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  1. #1
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    Default 2013 Detroit Tigers Closer




    So we all know Valverde will never pitch in a Detroit uniform again. Who do you think our 2012 closer will be?

    Here's a couple of scenarios that I wouldn't mind.

    1. Bruce Rondon. Averages a 100 mph fastball, tops out at 103, good curveball, and his command has improved. Minor league closing experience. Price is right.
    2. Rafael Soriano opted out of his contract and hits free agency. He did a nice job with the Yankees. I could see him closing in Detroit

    I'd like to see either of these two. Wildcards within the system: Al Al and Phil Coke (Benoit Leyland ruled out).

    My first choice? Bruce Rondon.

    (Mods can you change this to 2013 for thread title?).
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    Joaquin Soria just had his option declined, so he'll be available as well. I wouldn't mind taking a flyer on him.
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    I really think it will end up being Benoit going into the season.
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    Our 2012 closer was Valverde.
    2012 AL Champs

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    i'd like to see 1 more reasonably priced, quality arm added to the pen via trade or FA, give Rondon every chance to make the roster in some capacity by showing what role he's ready for, and then let things sort themselves out.
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    Rondon is an interesting one. He could be anything from Ryan Perry to Zumaya to a Craig Kimbrel/Aroldis Chapman type. I'd rather ease him in as a 7th inning type to start at least. Let Al Al close I say. Villareal can compete if he's back to what he was most of the year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PuNk42AE View Post
    I really think it will end up being Benoit going into the season.
    I see no way the organization goes that direction. Benoit is too prone to the long ball. Plus Benoit's contract will expire next season, he will be the 8th inning guy.

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    Albuquerque.
    "Thirty for me, that's yesterday," Valverde said. "It doesn't matter how many saves I have right now. The goal right now is the Tigers in first place, try to win every day, go to the playoffs and win everything."

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    Soria is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of 12.5million a year over the life of a 4 year contract. Not sure how that would work out. He is 32. The Yankees offered a 1 year 13.3 million deal so he will require a draft pick compensation. He is also a Scott Boras client... Could happen, interesting.


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    Verlander.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imminent Threat View Post
    Soria is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of 12.5million a year over the life of a 4 year contract. Not sure how that would work out. He is 32. The Yankees offered a 1 year 13.3 million deal so he will require a draft pick compensation. He is also a Scott Boras client... Could happen, interesting.
    KC declined their option on him, so what does anything with the Yankees have to do with a draft pick?
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    Benoit/Coke RHP/LHP closer platoon.
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    Rondon or Albuquerque. I would like for the Tigers to find an in-house guy for the role.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PuNk42AE View Post
    KC declined their option on him, so what does anything with the Yankees have to do with a draft pick?
    I think he means Rafael Soriano.

    The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Soria in our bullpen. He's coming off Tommy John which is always concerning, but he'll only be 29 next season and he's a reasonable bet to pitch like he did for the first four years in the league before his one down year in 2011. That season may or may not have been related to his injury in early 2012, it's hard to say, but I'd gamble on him. Add Soria and have all of them (AA, Benoit, Rondon, Coke) compete for it in ST. I don't know what he'll command on the market, but I'd imagine it will be significantly less than Soriano.
    Last edited by tigerkid23; 10-31-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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    The Tigers aren't going to get into the Soriano bidding. Book it. But I agree with Zimm, they need to add one more low-to-reasonably cost arm to the bullpen. Beyond that, I don't care much about the roles, only that we have quality depth all around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by catswithbats View Post
    Benoit/Coke RHP/LHP closer platoon.
    Sounds good to me. Rightly Lefty combo crap. Throw Albuquerque in the mix as well. Closer by committee I say.
    Pitch who is hot or whatever the game dictates.
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    Dombrowski's Rondon talk says to me more than anything that he hasn't learned anything even after being burned by 'quality arm' after 'quality arm.'

    Yes, Bruce Rondon throws hard. But he is wild and his strikeouts aren't at the level where you put up with the walks. To talk about him for a high leverage role is just dumb to me at this point.
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    Just throwing it in before we get off on a Rayburn, Rugburn, type of misspelling ...

    It is albuRquerque, not spelled like the city in New Mexico.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonlight Graham View Post
    Sounds good to me. Rightly Lefty combo crap. Throw Albuquerque in the mix as well. Closer by committee I say.
    Pitch who is hot or whatever the game dictates.
    Agreed. I really liked that they went to a LHP/RHP platoon (essentially) after Valverde imploded vs. NY. I wish they'd stick with it for at least the start of 2013, even though I don't think they will.
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    Thanks, SOriano was who I was referring to. Sorry for the mis-step
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    I'd rather see them go with someone like Alburquerque, than sign someone like Soria. Use that money to sign Torii Hunter instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T&P_Fan View Post
    I see no way the organization goes that direction. Benoit is too prone to the long ball. Plus Benoit's contract will expire next season, he will be the 8th inning guy.
    You have to look deeper than that. He's never been that prone to HR's. What he did this year was on a historic level, while the rest of his numbers were excellent. He had I think the 2nd highest k-rate of his career and didn't give up many more hits than he has the rest of his career. As I mentioned earlier, it was probably a fluke (tipping his pitches or something) and I wouldn't expect it to happen again next year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cioe View Post
    Dombrowski's Rondon talk says to me more than anything that he hasn't learned anything even after being burned by 'quality arm' after 'quality arm.'

    Yes, Bruce Rondon throws hard. But he is wild and his strikeouts aren't at the level where you put up with the walks. To talk about him for a high leverage role is just dumb to me at this point.
    Or it's simple posturing. He doesn't want to appear desperate to an agent can drive up the price on whoever they may go after.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cioe View Post
    Dombrowski's Rondon talk says to me more than anything that he hasn't learned anything even after being burned by 'quality arm' after 'quality arm.'

    Yes, Bruce Rondon throws hard. But he is wild and his strikeouts aren't at the level where you put up with the walks. To talk about him for a high leverage role is just dumb to me at this point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gehringer_2 View Post
    29 IP above A ball. I'm having trouble suppressing flashbacks to Ryan Perry.
    Or Cruceta, Bautista, Sborz, Dolsi, Beltran, Glover, Bazardo, Figaro, Rincon, Schlereth, Oliveros, Marte, Ruffin, Ortega, Putkonen ...

    Pretty much all of those guys had the big arms that Dombrowski loves, and none of them have amounted to ****. The only partial success stories he's had since Zumaya have been Alburquerque and Villareal. That's it.
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    My vote is for not having a closer. I don't mean a closer by commitee I mean not even thinking about it. Treat the ninth like the eighth.
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    If we stay in house, I think Alburquerque is the best bet.

    Through FA, I think they'd have interest in someone like Ryan Madson if they aren't comfortable with in house options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cioe View Post
    Or Cruceta, Bautista, Sborz, Dolsi, Beltran, Glover, Bazardo, Figaro, Rincon, Schlereth, Oliveros, Marte, Ruffin, Ortega, Putkonen ...

    Pretty much all of those guys had the big arms that Dombrowski loves, and none of them have amounted to ****. The only partial success stories he's had since Zumaya have been Alburquerque and Villareal. That's it.
    Almost none of those guys were similarly rated prospects to Rondon though. Fwiw though, I agree with your general premise that Rondon isn't ready. Too many walks period

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nastradamus View Post
    Almost none of those guys were similarly rated prospects to Rondon though. Fwiw though, I agree with your general premise that Rondon isn't ready. Too many walks period
    Maybe I don't know enough top 10 lists, but it strikes me that Rondon was sort of a dark horse, 5-15 kind of prospect. Schlereth and Ruffin were ranked better than that at the very least. Rondon's numbers don't look all that different from any of those guys.
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    Default Hmm...

    I would really like to see Al-Al given a chance to win the job in spring training. I think that they will probably announce an open competition between people already in the organization and a couple of free agent veterans with closing experience. Beyond elite level closers - who are paid way too much money - it seems like it's a yearly crap shoot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cioe View Post
    Maybe I don't know enough top 10 lists, but it strikes me that Rondon was sort of a dark horse, 5-15 kind of prospect. Schlereth and Ruffin were ranked better than that at the very least. Rondon's numbers don't look all that different from any of those guys.
    That's mostly fair, but a guy who can top 100 offers a little something extra IMO. I feel like not lot of those guys completely fail. Either way, I don't feel he's ready to close. I'd like him to be our 4th or 5th RH RP next year as a specialized weapon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cioe View Post
    Maybe I don't know enough top 10 lists, but it strikes me that Rondon was sort of a dark horse, 5-15 kind of prospect. Schlereth and Ruffin were ranked better than that at the very least. Rondon's numbers don't look all that different from any of those guys.
    If I'm not mistaken, Rondon was never really highly-rated because of his control issues.

    2008 - 0.4 walks/inning
    2009 - 1.0 walks/inning
    2010 - 0.5 walks/inning
    2011 - 0.9 walks/inning
    2012 - 0.5 walks/inning

    Unfortunately, you can't really tell if this is something he has cleaned up yet or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nastradamus View Post
    Rondon is an interesting one. He could be anything from Ryan Perry to Zumaya to a Craig Kimbrel/Aroldis Chapman type. I'd rather ease him in as a 7th inning type to start at least. Let Al Al close I say. Villareal can compete if he's back to what he was most of the year.
    I hope its this one. I would rather spend money on a 2 hole OF.

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    I think the bullpen for 2013 goes something like this;

    Al-Al and Rhondon will get a good looking at during spring training. The Tigers plan A is likely some "closer" will show up before the end of spring training out of the current veteran crop (Coke, Benoit, Dotel) but Leyland wouldn't be shy about giving it to Rhondon or Al-Al if they can prove to Leyland they deserve it (plan B). The Tigers bullpen looks like it has plenty of good arms going into spring training and that does not even include the possiblity of a pleasant suprise from Schlereth, Downs or Villarreal.

    I'd be shocked if the Tigers spent $5M or more to get a "closer" when they have plenty of candidates on the staff already. Also I think the Tigers might bottom feed for a extra bullpen arm (plan C) that might be had for cheap that might be coming back from an injury. The problem is that I think other teams will pay Soria or Madson more than the Tigers will be willing to pay them, so please don't get your hopes up that the Tigers will spend big money to get a proven closer who's comeback is uncertain.

    Plan D is simple, nothing works in spring traning and then Dombrowski will work the phones before bringing the team north for the regular season to get someone.
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    The Tigers had 1 reliable arm in the bullpen in the playoffs: Phil Coke. Coke has never been good for more than two months at a time. They need one lock down arm (Soria) and another decent reliever for me to feel good about their bullpen next season.

    Also need a LOOGY, but I think Oliver could end up being okay. If Clay Rapada can be remotely effective, I (even as the biggest Oliver hater there is) don't see why Oliver can't be.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cioe View Post
    Dombrowski's Rondon talk says to me more than anything that he hasn't learned anything even after being burned by 'quality arm' after 'quality arm.'

    Yes, Bruce Rondon throws hard. But he is wild and his strikeouts aren't at the level where you put up with the walks. To talk about him for a high leverage role is just dumb to me at this point.
    Perhaps he's not talking to you but to all the other GM's out there.
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    I took DD's (& Leyland's) comments on the whole as:

    1) Avila, Scherzier, AJax, Porcello, Coke, Boesch, etc all getting big raises this year which, combined with Jhonny/Dotel's ~ $1.5M bumps and VMart's $13M coming back (~1/2 got paid by insurance in '12), means payroll is already falt even with Valverde, Inge, Delmon, Laird coming off the books

    2) I do not know what my budget is next year yet

    3) I think I can increase budget next year but if I do priorities 1 & 1A are corner OF and Anibal Sanchez

    4) Therefore, I do not think I have any hope of signing a Soriano level closer and feel better about taking the Tampa route with someone emerging then spending 2/$8-10 on Soria, Broxton, etc.

    I honestly think next year they plan/hope to have a pen of:
    Benoit
    AA
    Coke
    Dotel
    Rondon
    Villareal
    Smyly (would assume they resign Sanchez)

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    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysthrowheat View Post
    The Tigers had 1 reliable arm in the bullpen in the playoffs: Phil Coke.
    We don't know if that's correct, because we didn't get into our pen much at all because of strong starting pitching. Dotel pitched well, as did Al Al in limited action. And we never even saw Villarreal. Clearly Leyland rode Coke's hot hand, as he should have. But that doesn't mean others weren't reliable -- outside of Valverde and maybe Benoit.
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    MLBtraderumors has us linked to Ryan Madsen. Interesting, but I'd probably lean towards someone not coming off an injury.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysthrowheat View Post
    The Tigers had 1 reliable arm in the bullpen in the playoffs.
    Eh, very small sample size. Who's to say someone else wouldn't appear as reliable as Coke with more innings? Who's to say that Coke wouldn't continue to falter like he finally did by the end of the series? If you want to talk about the reliability of the pen going forward, let's talk about how it performed during the season - and throw most of that out, as well. The bullpen varies so widely from year to year and it's such a big part of the game now. I can't imagine trying to make sense of it. Starting pitching? Get stud pitchers. Relief pitching? Pray.
    I love the Detroit Tigers.

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