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2014-15 Off-season Thread

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Plenty seem to want to trade our proven, but expensive(ish) SPs for young, cost controlled talent. This is exactly what we did with the Fister trade. A future trade may net better results than Ray/Krol gave us, but its no more of a guarantee. We lost Fister and Smyly and will now lose Scherzer. Trading starting pitching is the last thing I would do, unless I got a great offer. I don't see the latter happening.

Nobody wants to trade starting pitching without getting a good offer. It's just fun to explore the possibilities. Or we could spend all winter just talking about what 34-year-old free agents to sign

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A few notes, because I haven't checked this page for a few pages until now:

  • Why on earth would anyone want to trade Sanchez? Even considering his injury this year, he was almost worth it. His FIP this year was still elite, and I wouldn't be surprised if next year, were he to stay healthy, he receives a few Cy Young votes again. His contract is more than reasonable.
  • Austin Jackson's offense will be difficult to replace. I realize that this may sound shocking to people on here (especially Shelton), but his OPS+ while on the Tigers was 102, so he provided above-average offense for CF. Even Jackie Bradley on defense might not make up for the offensive dropoff.
  • I'm still not convinced the Fister trade was all that bad. Fister's stuff continued to decline this entire year, and he may be garbage next year. I view it as somewhat of a miracle as to how he managed to look like a dominant pitcher this year ERA-wise. His FIP and K/9 suggest a substantial dropoff next year. I'm far more concerned about trading away Smyly. It made sense this year, because Smyly was going to reach his innings limit and not help us in the playoffs (whereas Price would), but I think long-term, that's going to hurt this team much more that losing Fister for one good season.
  • I think the Avila to third discussion should be taken seriously enough to warrant further investigation, such as trying it out in Spring Training next year. He's the kind of hitter that is better than he seems because his value comes from OBP and SLG at a defensive position...and TV broadcasts still flash that poor batting average up there each time. Avila was only slightly below average offensively as far as catchers go this year, and his defense was good enough. Also, a lot of former catchers improve offensively when moved out of the role. Getting him out of that crouch every day will help his endurance and help him focus on hitting. I'm not willing to let one interleague game performance cloud my judgment here. Let him get used to the position over the winter and in spring, and at least see how he does.
  • This team does not need a lot of tweaks to remain competitive. It won 90 games this year with a lot of bad luck and injuries. Simply coming back with the same roster minus the injuries and a few bullpen tweaks could make us a 95-win team. It is silly to think our window is closing. Torii leaving allows us to move Davis/Dirks/JD to the corners and focus on a decent-fielding CF, but I think that's all we really need for now, unless Avila really does retire/move to 3B. In that case, I'd rather sign something like a half-time, defensive-oriented catcher to help break in McCann slowly. I wouldn't drop big bucks for Martin. Our rotation is fine the way it is for next year. Simple luck/health may help our bullpen next year, but I'd still try to pay for someone like Miller.

Trading Sanchez would be only at the right price. His health is a factor, so if the return isn't good enough, then I agree, he shouldn't be moved.

Nick C spent a full year at Triple A. He should have been ready. McCann is 24, played SEC baseball, and has a year of Triple A under his belt. The only reason he's not ready is because he doesn't have the requisite power or hitting ability. He has plenty of defense.

As for Avila to third, makes no sense to me. He has much more value as a catcher. I am not sure that he should be medically cleared to play in the future. I hope for his sake that he is not cleared.

Edited by cruzer1

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Many of my Ohio friends are convinced Victor wants to go back to the Indians.

I don't see it. Aren't they already using Santana & Swisher at 1B & DH? I don't see Santana behind the plate or at 3B. I don't see Swisher in the OF.

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Because he's very marketable. Obviously you don't trade him just to trade him, but if you can get a good outfielder for him and sign a free agent pitcher, it might be worth it.

Anyone who wants Sanchez bad enough to give up a good CF for him will probably just sign one of the many SP's available in free agency.

I see Sanchez as as much of the competitive core of this team as Verlander, Cabrera, and Price. He's signed to a good contract to top it off, so there's very little reason to move him.

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I don't understand why you guys want to move someone who can barely hit enough to hold down a traditionally weak offensive starting position like catcher, where you can at least justify Avila's lack of offensive production, to a position where you need to get some OPS out of. He will never hit enough, nor would he ever be good enough defensively, to justify putting him at 3rd.

If Avila can't catch, he's not a MLB player.

We want to move him because we don't want to see him forced to end his career prematurely and we don't want him keep seeing get the sense knocked out of him to the point where it damages him permanently.

As to ability, he's a career .792 OPS against RHP, and if he doesn't keep getting the **** knocked out of him behind the plate he should improve as a hitter.

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Not advocating any of these moves, just thinking out loud

They could let V Mart walk (make the QO obviously), trade Sanchez to the Cubs for an MLB ready 3B (Kris Bryant?!?! I can dream). Put new guy at 3B move Nick to first (not saying he would be good here) with Miggy at DH. Sign McCarthy to replace Sanchez. Sign one of Aoki, Melky or Markakis for RF and Span for CF. I'd look into trading for Mark Trumbo for the bench, don't go crazy with who is offered though. Then sign pretty much any reliever you can (I don't think they get Robertson, I would guess he wants to close and that he stays in NY).

That would put the roster at:

LF JD Martinez

CF Denard Span

RF Aoki/Melky/Markakis

1B Nick Castellanos

2B Ian Kinsler

SS Jose Iglesias

3B Guy from Cubs (Bryant?!?!)

C Alex Avila/James McCann

DH Miguel Cabrera

SP David Price

SP Justin Verlander

SP Rick Porcello

SP Brandon McCarthy

SP Kyle Lobstein/Robbie Ray/FA

Bullpen:

Al Al

Chamberlain

Rondon

Andrew Miller

Gregerson

Crain

Hochevar

Neshek

Lindstrom

Bench:

Davis

Trumbo

Collins

Suarez

I really just put names of guys I thought wouldn't be trash in the bullpen. We'll see what happens.

Edited by Jeff6851

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Anyone who wants Sanchez bad enough to give up a good CF for him will probably just sign one of the many SP's available in free agency.

I see Sanchez as as much of the competitive core of this team as Verlander, Cabrera, and Price. He's signed to a good contract to top it off, so there's very little reason to move him.

After the first week or so, the best will probably be taken, helping Sanchez's value. I would need a huge return (I would love some of the little Cubbies) to trade him. Also, his contract makes him one of the more movable pieces.

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We want to move him because we don't want to see him forced to end his career prematurely and we don't want him keep seeing get the sense knocked out of him to the point where it damages him permanently.

As to ability, he's a career .792 OPS against RHP, and if he doesn't keep getting the **** knocked out of him behind the plate he should improve as a hitter.

Yes. Also, the fact that he can be had for $5.5 million next year means that if he can play even passable defense at another position that is not 1B/DH, he could be a net-asset to this team. I think his offense would improve if he weren't getting worn out behind the plate.

He will be 28 next year, which well within the age range in which you can see a bounce-back season. He has an incredibly high ceiling, as evidenced by 2011. He seems like the kind of guy the A's would experiment on, turning him into a 1B/DH-type and him turning around and posting an .850 OPS.

I have no idea if he has the ability to play 3B, but it seems quite a few former catchers have been turned into 3B (besides Inge). He obviously has the arm. And can his range possibly be worse than Castellanos? Not saying it would work, but it's worth testing him out.

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Anyone who wants Sanchez bad enough to give up a good CF for him will probably just sign one of the many SP's available in free agency.

I see Sanchez as as much of the competitive core of this team as Verlander, Cabrera, and Price. He's signed to a good contract to top it off, so there's very little reason to move him.

yup, Sanchez is good and has a good contract. That's why he has trade value. There are a some good starters available in free agency but only three in Sanchez's class and I think there will be a lot of demand for them.

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Also, his contract makes him one of the more movable pieces.

True, but we would then be tasked with finding another good SP to fill that hole with a reasonable contract.

The only way you deal Sanchez right now is if you have some reason to believe his injury problems will get worse, IMO.

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I don't understand why you guys want to move someone who can barely hit enough to hold down a traditionally weak offensive starting position like catcher, where you can at least justify Avila's lack of offensive production, to a position where you need to get some OPS out of. He will never hit enough, nor would he ever be good enough defensively, to justify putting him at 3rd.

If Avila can't catch, he's not a MLB player.

I agree. Catcher is his only position.

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Not advocating any of these moves, just thinking out loud

They could let V Mart walk (make the QO obviously), trade Sanchez to the Cubs for an MLB ready 3B (Kris Bryant?!?! I can dream). Put new guy at 3B move Nick to first (not saying he would be good here) with Miggy at DH. Sign McCarthy to replace Sanchez. Sign one of Aoki, Melky or Markakis for RF and Span for CF. I'd look into trading for Mark Trumbo for the bench, don't go crazy with who is offered though. Then sign pretty much any reliever you can (I don't think they get Robertson, I would guess he wants to close and that he stays in NY).

That would put the roster at:

LF JD Martinez

CF Denard Span

RF Aoki/Melky/Markakis

1B Nick Castellanos

2B Ian Kinsler

SS Jose Iglesias

3B Guy from Cubs (Bryant?!?!)

C Alex Avila/James McCann

DH Miguel Cabrera

SP David Price

SP Justin Verlander

SP Rick Porcello

SP Brandon McCarthy

SP Kyle Lobstein/Robbie Ray/FA

Bullpen:

Al Al

Chamberlain

Rondon

Andrew Miller

Gregerson

Crain

Hochevar

Neshek

Lindstrom

Bench:

Davis

Trumbo

Collins

Suarez

I really just put names of guys I thought wouldn't be trash in the bullpen. We'll see what happens.

Span has a team option that is likely to get picked up.

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My wish list:

Andrew Miller 3 years 21 million

Jason Motte 1 year 2 million plus incentives

Justin Masterson 1 year 5 million plus incentives

Motte will be two years removed from Tommy John, and Masterson should bounce back from a horrible year and be a solid fifth starter.

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Kris Bryant won't be traded anytime soon. Would love to have him, but the Cubs have no reason to trade him for at least 5 years.

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Trading Sanchez would be only at the right price. His health is a factor, so if the return isn't good enough, then I agree, he shouldn't be moved.

Nick C spent a full year at Triple A. He should have been ready. McCann is 24, played SEC baseball, and has a year of Triple A under his belt. The only reason he's not ready is because he doesn't have the requisite power or hitting ability. He has plenty of defense.

As for Avila to third, makes no sense to me. He has much more value as a catcher. I am not sure that he should be medically cleared to play in the future. I hope for his sake that he is not cleared.

The question with Avila is not whether he is going to be Adrian Beltre, but whether, if the situation emerges that he has to stop catching (in which he has zero value as a catcher), you give him an opportunity to see if he can at least be a better 3b than Castellanos, which is a pretty damn low bar. That allows you to put McCann behind the plate and Castellanos in left and means you salvage some value from a player you are just otherwise going to lose to injury. Long shot - of course, but something that the org would be dumb to not at least look at.

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We will not make any changes at 1b,2b, SS, 3B, LF (unless JD goes to RF) and unless Avila's concussions are too severe to recover from, C. We need a RF, CF and if Victor leaves, a DH. Melkey in LF, JD in RF and Rajai in CF?....there just don't seem to e any good options for CF. If Victor leaves, go after Cruz?

We need a 5th starter and help in the pen. The 5th starter will be one of the kids...be it Lobstein, Farmer, Ryan, Ray or whomever.

You could sign Miller, pick up Soria's option and roll the dice with Nathan for the back end.

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I know, a guy can dream though

They also have some kids (Taylor and Souza) who are ready or close to ready for prime time. I would love to have Souza for the Tigers.

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Few people are as athletic as B. Inge was. Alex does have cat-like reflexes but only shown to be in a narrow range thus far.

I can't believe I'm reading this. What about Avila makes it worth "trying him out" at third?

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My wish list:

Andrew Miller 3 years 21 million

Jason Motte 1 year 2 million plus incentives

Justin Masterson 1 year 5 million plus incentives

Motte will be two years removed from Tommy John, and Masterson should bounce back from a horrible year and be a solid fifth starter.

I'm all for signing Miller.

If that does or doesn't happen the Tigers need to be open-minded from the beginning to the end of FA. There's been tons of guy who were game-changers that have been signed without aplomb. Uehara, Miller, Neshek, Duke. Benoit as we all know was a late signing. Rodney was late.

So many names out there.....Adams, Belisario, Crain, Joba, Albers, Hoechaever, Perez, Coke, Morales, Motte......there's plenty more. And lord knows the bullpen has plenty of opportunity for guys to re-establish themselves. The Tigers can't be like Nathan is our closer, sign an 8th inning guy, and Rondon is our 7th/8th inning guy, and we're done. That's not enough anymore, and they don't have enough left in the system to make desperate summer trades again.

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I am not sure that he should be medically cleared to play in the future. I hope for his sake that he is not cleared.

Same here, that's what I was trying to say earlier. I've got $10 (Canadian) here that says that the Tigers' team physicians will clear Avila. Big deal, who cares what they think? What is their expertise on concussions? In my opinion the science seems to be definitely tilting towards the evidence that concussion damage is cumulative, especially the "bell-rung", "seeing stars" mini-concussions that are not documented. Your first concussion seems to increase the probability of a second one, and so on. You can't be "cleared" for brain damage. Avila seems to be at the point where he almost can't sneeze without knocking himself out. Does he have CTE already? He might, it's been discovered in deceased athletes as young as 21, but you can't find out without removing his brain and examining it.

I don't ever want to see him in a baseball uniform again, because I don't want his wife to be changing his diaper when he's 58, and I don't want him to break her jaw afterwards. If he thinks he can be "cleared" he needs to read about Dave Duerson, Junior Seau, Mike Webster, Jerry Quarry and any number of other guys. This is life and death for Avila, he's the most concussion-prone baseball player I've ever heard of. Thanks Alex, nice little career, now go be a husband and a father. This is my issue for the 2014 - 2015 offseason - I don't give a **** who the team adds, my primary concern as GM would be to make sure that Avila does not play again.

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I can't believe I'm reading this. What about Avila makes it worth "trying him out" at third?

Much strike zone judgement, much power, much college 3B, much better hitter not so catcher.

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I'm all for signing Miller.

If that does or doesn't happen the Tigers need to be open-minded from the beginning to the end of FA. There's been tons of guy who were game-changers that have been signed without aplomb. Uehara, Miller, Neshek, Duke. Benoit as we all know was a late signing. Rodney was late.

So many names out there.....Adams, Belisario, Crain, Joba, Albers, Hoechaever, Perez, Coke, Morales, Motte......there's plenty more. And lord knows the bullpen has plenty of opportunity for guys to re-establish themselves. The Tigers can't be like Nathan is our closer, sign an 8th inning guy, and Rondon is our 7th/8th inning guy, and we're done. That's not enough anymore, and they don't have enough left in the system to make desperate summer trades again.

Totally agree. The offseason is the time to stock up on BP options. Even before Rondon's injury, I really thought the Tigers were one solid arm short, when there were still worthwhile risks out on the market. I know money is always a consideration, but I'd much rather them have one extra vet, keep some of the promising kids at AAA for some actual depth.

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They also have some kids (Taylor and Souza) who are ready or close to ready for prime time. I would love to have Souza for the Tigers.

We could trade a top 25 MLB pitcher. Wait...

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I'm all for signing Miller.

If that does or doesn't happen the Tigers need to be open-minded from the beginning to the end of FA. There's been tons of guy who were game-changers that have been signed without aplomb. Uehara, Miller, Neshek, Duke. Benoit as we all know was a late signing. Rodney was late.

So many names out there.....Adams, Belisario, Crain, Joba, Albers, Hoechaever, Perez, Coke, Morales, Motte......there's plenty more. And lord knows the bullpen has plenty of opportunity for guys to re-establish themselves. The Tigers can't be like Nathan is our closer, sign an 8th inning guy, and Rondon is our 7th/8th inning guy, and we're done. That's not enough anymore, and they don't have enough left in the system to make desperate summer trades again.

Tommy John recovery takes two years for relievers, so I would count Rondon and Houchaver as out.

Motte will be two years removed that's why I like him as a low-risk high reward signing.

I still think signing some sort of fifth starter, and there are a ton of midrange guys like Liriano, Santana, Masterson that wouldn't break the bank. Tigers shy away from these types of moves teams like the A's make every year

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