I like where you’re going (as a suffering Mets fan) but Wright isn’t going to be moved just yet. I mentioned Dan Murphy tho, above.

    I could actually see Hideki Matsui there as a more inexpensive LHed DH fit. As I mentioned above, Wilson Betemit at the very least.

    Comment by Spike — January 18, 2012 @ 10:08 am

  43. No. He’s to busy hoping like hell huff turns it around and becomes the hitter he was in 2010. I know it’s a SSS but huff was terrible the few months he played in Detroit. Giants fan can dream I guess.

    Comment by WillieMaysField — January 18, 2012 @ 10:35 am

  44. Not saying he needs one, but he did produce a 73 page binder for Prince.

    Comment by hk — January 18, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  45. Wilson Betemit is long gone from Detroit after his effort in the playoffs – he looked like a member of the 1919 White Sox against the Yankees.

    Comment by Ian — January 18, 2012 @ 11:08 am

  46. how about the cubs eat half soriano’s salary for a bag of balls and a case of seeds, you and dombrowski go out back, he kicks you in the nuts and we call it a deal?

    Comment by are you serious — January 18, 2012 @ 11:11 am

  47. Time to call the Angels about some of their spare parts.

    Comment by Colin — January 18, 2012 @ 11:16 am

  48. Betemit hits RHers well. He’s fine in a platoon role. Matsui is the other of the cheaper FA options.

    Comment by Spike — January 18, 2012 @ 11:18 am

  49. advantage of Betemit (over Matsui) is that he can play the field.

    Comment by Spike — January 18, 2012 @ 11:19 am

  50. what about manny ramirez? i know he’s old, looked bad last year, has seemingly been declining and didnt really play last year, but he still has a great walk rate and probably some power left. and if he comes cheap on a minor league deal, it could be a nice thing to see if he has anything left in spring training.

    Comment by phoenix2042 — January 18, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

  51. Doesn’t he have to sit 100 games upon his return, for a 2nd failed PED test?

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 18, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  52. I don’t think a series of short term contracts with higher AAV would be to a player’s advantage, but if a player still has at least some prime in front of him, it would probably be wise to consider going with a 1 year contract to set a precedent high AAV. How different would a long term contract Fielder can net this offseason be compared to next offseason?

    Comment by Vegemitch — January 18, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  53. Detroit should have Manny, Bonds, Vlad, and Matsui all come to camp as non roster invitees. It would be a half action/half comedy spring training similar to “The Expendables” movie. Given the success of “Moneyball” as a serious baseball film, this can be our effort to make a spoof.

    On a side note, it has always pained me that Detroit had a perfect moneyball team in the early 90′s with fat castoff players all doing damage with power and patience only to see that jagoff Randy Smith bring “National League” “Smartball” to Detroit.

    Comment by Vegemitch — January 18, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

  54. Sure he would, if you want to assume away any chance of injury or decline in performance.

    Comment by Surrealistic Pillow — January 18, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

  55. I am pretty sure Young could play SS and still be more valuable in terms of WAR than if he DHed full time thanks to positional adjustments.

    Comment by Ronin — January 18, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

  56. Russel Branyan, Marcus Thames, Ramon Castro, Eric Chavez, etc could do the same and call it the Replacements.

    The guys you listed could be more in line with “Space Cowboys” (grin), and just look at the diversity in ethnicity and personalities. The one-liner possibilities are endless.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 18, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

  57. Pythagorean record isn’t really a great measure of the Tigers’ season because they had some absolutely putrid middle relief last year. So they basically turned games they were already losing into blowouts, which killed their Pythag.

    At any rate, the Tigers lost just 3 wins in a division they won by 15 games and even if their depth isn’t great, they’ll be plugging better than replacement players (Andy Dirks at worst, which would move Delmon to DH – don’t know where the hell that Don Kelly idea came from, Eno) into the lineup.

    You’d have to predict an Adam Dunn-like collapse from some of the Tigers’ overachievers (while Scherzer and Porcello don’t improve) for the Tigers to lose the division.

    Comment by JG — January 18, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

  58. The Tigers’ team BABIP last season was an MLB-leading .318, compared to the average of .294. Can you say “regression?” They were already destined to score far fewer runs in 2012, even with V-Mart. Throw in the fact that Valverde is going to blow at least 5 saves this time around, and 87 wins looks like a pretty generous total for Detroit. Losing Martinez may drop that even further.

    The Twins’ win total from last season is irrelevant. Less than 1/3 of their roster was comprised of proven major leaguers from mid-August on. That’s not going to happen again. Also, they had a below-average BABIP and underperformed their team FIP by about 1/3 of a run. If healthy, they will not suck in 2012.

    However, as presently constituted, none of the Tigers’ AL Central rivals look like a good bet to finish very far onto the happy side of .500. Detroit is weaker without Martinez, but still the favorites. They could get away with following DWrek’s suggestion if they’re inclined to wait.

    Comment by neckrolls — January 19, 2012 @ 2:24 am

  59. The Tigers window could easily be 10+ years with Verlander 28, Fister 27, Scherzer 26, Porcello 22, Turner 20. The Tigers are really just coming into their own. That kind of pitching depth is quite rare. They could own their division for years to come, much like the Braves did for 15 years starting in the 90′s.

    Comment by Theo — January 19, 2012 @ 8:31 am

  60. Papi for anything that Detroit wants to give up.

    From the Detroit side, if they paid VMart $12.5M to be mostly a DH, then Papi at maybe $13M is reasonable. And a one-year commitment fits in with VMart’s return in 2013.

    From the RS (my) side, we basically get flexibility back. If we could sign Oswalt and a better RH option in RF that will ‘okay’ at DH, I think we’d be better off. Since Papi was a type A, it seems like we should get something minor in return, but even if we got a single-A prospect back, I think it could work from both sides.

    Comment by Joey B — January 19, 2012 @ 8:39 am

  61. Trade for Jason Giambi. Or a LF with some defense and move Young to DH. I dislike Young with a passion, but he is realistically going to be on this team.

    Comment by MC Sucka DJ — January 20, 2012 @ 10:16 am

  62. 3 way trade:
    Garrett Jones from Pirates to Detroit along with C+ prospect
    Brandon Allen to Pirates
    Whatever prospect works and Billy Beane wants from Detroit

    Garrett Jones makes sense for Tigers as he’s still under control for a couple years and once VMart returns he can transition to RF where he’s an upgrade over Don Kelly.
    Brandon Allen perfect age and fit for Bucs who have need for young 1B with upside
    Billy Beane is Billy Beane

    Comment by Mingy — January 20, 2012 @ 11:17 am

  63. I think the Tigers would have no problem trading a mid level prospect for Ortiz, because like you said they were gonna pay V-Mart 12.5M to DH anyway. Plus I heard that like 7 million of V-Marts salary they will get back due to insurance so they would basically only have to up payroll by 6 million for Ortiz. IMO he would be the perfect fit for the Tigers, because for 1 he is left handed but I also like the fact that he has HR pop, which for as good as V-Mart was last year that was something he didn’t provide.

    Comment by Matt C — January 20, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

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