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2014-15 Off-season Thread

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After watching the way Castellanos moved this year, and based on what I've read about his experience in the minors, I can't imagine moving him back to the OF. He was a bad 3b-man, he might even be worse in LF. Moving him there does not solve any problems. If he's to remain a Tiger, better hope he improves with more PT (not unreasonable) and with Iglesias helping to cover ground at SS.

There are some attractive 3b FA candidates this year: Pablo, Headley and Hanly, but unless you can trade Castellanos for a young, cheap answer in CF, then you are taking one of our few cheap players and replacing him with another 8-figure guy.

I think he gets at least another year to improve and I think that is the right call. Nick was a SS in High School. He only played 3b for a year and a half, before being moved to the OF for a year and a half.

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A few thoughts about 2015:

-Between Price and Kinsler, would the bounty received in a trade equate to fixing our CF problem and adding two BP arms? They both served their purpose this season, we have other holes and guys coming up who can fill theirs.

-Between Suarez, Perez, Travis and Romine is there a 2B solution there in 2015 to replace Kinsler?

-Assuming Lobstein is penciled in for a rotation slot (correctly or not), and that we are losing Max to FA, does he and one or both of VerHagen or Ryan have enough upside to bet on as the back-end of the rotation?

-Someone will pay Victor and I'm not convinced it will be DD. Illich's pockets are deep, we know this, but how long will the Tigers continue to spend this kind of money on payroll?

-Is Ausmus taking too many cues from Lamont on in-game decisions? Some of the moves he makes feel so much like Leyland.

-DD needs to release Nathan and let Coke walk, let's see if he will.

-McCann and Avila need to be the catchers next year if Alex is cleared to play. Coughing up a draft pick and $8M per for Martin after a rare good offensive year is, well, offensive.

-DD needs to be critical of the way his BP is being coached/trained, and take a good look at the body of work Jones presented this year. And on that note, do whatever it takes to get Mike Henneman back into the organization even if it is eventually.

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Ok, thanks. It still doesn't seem to me like this would make them look good given the circumstances. I think it would come off as "we don't want to deal with the uncertainty of the concussion situation, so we'll just dump him" I think it would have to be a mutual decision.

Maybe they could meet him halfway and buy him out for $2.5M or something. It's a goodwill gesture, not a hey-we-need-to-dump-this-concussed-guy move, he gets some more $$ and we say good luck. Then he's free to try to play elsewhere or just retire.

I get that we don't want a PR disaster on our hands, but the bottom line is we can't depend on Avila for a full season, and it's a bad decision to pay him $5M under that scenario when we could sign someone more reliable for that same price. Complicating things, of course, is having his dad as Asst. GM.

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We definitely need to improve defense, and we definitely need to improve the bullpen. I don't think anyone can argue against those points. I also believe that one glaring hole we need to address is in middle-level and bench talent. That part of the team, particularly the latter, is what directly ended our season. This team has been way, way too top-heavy for too long.

It's bad enough that we had to rely on Romine and Kelly to put in the starting lineup as it is. But doesn't it tell you everything you need to know about our bench that, with two outs in the ninth and the winning run on second, the Orioles walked a rookie 3B with a -1.5 WAR—the winning run, no less!—just so they could get at any one of Romine/Perez/Suarez, with Carrera up after? It is absolutely horrifying that in the elimination game of a playoff, that's what we had to depend on.

So instead of bantering about what new overpriced past-their-prime stars we can trade for or sign up in the offseason, how about the Tigers put their analytics department to work to figure out which undervalued players are out there that we can snap up or trade for, for relative cheap? I am sick to death of looking down the bench and seeing a gaggle of scrubs! (We managed to find JD Martinez that way. Or maybe they got lucky on that. Who knows.)

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I wonder if there are any other guys who used to live in Al Avila's neighborhood who are potentially awesome at baseball?

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We definitely need to improve defense, and we definitely need to improve the bullpen. I don't think anyone can argue against those points. I also believe that one glaring hole we need to address is in middle-level and bench talent. That part of the team, particularly the latter, is what directly ended our season. This team has been way, way too top-heavy for too long.

It's bad enough that we had to rely on Romine and Kelly to put in the starting lineup as it is. But doesn't it tell you everything you need to know about our bench that, with two outs in the ninth and the winning run on second, the Orioles walked a rookie 3B with a -1.5 WAR—the winning run, no less!—just so they could get at any one of Romine/Perez/Suarez, with Carrera up after? It is absolutely horrifying that in the elimination game of a playoff, that's what we had to depend on.

So instead of bantering about what new overpriced past-their-prime stars we can trade for or sign up in the offseason, how about the Tigers put their analytics department to work to figure out which undervalued players are out there that we can snap up or trade for, for relative cheap? I am sick to death of looking down the bench and seeing a gaggle of scrubs! (We managed to find JD Martinez that way. Or maybe they got lucky on that. Who knows.)

Chase Headley. Instantly gains you 30 runs defensively at 3B and will score at least 15 more runs than Torii did batting 2nd in the lineup.

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Maybe they could meet him halfway and buy him out for $2.5M or something. It's a goodwill gesture, not a hey-we-need-to-dump-this-concussed-guy move, he gets some more $$ and we say good luck. Then he's free to try to play elsewhere or just retire.

I get that we don't want a PR disaster on our hands, but the bottom line is we can't depend on Avila for a full season, and it's a bad decision to pay him $5M under that scenario when we could sign someone more reliable for that same price. Complicating things, of course, is having his dad as Asst. GM.

I want to add that it's simply a business decision for the Tigers to make and Alex (and his daddy) are aware that the Alex of .295 BA and .895 OPS from 2011 is long gone. In 2012 it was .243/.736 then 2013 it was .227/.693 and now for 2014 it was .218/.686. And what is scary about those numbers, is that Avila had more plate appearances in 2014 (457 PA) than 2013 (379 PA) and 2012 (434 PA). So since his breakout 2011 season, you saw what a relatively more "healthy" or "typical" Avila can do in 2014 more than in 2013 & 2012 and I'm still not really impressed.

Take a deep breath, purge Alex Avila's name from your mind. Pretend your a GM thinking about retaining a catcher named Zigga Zavila who hit .218 with a OPS of .686 for 2014 and his performance has been going down since 2011. Do you write a check for $5 million for 2015 or a goodbye check for $200K and see what else you can find on the market?

Now with the cold hard truth of the matter being said, I have ZERO problem with the Tigers giving Avila a check for $200K to buy out his contract for 2015 with Dombrowski saying to Avila and his agent "See what the market will give you, CALL US BEFORE YOU SIGN WITH ANOTHER TEAM (if you want) and the Tigers might be able to beat that. Simply put, the Tigers would be happy to have you back, just not for $5M right now."

I personally think Avila would be better situated for at least a season being a back-up/platoon player more than a everyday catcher for the time being and $5M for that kind of player is too much money to spend on Avila with the decline in performance and the concussion issues.

Just my 2 cents....

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We definitely need to improve defense, and we definitely need to improve the bullpen. I don't think anyone can argue against those points. I also believe that one glaring hole we need to address is in middle-level and bench talent. That part of the team, particularly the latter, is what directly ended our season. This team has been way, way too top-heavy for too long.

It's bad enough that we had to rely on Romine and Kelly to put in the starting lineup as it is. But doesn't it tell you everything you need to know about our bench that, with two outs in the ninth and the winning run on second, the Orioles walked a rookie 3B with a -1.5 WAR—the winning run, no less!—just so they could get at any one of Romine/Perez/Suarez, with Carrera up after? It is absolutely horrifying that in the elimination game of a playoff, that's what we had to depend on.

So instead of bantering about what new overpriced past-their-prime stars we can trade for or sign up in the offseason, how about the Tigers put their analytics department to work to figure out which undervalued players are out there that we can snap up or trade for, for relative cheap? I am sick to death of looking down the bench and seeing a gaggle of scrubs! (We managed to find JD Martinez that way. Or maybe they got lucky on that. Who knows.)

If there are plans to re-sign VMart, it's hard to envision that there is a lot more cash to go around to address these other problems. We will probably have to hope for the best on the return of Iglesias and getting some results from the scrap bin or from guys already in our system.

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Who do people think we can sign that would be better than Avila for around $5 million?

2015 FA Catchers (* 2015 option with current club)

John Buck

Ryan Doumit

Nick Hundley *

Gerald Laird

Russell Martin

Jeff Mathis *

Wil Nieves

Ronny Paulino

A.J. Pierzynski

David Ross

Geovany Soto

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I want to add that it's simply a business decision for the Tigers to make and Alex (and his daddy) are aware that the Alex of .295 BA and .895 OPS from 2011 is long gone. In 2012 it was .243/.736 then 2013 it was .227/.693 and now for 2014 it was .218/.686. And what is scary about those numbers, is that Avila had more plate appearances in 2014 (457 PA) than 2013 (379 PA) and 2012 (434 PA). So since his breakout 2011 season, you saw what a relatively more "healthy" or "typical" Avila can do in 2014 more than in 2013 & 2012 and I'm still not really impressed.

Take a deep breath, purge Alex Avila's name from your mind. Pretend your a GM thinking about retaining a catcher named Zigga Zavila who hit .218 with a OPS of .686 for 2014 and his performance has been going down since 2011. Do you write a check for $5 million for 2015 or a goodbye check for $200K and see what else you can find on the market?

Now with the cold hard truth of the matter being said, I have ZERO problem with the Tigers giving Avila a check for $200K to buy out his contract for 2015 with Dombrowski saying to Avila and his agent "See what the market will give you, CALL US BEFORE YOU SIGN WITH ANOTHER TEAM (if you want) and the Tigers might be able to beat that. Simply put, the Tigers would be happy to have you back, just not for $5M right now."

I personally think Avila would be better situated for at least a season being a back-up/platoon player more than a everyday catcher for the time being and $5M for that kind of player is too much money to spend on Avila with the decline in performance and the concussion issues.

Just my 2 cents....

Two WAR catchers are certainly worth 5 million per year. The question is his health, not his performance.

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If there are plans to re-sign VMart, it's hard to envision that there is a lot more cash to go around to address these other problems. We will probably have to hope for the best on the return of Iglesias and getting some results from the scrap bin or from guys already in our system.

I think it's impossible to know what the budget for 2014 is. It seems like we are maxed out, but don't forget that price and his 20 million were not anticipated when they were constructing this roster the past couple years.

If you are going to spend big on guys like Verlander and Cabrera and Sanchez and Kinsler/Prince, you can't start pinching pennies when there are glaring holes in the roster.

Trading for price meant trading for a 20 million commitment in 2015. I don't think they made that trade and threw their hands up when they suddenly were at their budget limit.

It's just for one year. The price money in 2014 could be viewed as a one time tax, so to speak. Maybe they are willing to increase their payroll in 2015 beyond their previous plan due to the addition of price.

If that is the case, I could see the payroll in the 185 range for 2015 and then dropping back toward 165 for 2016 when price, nathan, avila, and Soria depart.

A rough estimate of 2016 that I have going is 140 and that includes Porcello and victor. We would need to add:

SP - could be one of the guys in the system

CF - big question mark but I'm assuming Rajai in 2015

Catcher - this could just be McCann

Closer

Various bench and RP types

The guys departing after 2015 will free up close to 42 million.

So, basically, having an inflated payroll in 2015 to account for price wouldn't be the worst thing, and they would still be able spend to fill holes and get back up to the 165 range in 2016.

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Silly optimistic thought. Pollyanna-ish if you will

The short playoff run will benefit the arms of Verlander, Sanchez and others who have shown signs of fatigue from the long playoff runs of the past few seasons.

More time off will benefit Miggy's podiatry problems.

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I think the Tigers may buy him out; its mostly because they cannot rely on him, but I think a small part is also they are concerned about his health. I know I am.

There is no such thing as buying someone out. They can cut him and pay him the rest.

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There is no such thing as buying someone out. They can cut him and pay him the rest.

Alex Avila and the Tigers came to an agreement for a one-year deal with an option for 2015 on Friday, avoiding arbitration, the team announced. Tigers came to an agreement for a one-year deal with an option for 2015 on Friday, avoiding arbitration, the team announced. Avila will be paid $4.15 million in 2014 with a vesting option for $5.4 million if he can make the All-Star team, achieve top 15 MVP, or earn a Silver Slugger title, per Joel Sherman of the NY Post. The buyout on the option costs $200,000.

Alex Avila, Tigers avoid arbitration, agree to 2014 contract - Bless You Boys

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Silly optimistic thought. Pollyanna-ish if you will

The short playoff run will benefit the arms of Verlander, Sanchez and others who have shown signs of fatigue from the long playoff runs of the past few seasons.

More time off will benefit Miggy's podiatry problems.

There is definitely something to be said for this, I think. It's tough to play an extra month every year for 4 years in a row. Let's hope it plays to our advantage this time.

As for Price, I think it's hard to say what the intent is next year. It's possible that they made the trade hoping it resulted in a World Series title and fully realizing that if it didn't, they couldn't afford him next year and would trade him in the offseason. Maybe they expected to keep him all along. Maybe they are waiting to see what happens with Max.

I like that we have options, at least. If we deal him, you'd think we could get almost as much as the Rays got when they dealt him to us. It would give DD a chance to re-do his Fister debacle.

If we keep him, he slides in as the ace, comes back more comfortable as a Tiger for a full year and maybe we don't miss a beat. I'm not really in the camp that sees us signing him long-term, though. He's only one year younger than Max and will command as much or more than Max on the open market. If we're going to sign one of them, I'd think it would be Max (unless we wanted to ensure having a power lefty in our rotation).

I just feel like at most, he is with us in 2015 and then we take the draft pick when he leaves.

Edited by VaBengal

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Alex Avila and the Tigers came to an agreement for a one-year deal with an option for 2015 on Friday, avoiding arbitration, the team announced. Tigers came to an agreement for a one-year deal with an option for 2015 on Friday, avoiding arbitration, the team announced. Avila will be paid $4.15 million in 2014 with a vesting option for $5.4 million if he can make the All-Star team, achieve top 15 MVP, or earn a Silver Slugger title, per Joel Sherman of the NY Post. The buyout on the option costs $200,000.

Alex Avila, Tigers avoid arbitration, agree to 2014 contract - Bless You Boys

People are really struggling to grasp that Avila has a buyout today.

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I would rather pay Alex Avila 4.8 million to catch and bat vs RHP than pay Bryan Holaday the MLB minimum to do it

That's about all I care about at the moment.

If there's a better option out there, go get it, sure. But considering the team has 0 bullpen, no CFer, and probably no RFer, and they still have to sort out a starting rotation and V-Mart's contract, and what will happen at SS, and who will be the manager, and...

Well, I think they have bigger things to worry about than what is frankly chump change for a starter at any position in MLB.

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The Tigers could'of just released Alex if his nepostismic (not really a word but I like the sound of it, so screw it) daddy of his didn't give him that sweet, sweet $200k buyout.

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Chase Headley. Instantly gains you 30 runs defensively at 3B and will score at least 15 more runs than Torii did batting 2nd in the lineup.

You mean 31-year-old 2-WAR eight-figure-salary Chase Headley? That guy?

EDIT: Actually I misread his line: he was almost a 4-WAR player for the whole year. He was 2-WAR just in New York.

Edited by chasfh

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People are really struggling to grasp that Avila has a buyout today.

I wouldn't say struggling to grasp, but rather forgetting that he signed a two year deal last year that included a small buyout.

Regardless, a 200k buyout is so nominal that it is hardly worth mentioning. You hear "buyout" and immediately think some sort of substantial payment. This one is hardly different than a non-tender.

The point is that the Tigers aren't really on the hook to avila and they can make pretty much any decision they want regarding him.

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