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Reconstruction

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The recent article on DSR that "improved" the Tigers in 15 minutes by trading for players like Mike Piazza made me laugh, but it made me ask myself "What would I do to improve this team?" Obviously, offense is the top concern - so here's what I would do.

Get Brad Wilkerson, who is only signed through 2003 with the Expos. Brad will give you 30 doubles, 20 home runs and steal 15+ bases while playing any outfield position. Ideally, I'd like to see him replace Alex Sanchez in center. We could use Alex as a utility player and pinch runner.

Sign ultra-productive David Ortiz. Ortiz only signed a one year contract with Boston in 2003. He is a patient hitter with great power and has been very good in limited at bats this season. We can play him at first base everyday and trade Carlos Pena to the highest bidder in the off-season.

Ink Tony Graffanino to a contract and let him play second base everyday. I'm one of the few who thinks Tony is good enough to play every day. He certainly would be far more productive at 2nd than Omar Infante or Warren Morris. Morris can platoon at 2nd with Graffanino and Graffanino can play shortstop when Ramon needs a day off. I'd rather sign Luis Castillo this off-season, but his drastic decrease in stolen bases has me concerned, plus there will be many teams bidding for his services.

Offer Shane Loux and Fernando Rodney to the Angels for Jeff DaVanon. DaVanon can start in LF until Cody Ross is ready to take over full time. Ross has been on fire in Toledo lately and is extremely young, so we should not give up on him any time soon. DaVanon can steal bases, hit for decent power and draws walks.

Greg Myers' contract expires with Toronto after this season. Sign him to a one year contract and let him start only against righties. Start Ben Petrick against lefties. Give Brandon Inge and Maxim St. Pierre all year to develop in Toledo. If Inge doesn't make strides next season, release him or trade him to the highest bidder.

Utilize Dmitri Young strictly as a DH. He is a huge liability in the field. My defense would be:

C - Greg Myers

1B - David Ortiz

2B - Tony Graffanino

SS - Ramon Santiago

3B - Eric Munson

LF - Bobby Higginson

CF - Brad Wilkerson

RF - Jeff DaVanon

DH - Dmitri Young

Bench

Craig Monroe (play against lefties).

Ben Petrick

Kevin Witt

Cody Ross

Rayner Bautista

Rotation

Jeremy Bonderman

Nate Cornejo

Wilfredo Ledezma

Kenny Baugh

Kyle Sleeth (Bonderman did it last year)

This is not a flashy or expensive team. We'd score a ton more runs and would be back on the road to respectability.

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I like your ideas.. at least you're not just "waiting" for things to happen. I'm not ready to give up on Pena yet though.

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I based this "reconstruction" upon the assumption that we're not gonna break the bank to attempt to sign guys like Vlad the Impaler, Luis Castillo, etc. Poor teams like the Tigers can't throw around the $$$$ that the Yanks and BoSox light their cigars with. :classic:

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Generally speaking, I like your ideas, although I think it's extremely wishful thinking and would be another case of the Detroit rush by thinking Sleeth could pitch for us next year. I also think that it may be wishful thinking that Baugh could begin next season with us, although I would expect to see him next year.

I'd like to see Cody Ross repeat AAA, at least at the start of next year. He's young and the last I checked (which was about a month ago, so things may have changed) he wasn't exactly tearing down the house in Toledo.

I don't know anything about Rayner Bautista other than the fact that he's in our minor league system, so I can't comment on him.

Aside from the Sleeth, Baugh, Ross prescences on our opening day roster.....seems that you have solid and feasible ideas.

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Originally posted by DET Mr Malefic

Generally speaking, I like your ideas, although I think it's extremely wishful thinking and would be another case of the Detroit rush by thinking Sleeth could pitch for us next year. I also think that it may be wishful thinking that Baugh could begin next season with us, although I would expect to see him next year.

I'd like to see Cody Ross repeat AAA, at least at the start of next year. He's young and the last I checked (which was about a month ago, so things may have changed) he wasn't exactly tearing down the house in Toledo.

I don't know anything about Rayner Bautista other than the fact that he's in our minor league system, so I can't comment on him.

Aside from the Sleeth, Baugh, Ross prescences on our opening day roster.....seems that you have solid and feasible ideas.

Ross has been tearing the cover off the ball since being sent back to Toledo. Bautista is basically the only guy that has proven he can hit at Erie. I think he would be a better utility guy than Omar Infante. I agree that Baugh and Sleeth being in the rotation at the beginning of next year depends on a lot of things going right. If they don't shine in Spring Training, or Baugh's health takes a step back, you could always put Roney and Knotts in the rotation. Maybe even Henkel if he's healthy.

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Originally posted by Yoda

I like your ideas.. at least you're not just "waiting" for things to happen. I'm not ready to give up on Pena yet though.

I wouldn't give up on Pena yet either. I no longer have a great deal of optimism about him but he needs another year before we call him a bust. Ortiz suffered some growing pains along the way himself.

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A lot of assumptions will have to be made with regards to budget and how much money they will spend. First move is to make a decision on Infante/Santiago. I'm not talking about who will play SS in Detroit. Make a decision stick with one and let him play the full year in Toledo.

First move is sign veteran 2nd baseman Fernando Vina from St Louis. St Louis is not going to pick up his option because they want to stick with Hart. Vina in his career has a OBP over .350, very good plate discipline and a career avg of .285. This guy would be perfect as a leadoff hitter, or a #2 hitter who can move runners along. I imagine with the injury Vina had this year he would break the bank with a contract. A 2 year deal for 7 mil or so.

Second move is a bit bigger and try and sign Orlando Cabrera. The Expos are not going to pick up his option because they don't have any cash. He plays SS, turns 29 in November so the guy still has a couple good years left. His average has been steadily climbing, shows good patience. Lately he has shown some pop in the bat. Might be good for 10-13 homers. I think he might garner around 6 mil a year on the open market.

Those 2 moves right there have strengthened the team up the middle. Tram gave the line of being strong up the middle but realistically they never addressed it.

The only other move I can imagine which I would be a huge fan of is hope that the White Sox don't exercise the option on a guy like Carlos Lee. He just turned 27. If the White Sox don't make the playoffs I expect a big purge. He could be that big bat from the right side that can give the Tigers 20-25 homers. The other option is signing Shannon Stewart. He would give another guy at the top of the lineup along with Vina. Right now i'm more inclined to go with Lee. So with those moves which might cost 16 mil for the year. This is what the lineup would be.

2B Vina

RF Higginson

LF Lee

1B Young

3B Munson

SS Cabrera

DH Witt

C ??? fight till the death

CF Sanchez

Notice I don't have Pena in the lineup. As far as i'm concerned I don't care if he has only played 160 games with the Tigers. He has not brought any power to this lineup, the guy has an inflated opinion of himself see "gold glove this year."If they can package Pena, Infante or Santiago. It is possible to get a couple prospects back and still have a better lineup this current year.

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I like Franks ideas the best because I think getting Vina and Cabrera might be too much to ask, just cause a lot of other teams will be bidding for their services.

2 things though:

1. I doubt we can get DeVannon with just Loux and Rodney.

2. I still believe in Pena, and am not a huge Ortiz fan. The guy is way too injury prone, and I think Pena will finally have his breakout year next season.

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I almost put a fist through the wall when I learned that the Twins gave away Kielty w/o the Tigers getting involved.

Shannon Stewart is a nice, declining player. A three way trade could have brought more to the Twins.

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We debate these things alot as to whom to get and how to do it but I have simply lost faith that Ilitch really wants to build a winner here in the short term. You can pretty much rule out players like Vina and Stewart because they are veterans who are in demand and no veteran will come here with the current state of affairs. Really all the Tigers offer is a chance for someone who wants to play everyday and doesn't really put a premium on winning.

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Originally posted by ghandi

We debate these things alot as to whom to get and how to do it but I have simply lost faith that Ilitch really wants to build a winner here in the short term. You can pretty much rule out players like Vina and Stewart because they are veterans who are in demand and no veteran will come here with the current state of affairs. Really all the Tigers offer is a chance for someone who wants to play everyday and doesn't really put a premium on winning.

I agree with you on strongly on all points but Illitch. He wants to win, he has just made bad Front Office hires who have destroyed the organization and he knows he can't spend them into contention or a box office draw.

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I agree with you on strongly on all points but Illitch. He wants to win, he has just made bad Front Office hires who have destroyed the organization and he knows he can't spend them into contention or a box office draw, blah, blah, blah, blah...

Go find a NEW team to route for!! I mean, no one is making you like the, and/or follow the Tigers. I am sure there are a lot of teams out there, that fit your "best wishes". I mean, if you live in DETROIT, you got WGN and TBS -- which are three teams, right there. I am sure you will find that team, BEST for you.

TAKE CARE

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Building a winning organization that will hopefully and eventually win a World Series isn't built by just signing alot of mediocre players. That way won't work -- it's been tried and it has failed.

The way to win is to sign a superstar (at least an all-star player) and build around him. Luis Castillo is the only free agent player I'd really want since Vlad seems too far fetched for this organization.

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Originally posted by Ranger...

Luis Castillo is the only free agent player I'd really want since Vlad seems too far fetched for this organization.

I understand what you're saying...

Though, I don't think it's "impossible" to land Vladimir Guerrero, it remains more probable that we won't. I think the impossible remains to be seen, but I agree that they need to obtain a few free agents -- this winter. I live in Atlanta, and I use to love watching Damion Moss pitch -- he'd be a nice. There are some good players :bandit:

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Originally posted by JonBenke

Go find a NEW team to route for!! I mean, no one is making you like the, and/or follow the Tigers. I am sure there are a lot of teams out there, that fit your "best wishes". I mean, if you live in DETROIT, you got WGN and TBS -- which are three teams, right there. I am sure you will find that team, BEST for you.

TAKE CARE

Why are you telling keglerv to find a new team? Everyone has a different opinion on Illitch but we all follow the Tigers and to tell someone to find a new team is ridiculous.

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wilkerson will be arb elg, he's not a fa, and the spos' while cheap, would be utter fools not to make him a legitimate offer - that said i'd love to have him the fold.

i alson don't see much sense in closing the book on pena at this point. first of all, unless he suddenly turns it on in a big way, he'll have virutally no off-season value. basically were stuck seeing what he can do for at least another season imo.

as for graffanino, do you really think it's wise to acquire 30-something infielders who really can't hit right handed pitchers? i guess as a platoon with morris they could be adequate, but now were spending two roster spots on one starting second baseman - it just seems like we could allocate those spots a little more efficiently.

players like ortiz (doubtful he'll be quite as nice a bargain) and myers were exactly the type of stop-gaps we should have been filling in entering this season (particularly since we were apparently willing to cut bait with salaried players like paquette and easley) - and it'll be interesting to see who's available in terms of fa's on the cheap, and the 6 year minor league fa class - anyone else notice billy mcmillon just being straight solid again...

if kyle sleeth appears in detroit next season (as a pitcher on the 25 man roster) i'd be shocked.

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Originally posted by ghandi

We debate these things alot as to whom to get and how to do it but I have simply lost faith that Ilitch really wants to build a winner here in the short term. You can pretty much rule out players like Vina and Stewart because they are veterans who are in demand and no veteran will come here with the current state of affairs. Really all the Tigers offer is a chance for someone who wants to play everyday and doesn't really put a premium on winning.

That's the trick right? Getting established veteran hitters.

Almost all of our hitting prospects are at the class A level. We absolutely need to pick up veteran hitters that will help us until those class A guys get promoted, and hopefully afterward too.

No doubt Lee Rightmeyer, Bobby Kielty would have been PERFECT for this team. Its a shame we didn't get him.

Anyone in decline is suspect. We don't want a rehash of our 90s days, signing veterans who were too far past their expiration date. Shannon Stewart can't run the way he used to. Still a good bat, but can't steal bases anymore. If Luis Castillo is losing speed, that's not a good thing either.

I like the thinking of picking up young guys on the way up. I'm sure Dombrowski is thinking that was too. I like the thinking behind Brad Wilkerson and Tony Graffanino.

We should at least sign one quality veteran free agent with name recognition, though. Cabrera, Guerrero, Vina, Carlos Lee, etc. This year proves that the Tigers' rebuilding needs to be moderated by some quality veterans who can make the difference in ballgames. The team lost 120 games the previous season. Don't shrink the payroll. No more AAA team. We will have salary freed up, let's use it. If we don't sign at least one quality veteran free agent with name recognition, it's seriously time to depose Ilitch as he is not interested in making a Tigers game entertaining for the fans.

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Sid, I was saying that if the Twins took "only" the declining Shannon Stewart for Kielty, then we should have been able to get in on a deal in a three way that gave more value to the Twins.

I don't want Stewart, neither should the Twins. He has slowed down, has no arm, and is declining. Today, even if you forget about salary or future value, Keilty > Stewart in my book.

For future value purposes, I think that Kielty is a better fit in Detroit than any other positional player now on our MLB roster except for Munson. I also would have traded any pitcher on our MLB roster other than JB for Kielty.

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Lee, I completely agree with you. I think you read my post and you thought I was suggesting that you wanted to bring Shannon Stewart to Detroit. That's not what I meant to say at all- I meant to praise you for wanting to get Kielty to Detroit! I know that you value Kielty over Stewart and that you wanted to get Kielty in Detroit, not Stewart.

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Or the Tigers could take some calculated risks, and promote Granderson and Don Kelly (SS) to the majors, and bat them 1-2 in the lineup.

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Okay, here we go:

"Get Brad Wilkerson, who is only signed through 2003 with the Expos. Brad will give you 30 doubles, 20 home runs and steal 15+ bases while playing any outfield position. Ideally, I'd like to see him replace Alex Sanchez in center. We could use Alex as a utility player and pinch runner."

Wilkerson is decent, but he's not exactly a world-beater. At least this suggestion could actually happen, though.

"Sign ultra-productive David Ortiz. Ortiz only signed a one year contract with Boston in 2003. He is a patient hitter with great power and has been very good in limited at bats this season. We can play him at first base everyday and trade Carlos Pena to the highest bidder in the off-season."

Yes, let's trade one of our most talented players while he's still very young and his value is at an all-time low! Why didn't I think of this? Buy high, sell low...that's how you construct a championship team alright...impatience is a virtue!

"Ink Tony Graffanino to a contract and let him play second base everyday. I'm one of the few who thinks Tony is good enough to play every day. He certainly would be far more productive at 2nd than Omar Infante or Warren Morris. Morris can platoon at 2nd with Graffanino and Graffanino can play shortstop when Ramon needs a day off. I'd rather sign Luis Castillo this off-season, but his drastic decrease in stolen bases has me concerned, plus there will be many teams bidding for his services."

Luis Castillo is horribly overrated, glad we at least agree about that much. Tony G. is an incredible part-time player, but I think you have to watch out for Shane Halter supersub syndrome with him, too...it's a little easier for him to come off the Sox' bench and be the little guy that isn't expected to do much than to hold down an everyday job. I'm not sure how much better he'd be than Morris.

"Offer Shane Loux and Fernando Rodney to the Angels for Jeff DaVanon. DaVanon can start in LF until Cody Ross is ready to take over full time. Ross has been on fire in Toledo lately and is extremely young, so we should not give up on him any time soon. DaVanon can steal bases, hit for decent power and draws walks."

So, they just release a talented pitcher like Mickey Callaway...and their going to trade us a powerful young outfielder for a soft-tossing, aging starting pitching prospect and an absolute piece of AAA garbage?

"Greg Myers' contract expires with Toronto after this season. Sign him to a one year contract and let him start only against righties. Start Ben Petrick against lefties. Give Brandon Inge and Maxim St. Pierre all year to develop in Toledo. If Inge doesn't make strides next season, release him or trade him to the highest bidder."

Greg Myers has had a nice run, but at some point it has to end, or he has to get injured. Do we really want to sign a guy that old? We should be looking for SOLUTIONS on this team, not stopgaps.

Expecting Rayner Bautista to make the bench is a stretch.

Expecting Sleeth to make the rotation WITHOUT EVER PITCHING IN THE MINORS is even more of a stretch.

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Totally agree that Tony Graffanino might not be all that. But he will probably be a better value for us than Luis Castillo, given what we'll have to offer Castillo.

Totally agree about David Ortiz. He's good, but we gotta give Pena one more year.

Totally agree about Greg Myers. A platoon of Myers and Petrick would flat out suck. Myers is too old and Petrick hasn't proven anything, his supposed talent is all speculation. After all of our catcher problems this year, we absolutely need to sign a young catcher who is a proven hitter at some level.

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Glad we're on the same page, Sid. Tony G would be great to have on the bench; anything to keep the declining Luis Castillo (the Brian Hunter of second basemen) off this team.

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We should be looking for SOLUTIONS on this team, not stopgaps.

actually i wouldn't have had a problem inserting a number of quality stop-gaps at a number of positions this year while the "core" or what-have-you, continues to develop in the minors. granted munson and pena needed to be in the majors entering 2003 for various reasons, but what did we have to suggest that infante was even remotely ready, or santiago for that matter.

i also wouldn't call loux a soft-tossing pitching prospect - the gun was fairly consistent with what i saw in 2000, and what my friend saw earlier this year in toledo. frankly i was somewhat impressed by shane's stuff - he topped out at 96 (which olerud promptly deposited out in left-center) and was consistently in the low 90's, with a mean velocity probably around 92-93 mph. granted the end results were very villafuerte-like, but i was somewhat pleased.

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