Victor Martinez To Detroit

You have to hand it to Dave Dombrowski – he is nothing if not decisive and aggressive. He quickly identified Brandon Inge and Jhonny Peralta as players he wanted to retain and Joaquin Benoit as the reliever he wanted to acquire, and made them offers they couldn’t refuse. Now he has reportedly lured Victor Martinez to Detroit with a four year, $50 million deal. Was Dombrowski’s decision to outbid the rest of the market a good one?

To some extent, it depends on how the Tigers plan on using him. Martinez is a good hitting catcher, but he turns 32 in a month and his defense behind the plate is not well regarded. The Red Sox used him both at first base and designated hitter over the last two years, where his bat is not nearly as productive relative to the peers that man those positions. In order to justify a $12 million per year salary, Martinez has to catch, and do so pretty regularly.

Given the amount of money involved, I have to think that the Tigers are going to use him that way. With Miguel Cabrera around, Martinez probably won’t play a lot of first base in Detroit, and there were too many other quality DH candidates on the market to spend this much money to get Martinez to fill a bat-only role. I’m guessing the Tigers see this as a Jorge Posada type deal, where they expect to get a guy who can catch for the first few years of the deal and a guy who can DH for the last year or two.

As a catcher, Martinez was a +4 win player for Boston last year, so he certainly has the ability to upgrade the position for the Tigers. But backstops have notoriously sharp aging curves, and the Tigers should not expect to get the same production from him in his age 32-35 sesaons that he produced earlier in his career. I would estimate his WAR over the next four years to be something in the +3.5, +2.5, +1.5, +1.0 range, with those last two years coming as a DH.

Even a more conservative aging curve will have Martinez as an average-at-best player by the last two years of the deal. Even if we see significant salary inflation going forward, Martinez is likely to be dramatically overpaid in the last year or two of this deal. Once you factor in loss of their first round draft pick (the Tigers surrendered the 19th pick in the 2011 draft, as Martinez was a Type A free agent), he certainly came at a steep cost.

The Tigers are essentially borrowing from the future to improve their present. Martinez should provide good value for the cost in 2011 and maybe in 2012 as well, and they’re hoping that the near term benefit outweighs the long term cost of having some dead money on the books at the end of the deal. If they can put together a contending team in either of the next two years, it could well be worth the gamble. If they don’t overtake the Twins, however, Martinez’s contract may hold them back from making moves that would allow them to do so in 2013 and 2014.

Besides what Martinez does for the Tigers, I’m also interested in what his deal means for the market and the crowd’s ability to estimate expected contracts. The Contract Crowdsourcing we did for Martinez nailed this deal, as you guys projected a 4 year, $48 million contract as the median, which is almost exactly what he got. Kudos to you guys.

My initial reaction was that this deal signified more evidence of inflation in the market, as my personal expectation was that he would sign for around 3/36. But as this contract is in line with the crowd’s expectations, and you guys didn’t appear to bake in much inflation to your projections for other players, I don’t think we can make too many proclamations about the market just yet.

I still think the moves to date suggest that prices are going to be higher this winter, but it’s possible that we haven’t seen league wide inflation, just Detroit-related aggressive spending. We’ll have to see what the market does once Dave Dombrowski is not a buyer.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Piccamo
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Shouldn’t you include the value of the Tigers’ #19 overall draft pick in next year’s draft? That would push the value of the deal from the Tigers perspective at closer to $55MM over 4 years (according to Wang’s research), which is even more aggressive.

Chase
Guest
Chase
5 years 6 months ago

Yikes, that infield is going to be absolutley horrible. Kid Rick better learn a knockout pitch.

Alireza
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

1) What does the infield have to do with Martinez?

2) Inge is a plus defender. Cabrera is probably average. Perralta is around average, maybe a touch below. Rhymes, who is penciled in at 2B, did very well with PM. I don’t see why it is so terrible. Not perfect, but not “absolutely horrible.”

Chase
Guest
Chase
5 years 6 months ago

Seriously? Cabrera is below avg, Peralta below avg, Martinez below avg, Inge no longer what he was…very avg, Sizemore below avg. Looks great to me!

isavage30
Guest
isavage30
5 years 6 months ago

Peralta is definitely not around average. As a shortstop he has a career -5.5 UZR/150 … he barely has the mobility to play 3b. He doesn’t make many errors, but he has very limited range. He also never hits above .220 in April, but that’s another story

Austin
Guest
Austin
5 years 6 months ago

The infield has to do with Martinez because he’s going to be playing some first base for the Tigers. And of course, even though it isn’t really “infield defense,” he is pretty bad at blocking the plate and terrible at catching basestealers.

Lee Panas
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

I think Avila is still going to catch a lot. Martinez will catch versus left-handed pitchers and probably spot start versus right-handers. He’ll also backup Cabrera at first base. DHing a lot should keep him fresh allowing him to get more at bats. Catching 40 percent of the time helps give him more value than a full-time DH.

chulton
Member
chulton
5 years 6 months ago

This deal would make no sense if they plan on playing him as anything other than their full time catcher. Would you pay $50 million for someone to spot start versus the majority of the leagues pitchers?

Joe
Guest
Joe
5 years 6 months ago

Not sure why, but GMs seem to have a soft spot for guys like this. There’s always a certain type of player that GMs tend to overvalue to the point that they’ll over pay and tack on an extra year to a contract. Remember Ryan Howard’s contract? That happened this year! Yeah, there’s a recession, but there will always be a few bloated contracts thrown around.

NEPP
Guest
NEPP
5 years 6 months ago

The “funniest” thing about Howard’s contract? That disgusting extension doesnt even kick in yet. He’s still on his old $20 million per annum deal. The extension runs from 2012 to 2017.

Granted, I tend to think Howard will bounce back from his tough 2010 campaign but even if he puts it altogether, he’s probably still a net loss value wise at $20 M per, let alone $25 M per.

And dont give spout all that “He puts butts in the seats” argument…WINNING drives attendance, not “star” players. Its the same BS argument that Mo Rivera and Derek Jeter are trying with the Yankees. Neither is worth close to what they’re asking.

John
Guest
John
5 years 6 months ago

You can try all you want to disregard the effect of starpower, but you can’t. Or you can, but your arguments will all be flawed. I’m not saying it’s a huge thing, but it is there, whether you’re blind to it or not.

Joe
Guest
Joe
5 years 6 months ago

No kidding. Imagine Having A-Rod, Jeter, and Tex at mid 30 to early 40s infield. Doesn’t work, especially if Montero doesn’t stick at C. The guy made more than 200 million and his agent acts like the Yankees still owe him for services rendered. You have to admit the Yankees are actually holding the line with Jeter even if it is more than he deserves.

Steve
Guest
Steve
5 years 6 months ago

What has Rivera said about this? I haven’t heard a thing from Mo except an opening number in a negotiation.

Fred
Guest
Fred
5 years 6 months ago

Don’t group Jeter together with Rivera, Mariano had another good year and doesn’t appear to be asking for a 6 year deal for 200 million.

NEPP
Guest
NEPP
5 years 6 months ago

Howard’s “starpower” isn’t gonna make that deal look any better in 3-4 seasons whens he’s in his mid-30s making $25 million per.

This is coming from a huge Howard and Phillies Fan…it was a terrible and unneccesary deal.

chulton
Member
chulton
5 years 6 months ago

Just wondering where this puts the Red Sox as far as their everyday catcher for next year. Don’t tell me they really think Salty is a viable option?

Dan Greer
Guest
Dan Greer
5 years 6 months ago

Just a few years ago, the Sox went with an unproven Kevin Youkilis as their 1B. Granted, Salty is a poor defender with an astronomical strikeout rate, so I don’t foresee much success – but who knows what they might do? He still has the talent to pop 15+ HR, and might figure out how to fix his swing.

I kind of think they end up with Miguel Olivo, who should be a good fit for the Green Monster, as well as a major defensive upgrade over VMart.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 6 months ago

ya that logic is beyond pathetic. just because the Youkilis deal worked out doesn’t mean this one will. It is possible that players that aren’t top 10 prospects can become good or decent players but what about Salty would make you think so. Youkilis did well in the start of his career while Salty was all potential no production. And Miguel Olivo has led the league in passed balls 4 out of 5 years and his OBP is always under .300. We aren’t talking about a good catcher here. There’s a lot more to baseball than hitting a few HR’s and throwing well. Not to mention Salty has the yips and his advanced metrics say he’s a butcher of a catcher. They need to get an elite 1B and sign Crawford or Werth or they’re taking a big step back.

Eric M. Van
Guest
Eric M. Van
5 years 6 months ago

Saltalamacchia’s not a top 10 prospect? He was the #18 prospect in all of MLB. All potential, no production? As a 22 and 23 year old C he hit .318 / .412 / .514 in 250 PA in games started by a RHP (his likely role with the Sox), before being hampered by injuries for two years (thoracic outlet syndrome, torn thumb ligament). You can regress that 2007-8 line halfway to Uranus and still get a good-hitting MLB catcher. He’s completely over his throwing problems and is ranked 2nd to Jason Varitek among active catchers in pitcher-handling by the Fielding Bible (you may doubt the reality of that but it sure looks like the Red Sox don’t). He quite clearly has huge upside.

Dan Greer
Guest
Dan Greer
5 years 6 months ago

“ya that logic is beyond pathetic. just because the Youkilis deal worked out doesn’t mean this one will”

No one ever said anything to that effect. You and I will see what the Sox do. I’ve thrown a name out there and said my piece.

I suggested the Sox have shown that they are willing to take chances (occasionally) with an unproven player. Remember, they stuck with Dustin Pedroia despite a really horrible start to his career. That seems to have worked out just as well as Youk.

I suggested Olivo as a stopgap. He’s not particularly good, but as catchers go, he’s far from a black hole (see: Kendall, Jason). 5.2 WAR over the last 2 seasons is above-average, and while I’d expect some regression, just who better do you think the Sox are going to get?

I think they sign a veteran for 2 years, and secretly hope Saltalamacchia can take the job. I very much doubt they do nothing, because his downside is pretty awful.

Rich
Guest
Rich
5 years 6 months ago

“Salty is a poor defender ”

According to what? DPS seems to think hes pretty good (Except his arm, which should be better, now that his thumb has been fixed)

JK
Guest
JK
5 years 6 months ago

50M/7.5 WAR = 6.67 M/WAR, not counting the lost draft pick. Seems up compared to last offseason.

TheImpossibleMan
Guest
TheImpossibleMan
5 years 6 months ago

If he does that, I think the Tigers have to be pretty darn happy with the contract.

puffy
Guest
puffy
5 years 6 months ago

The dollar is collapsing at an alarming rate. When you’re talking tens of millions of dollars, this is extremely important to understand.

Prices on everything related to the game will inflate faster than player salaries. The owners are a lot smarter than you are…..like, a LOT smarter.

Grant
Guest
Grant
5 years 6 months ago

“The dollar is collapsing at an alarming rate. When you’re talking tens of millions of dollars, this is extremely important to understand.”

What are you talking about? Since QE2 the dollar vs. Euro quickly dropped from .78 to its current level of .73, but that is not in any way an alarming rate, nor is it still dropping. Regardless, the dollar’s strength is only relevant in terms of exchange rates and international trade, and it’s not like MLB is working on import deals with other countries. The strength of the dollar really will only impact our trade balance, which has nothing to do with these players’ salaries or inflation.

The Ancient Mariner
Guest
The Ancient Mariner
5 years 6 months ago

Grant, he’s projecting; it’s not a consensus, but there are a lot of folks who think we’re seeing the first inklings of a period of significant inflation — which would indeed substantially devalue all long-term contracts. Whether they’re right or not, if the Detroit braintrust is among them, that no doubt factors into their decision-making here.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
5 years 6 months ago

They are pumping in 600 billion dollars into our money supply. This doesn’t affect the amount that owners are offering players, there’s demand for the players and a supply for the players. Since no one (foreign country that is) can out bid the U.S. (nor will try) for these player’s product, they’re bidding themselves up in price. It’s likely that the owners of the clubs bid V-Mart’s contract to this height and not any way indicative of inflation or any such thing. The dollar will decrease in value, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

NEPP
Guest
NEPP
5 years 6 months ago

What’s a “Win” worth these days? $4-5 million? Its possible they’ll break even with this deal but I suspect that they overpaid…not grossly but by an okay margin. They obviously are worried about lossing Magglio’s bat from their lineup and this was an obvious replacement of that (although there will likely be some drop-off).

Defensively, it hurts them though and they’d be better off DHing Cabrera in 2 years instead of Victor.

John
Guest
John
5 years 6 months ago

I was thinking about this too. 5 mil per win? 10 WAR over the course of the contract. 10 WAR in 4 seasons? I really don’t see that as much of a problem even with regression.

Luke in MN
Guest
Luke in MN
5 years 6 months ago

I agree. Even as a DH he’d be at least an average player. He’s about the hitter that Posada and Vlad were last year, which would make him about a 2.5 WAR guy/year purely at the DH spot. His age? He’s so old that he hasn’t had a 4-WAR year since…last year…and the year before that.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 6 months ago

Jorge caught 83 games and started 78 this year. that WAR isn’t as a strictly DH. And yes VMart is at that level now of offensive production, but he’s going to a much large ball park and he’s going to age. His production RIGHT NOW isn’t worth the money they’re paying him if he’s a DH. It’s only going to get worse as he ages. you’re taking all those stats out of context. Ya he’s a valuable player as a catcher which accounts for the 4 win performance but once you make him a full time DH, you’re looking at a miserable contract. ESPECIALLY if you factor in giving up the draft pick and the fact that there are 10 guys that you could get at a fraction of the cost that are comparable hitters to DH/1B this winter.

It’s catch 22. To be worth anything near what he’s going to get paid he’ll have to be a full time catcher. But his defense, which is already horrific, is going to decline to the point where you can’t play him back there. I have no idea WTF Dombrowski is doing. He just got rid of all of those bad contracts, just in time to start racking up more. Spending a big contract on a backup 1B and a full time DH when you only have 1 decent OF (if you buy that BABIP and K% with no plate discipline and power), a bad infield minus Miggy, and 2 good SP, not to mention another big contract on a set up guy with a history of major shoulder problems is a disgusting use of resources. If you had to drop $10MM+ on a DH you could have at least made it a dominant one with Dunn.

TheImpossibleMan
Guest
TheImpossibleMan
5 years 6 months ago

I like to think that the nailing of his contract by the crowd outsourcing means that readers of this site like me are more educated than the average bear…

James
Guest
James
5 years 6 months ago

I like to wonder if any GMs/Agents have used the Crowdsourcing results in negotiations.

TheImpossibleMan
Guest
TheImpossibleMan
5 years 6 months ago

“The current in the air just says you’re not going to get 5/$55…”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean you can check any website and they’re noting how teams wouldn’t or shouldn’t be paying more than 4/$48…”

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
My echo and bunnymen
5 years 6 months ago

I too once dabbled in economism……

wily mo
Member
5 years 6 months ago

certainly more educated than the replacement bear

puffy
Guest
puffy
5 years 6 months ago

The more interesting question is….

It’s been reported that Chicago offered 3 years for 48 million. What made VMart choose 4 for 50 over 3 for 48?

Dwight S.
Guest
Dwight S.
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah I read that too and I really don’t understand it. The absolute worst case scenario for him is he loses a total of 2 million dollars. When you’re talking 48 and 50 million that’s not that much. But he has the potential to make a way more because instead of playing in a huge park like Comerica he would get to play half his games in a bandbox in Chicago. So his HR totals would’ve been a lot higher there and when you factor in that teams will most likely be looking at him as a DH once that contract expires the HR totals are what most will be looking at. So I think either this story was false or there is some other reason outside of money that lured him to play for the Tigers because financially I don’t think it makes a lot of sense.

puffy
Guest
puffy
5 years 6 months ago

Which is why I said this is the most interesting question. It could be something simple like, “He thinks they have a better shot of winning a ring.”. or something unusual like, “He likes the idea of working with their young arms.”. It could be a million things, which is why it’s interesting.

The 2 million he loses in the overall contract value is lost when you consider that he loses the risk free rate of return on the money he defers to the 4th year of his contract.

Luke in MN
Guest
Luke in MN
5 years 6 months ago

This is wild speculation, but could Venezuelan politics have something to do with it? Ozzie Gullien’s anti-Hugo Chavez and Magglio Ordonez is friends with him. V. Mart.’s Venezuelan, but no idea were his sympathies lie or if he cares.

Steve
Guest
Steve
5 years 6 months ago

is Magglio going to be on the Tigers next year? Serious question

JH
Guest
JH
5 years 6 months ago

Wealthy Venezuelans as a class aren’t huge Chavez fans.

NEPP
Guest
NEPP
5 years 6 months ago

I’d be surprised if they brought Magglio back at this point. He could make decent money as a DH or even as a RF still and there are a good number of openings for his bat.

Oakland Dan
Guest
Oakland Dan
5 years 6 months ago

It is going to be interesting to watch my team get talked up again, only to lose to the Twins again, when they cobble together a solid team of well-placed role players and pitchers who don’t kill themselves with walks. Again.

MikeS
Guest
MikeS
5 years 6 months ago

As a White Sox fan I like this deal. I hope the Tigers tryy to get their money’s worth by having him catch. A lot. I read some where his throwing improved as the season went on but you can bet Both Ozzie Guillen and Ron Gardenhire are going to want to see for themselves.

brett
Guest
brett
5 years 6 months ago

If the Sox offer is true, it’s all about the Venezuelan connection in Detroit: Cabrera, Carlos Guillen, and Ordoñez (who will resign). Not to mention their other Latin American players.

It’s somewhat absurd to think that the Tigers are still thirty-something million dollars under their 2010 payroll. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them resign Ordonez AND go after Werth or Crawford, plus bullpen help.

Brandon Heikoop
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

The Marlins signed Buck for $18M (over 3 years). Martinez got an extra year and double the salary.

End story, the Tigers paid twice the price for a player that is MUCH more then twice the player of Buck.

Are there other options out there that would have also cost half price, sure? Are any of them going to provide anything close to what Martinez will with the bat?

The defense is suspect and one worries about his aging, but the Tigers went with a defense-first catcher last year, and it didn’t pan out. This isn’t a terrible deal for the Tigers and I’m surprised Martinez didn’t bring in more ched.

tdotsports1
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

I’d take Buck at 6 million/season and one less year, AND not lose the 19th overall pick…

With the extra 6 million you could easily add an impact DH/1B type bat if need be…

NEPP
Guest
NEPP
5 years 6 months ago

I wouldn’t…Buck isn’t as good as his 2010 line suggests.

People are overvaluing that pick. The Tigers can easily bust slot later on and get a “1st round” talent with the money they save by not having that “top” pick.

Steve
Guest
Steve
5 years 6 months ago

Which would help the Tigers fill their gaping hole at 1B…

Hank
Guest
Hank
5 years 6 months ago

The inflation folks seem to be betting on a rather steep aging curve. If Martinez catches for just 2 years this is probably a decent deal.

I think the other factor is roster flexibility… hard to put a dollar figure on that but there is no need for a backup 1B and if you only go with one other catcher, you essentially have an additional roster spot which allows you to look at an extra position platoon,an extra OF’r or an extra reliever, etc… He’s also a switchhitter (yes I’m aware there is no dollar value on that), but that gives you a bit more lineup flexibility and consistency.

The final years might be overpaid, but there’s a decent chance the early years are underpaid so unless folks are doing time value of money calculations (and I’m not sure what you would use as the discount rate in these economic conditions), I’m not sure if how the money is spread out is that critical. In theory they may have gone something like 14/12/12/10 or 15/13/11/9 but you’re looking at just a 2 or 3 mil dollar difference in the last year…

The Nicker
Guest
The Nicker
5 years 6 months ago

You really think Martinez will be worth 2.5 wins in his age 34 and 35 seasons combined?

Even as a full-time DH he’ll easily eclipse that.

I know we’re not in the steroid era anymore but that type of age regression on performance is just ridiculous. Will V-Mart be worth 10 WAR over the life of the contract? I’d say probably, but barring some sort of catastrophic injury there’s no way he won’t be putting up at least 2 WAR each season for the next four years if he’s playing full time at any position.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
5 years 6 months ago

Do you really think VMart at 35 in that ballpark as a full time DH will be worth 2.5 wins?

Jorge Posada had a very similar year offensively to Vmart and after starting 78 games behind the plate his WAR was only 2.4.

So Vmart would have to actually improve offensively instead of declining as he goes into his mid 30’s after spending his career as a catcher, and then the move from Fenway to Comerica has to not hurt him. If VMart can’t catch he isn’t worth nearly what they’re paying him. It should be interesting to see what Dombrowski does when all his bad contracts are off the books. O wait…you mean he just cleared most of them? And then signed a bunch of other bad contracts? How does this guy have a job?

Dwight S.
Guest
Dwight S.
5 years 6 months ago

“And then signed a bunch of other bad contracts? How does this guy have a job?”

I live in Michigan and am a Tigers fan and I ask that question all the time and the usual response is “look at how bad we were before he got here.”(followed by citing the fluke 06 WS appearance) So because the team had even a worse GM before and the owner didn’t spend money then it’s ok for this GM to suck? The team has had a top 5 or so payroll for the past 5 years yet hasn’t won a division(in a mediocre division at that) and has a farm system that is in shambles. Seriously I would love to see what a competent front office could do with the money that Illitch throws around.

The Nicker
Guest
The Nicker
5 years 6 months ago

Reading comprehension Johnathan. It would be surprising if V-Mart was able to put up 2.5 WAR in one season as a pure DH but I was referring to Cameron’s projection that he would put up 2.5 WAR over the course of 2 seasons.

Nathaniel Dawson
Guest
Nathaniel Dawson
5 years 6 months ago

What does the ballpark have to do with it?

Rich
Guest
Rich
5 years 6 months ago

Victor Martinez as a full time DH right now, would barely be worth 2.5 WAR.

(he has the same wOBA as Vlad Guererro ..2.6WAR).

There’s very little chance he’ll hit as well in 4 years as he does now.

DonCoburleone
Guest
DonCoburleone
5 years 6 months ago

It’s just what Dave Cameron alluded to at the beginning of the article: This is a typical Detroit Tigers (more specifically Dave Dombrowski) move. Target specific guys and then hit them early with an offer thats usually 1 year too long and a couple millions bucks a year too much… I wouldn’t be surprised if V-Mart & Benoit get hurt and do nothing for much of their contracts and I wouldn’t be surprised if both came up big and the Tigers win the AL Central next year.

Dombrowski always seems to go for it when his resources allow him to, which often times ends up hurting him in the long term (extensions given to Bonderman & Robertson after their World Series run for example)

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
5 years 6 months ago

Essentially, Dombrowski has a less extreme version of Hendry-itis, which is target good player and overpay. His contracts aren’t nearly as insane right off the bat, though.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
5 years 6 months ago

Of course, as soon as this happened, the rainy-days media in Boston jumped right on Theo.

CHB talked about how he doesn’t understand why Henry would buy Liverpool FC, but then not invest in the Red Sox.

Since apparently he has a poor sense of business, Liverpool’s ROI is better than Victor Martinez’s, according to most people. If, say, Martinez obtains a 130 wRC+ in 2011, that’s probably around 2.5 WAR if he’s a FT DH. Say he’s a catcher and DH, so 3.0 WAR. That’s MAYBE worth the fair market value of his skill set on a 1 year contract? I don’t think it’s a brutal overpay, but it’s an overpay. Red Sox have better things to throw money at, like Beltre and Crawford/Werth, and could always trade for Mike Napoli and get similar production.

Essentially, CHB asked this question: “Some guy I know bought a nice house in a secure neighborhood, in a historically market-stable area. But because he did this, he couldn’t buy a Lexus and had to buy a Honda instead. Why did he buy the house?”

Steve
Guest
Steve
5 years 6 months ago

Considering the Red Sox could afford the house, the Lexus, and the Honda, I think it’s legitimate to question them for passing on V-Mart.

This is not a back breaking deal for a team as rich as Boston. They essentially paid $22M to Lowell and Lugo this year and it didn’t stop them from signing Lackey, Scutaro, Beltre, etc. last winter.

If V-Mart is deadweight in the last year of his deal, they can easily afford it. It might be worth it to not go into 2011 with Jarrod Saltalamacchia catching, on account of he sucks.

None of this is to say that CHB is not a blathering idiot, of course.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
5 years 6 months ago

I understand that, but Theo, as we saw with Lackey, will overpay a little if the market commands it. At worst, Salty sucks and we trade for Napoli who should be available, if not trade for Napoli now. Him for Michael Bowden straight up maybe?

Also, you actually think about this stuff, giving you a valid opinion, CHB just makes a career of talking out of his ass and hating all things Theo / Curt Schilling related.

Rich
Guest
Rich
5 years 6 months ago

The reason they could afford to grab Scuatro, Beltre, Cameron, etc, last year, is they avoid contracts with lots of risk like these.

People seem to forget that the average OPS for an AL catcher is <.700. Saltamacchi was hitting .745 as a 22 year old. There's tons of upside there, and very little downside.

Even if he can't hit AT ALL, its not going to hurt them more than a win or so.

Lloyd mclendon
Guest
Lloyd mclendon
5 years 6 months ago

Tigers will win the AL central next year! What a great signing for the team, VMART will catch 80 games and have a WAR of 4

jklender
Guest
jklender
5 years 6 months ago

Question:

(And this may have been asked an answered before with different players under different circumstances.)

How much of a player’s statistics in a particular ballpark can be attributed to the player’s hitting/pitching style vs. the ballpark itself or how the opposing team attacks and defends against him?

I’ve heard the point discussed today that it could prove to be a bad signing in part because Martinez has put up poor career numbers at Comerica Park. How reliable could his past data — against Tigers pitching — be used as an indicator of future performance?

Dwight S.
Guest
Dwight S.
5 years 6 months ago

Personally I don’t think the park factors into it that much in this case. Last year everybody made a big deal about how great Damon hit in Comerica then when he came to the Tigers he didn’t do much there. I could see Comerica effecting a players HR totals(particularly a RH because LF is so much deeper) but how else could it hurt somebody? They have very spacious gaps so would be singles at most ball parks are often doubles or even triples at Comerica, and with the huge outfield more flyballs or bloopers will drop because the outfielders have so much more room to cover.

Really the only other would be negative is the weather the first couple weeks and sometimes the last couple weeks of the year since it can get pretty cold but you could say that about many stadiums too.(Including Cleveland and Boston where he played his whole career) I think this is just a case of a particular player struggling against a particular team whether it be a coincidence or that team just pitching him tough, I don’t think the ballpark has much to do with.

jklender
Guest
jklender
5 years 6 months ago

Good points, Dwight. Thanks for the perspective.

Rich
Guest
Rich
5 years 6 months ago

“As a catcher, Martinez was a +4 win player for Boston last year, so he certainly has the ability to upgrade the position for the Tigers. ”

If you believe DPS, he loses about a win and a half beacuse of his terrible defense.

Casey O"Neil
Guest
Casey O"Neil
5 years 6 months ago

Salary would only be a true factor if there was a salary cap, which there is not. Detroit has $$ to burn, an 80 year old owner who wants to win, and he has no problem paying extra for the chance. If it doesn’t work out, he’s shown he has no problem eating the money and trying again. In that regard, the deal makes perfect sense. Outbid everyone and get the best players available to fill the holes.

ainikhan
Member
ainikhan
5 years 6 months ago

Contingency. If they sign Martinez to start 50 games at catcher and 100 at DH, and Avila gets injured or sucks, all they have to do is go out and find a DH mid-season which is really easy.

If they sign Adam Dunn to DH (or someone not nearly as good if you’re talking about half price) and Yorvit Torrealba, and then Avila and Torrealba aren’t productive or get injured, they have to go out and find a catcher midseason, which is next to impossible.

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Lee Panas
Guest
5 years 6 months ago

one point which I don’t think has been brought up here is that Martinez might be able to hit better if he is primarily a DH. Sure, he’ll regress with age, but if you remove the wear and tear of catching, there is a good chance he can offset the offensive regression to an extent.

There is sometimes more to salaries than meets the eye. Why do the Tigers move in fast and outbid teams sometimes offering a year more than they seeming should? Detroit is not a prime destination, so they have to over pay if they want to get any of the top free agents.

Why did they target Martinez so intently? Because he’s Venezuelan and Venezuelans are comfortable playing for an organization that has Cabrera, Guillen, Galarraga and maybe still Ordonez.

Why didn’t they get a backup catcher and DH only guy for half the price? Others have already mentioned that Martinez brings unique flexibility to the roster and provides insurance should Avila need more seasoning. Also, what if that half priced DH who is supposedly as good as Martinez doesn’t want to come to the Tigers for $6 million?

James
Guest
James
5 years 6 months ago

Tigers have now said he will “primarily” DH, catch 2 or 3 times a day. Can someone sit down the mouthbreathing Boston media/fans and explain to them why Vmart leaving isn’t the equivalent of 9/11.

Nathaniel Dawson
Guest
Nathaniel Dawson
5 years 6 months ago

The wear and tear will certainly extract it’s price when he’s catching 2 to 3 times a day. That’s brutal.

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