The Detroit Tigers have made a few baffling decisions this offseaon that have them heading back towards the AL Central division instead of away from it like they should be.
#1 Letting Max Scherzer Walk – The Tigers reportedly offered their most recent Cy Young winner a contract for 6 years and $144 million dollars with him being less than a year away from free agency. The contract is a solid offer for Scherzer who last season finally reached the potential that he had been hinting at for sometime. The baffling part wasn’t the contract offer, which seems fair, but the rebuttal from their GM when he turned it down.
Moving forward there will be no further in-season negotiation and the organization will refrain from commenting on this matter.” Via Big League Stew
While I’m sure Scherzer would head back to Detroit if they outbid all other teams I don’t see the point in telling the public that negotiations are over during the season. Â That statement could leave a poor taste in Max’s mouth and ruin any other negotiations the team may have wanted to make, it seems like a bad play to me.
2. Â Giving Miguel Cabrera a Huge Deal – At the start of opening day the Tigers have 2 more years ,including ’14, of control of the games best and largest hitter having signed him through 2015. Â At the end of next year though Miggy will be heading into his Age 33 season and as we have recently seen with some big name players with rather large bodies those years don’t play out as well as we hope.
.258/.330/.437 Pujols Age 33 Remember this?
And things generally get worse as they go, instead the Tigers decided to back up the truck and pay Miggy a contract that pays him like he’ll continue to be the best hitter in the league. Â I love Miggy’s hitting ability but the Tigers seem to think that he can repeat his numbers in the non-steroids era I think you have to be squinting very hard or have plenty of fan love, which from the sounds of it Mike Illitch does.
3. Doug Fister Trade – The Tigers appeared to take the first offer shot to them from the Nationals so much so that other General Managers in baseball said they didn’t even know that he was on the market and would have been interested if they had. Â Instead the Tigers took a bullpen piece, a utility player and maybe future starter for a solid #3 when they could have waited and intrigued teams that weren’t interested in giving up a draft pick for Santana or Ubaldo. Â The whole deal seemed rushed and rather weak considering the free agent market hadn’t got going and starters David Price and Jeff Samardzija disappeared unlike some teams had hoped.
With V-Mart, Scherzer and Hunter hitting free agency this offseason along with players that comprise one of the weakest free agent classes in sometime I expect to see some large holes in that Tigers lineup or contracts for old players. Â Of course they have Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander for a while which equals a stable rotation as long as an injury doesn’t come. Â The equalizer for the Tigers could be a Rick Porcello step up that they have been waiting for sometime or a Nick Castellanos or Austin Jackson step up.
How about their prospects? Â Well Baseball America rated them the #28 org in baseball with the graduation of their top prospect the future doesn’t look bright and that is with the graduation of their top prospect, Nick Castellanos. Â Considering they’ve ranked in the bottom quarter of farm systems according to BA the previous five seasons the farm doesn’t look like a fertile area from which to build.
All of this spells great things for the rest of the AL Central. Â A bloated contract, pitchers leaving and a poor farm system. Â Looks like the Anaheim Angels without a stud player like Mike Trout. Â Things could be turning Royals blue folks.
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