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2015 Off-season thread

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You can expect whatever you want.

The reality is, to be a 90 win team, you would want about 42 WAR. They had 29 fWAR in 2015 with 7.7 coming from Price and Cespedes. So they need to add 20 WAR. Impossible with a $40M payroll.

So add what you can and count on what you must (JV, Cabby healthy) to get you to 85 wins or so, and hope the season falls well.

I agree that there MUST be some injury bounce-back.

I think adding 1 win (maybe 2 if he's healthy again) for Miggy is reasonable if somewhat aggressive.

VMart +3 wins.

JV: +2 wins.

Then some better personnel + management in the bullpen (should not cost too much, just enough for one more quality FA acquisition and one project acquisition):

Bullpen: from worst to average would be +3.5 (maybe another $6-8M reliever)

Starting Rotation: they had 94 starts from guys not named Price/JV who amassed a measly 1.8 WAR. That was incredibly craptastic. Just getting two average SPs versus Simon/Greene/Wolf/Farmer/Ryan/etc would likely add 3-7 wins, for $20-30M.

That's 13 - 17 wins for $32 - 38M.

Add Aoki in LF for $6M, and add probably another win vs. Collins, and you're in the $40M range while adding something like 15+ wins...then they have to evaluate at the ASB.

That would be a satisfactory offseason in my estimation.

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Injuries to Martinez, Verlander, Cabrera, Sanchez and Greene cost the Tigers an estimated 11 wins last year. The fire sale cost them about 5 wins. There's your 90 win team right there. I know people are going to say you can't use injuries as an excuse, but injuries are usually the reason why teams have bad seasons. You have to expect injuries, but some teams manage to stay healthy. Those are teams that do better than expected. Other teams get more than their share of injuries and those are the teams that do worse than expected.

The other big factor with the Tigers was that they had zero depth to replace the injured players. Probably negative depth since many of the replacements were below replacement.

I agree. This team had a lot of things go wrong injury-wise last season. Also, it's a lot easier to rebuild the back end of a rotation than it is to rebuild an entire offense.

I'm not really worried about their outfield: their offense will be plenty good next year, and their defense will likely be as well.

If they can get two good pitchers on the FA market (which they still have the money for), they're likely to be a good team.

The problem is that the AL Central is no longer a gimme if you win 90 games. Although I'm still a little bit perplexed by Kansas City's continued success, I can't count them out next year. Furthermore, the Twins are starting to mature as a team as well. Both teams could also win 90 games next year.

The Indians also have scary ceilings for their pitching staff. For whatever reason, they all seemed to have an off season this last year. But if everything starts to click with their arms, they could get really good really fast, too. It's going to take more than just having a solid season to win the division next year. You're going to need some luck involved, too.

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It's easier to rebuild a team where it's horrible-ness was caused by two absolutely terrible roster spots rather than mediocrity across the board. I don't know the calculations, but I wonder how many more wins we would have by replacing the 4 and 5 spots in our rotation last year with league-average pitching.

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....

The problem is that the AL Central is no longer a gimme if you win 90 games. Although I'm still a little bit perplexed by Kansas City's continued success, I can't count them out next year. Furthermore, the Twins are starting to mature as a team as well. Both teams could also win 90 games next year.

....

KC with huge FA loss risk. They could really crash if they have no luck signing at least some of their FAs.

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I agree. This team had a lot of things go wrong injury-wise last season. Also, it's a lot easier to rebuild the back end of a rotation than it is to rebuild an entire offense.

I'm not really worried about their outfield: their offense will be plenty good next year, and their defense will likely be as well.

If they can get two good pitchers on the FA market (which they still have the money for), they're likely to be a good team.

The problem is that the AL Central is no longer a gimme if you win 90 games. Although I'm still a little bit perplexed by Kansas City's continued success, I can't count them out next year. Furthermore, the Twins are starting to mature as a team as well. Both teams could also win 90 games next year.

The Indians also have scary ceilings for their pitching staff. For whatever reason, they all seemed to have an off season this last year. But if everything starts to click with their arms, they could get really good really fast, too. It's going to take more than just having a solid season to win the division next year. You're going to need some luck involved, too.

I don't know about the offense being plenty good. I think they could be in danger of being too top heavy again. The bottom of the order doesn't offer much. Sure, Iglesias has shown contact and Gose has speed. But catcher looks to be a black hole and left field is very questionable.

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I was reading an article about the Alex Avila signing and they said the Tigers will get to face him 15 times next season.

Has MLB changed the scheduling? Normally they face their division rivals 19 times a season.

The schedule formula hasn't changed - they will play the White Sox 19 times, as has been the case for the past few years.

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Curious to see if he goes into coaching. Gotta think a guy that hangs around the minors for that long just can't give up on a career in baseball in some capacity.

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For those who don't trust Morosi, Zimmerman is reporting the same thing. He is going to cost a fortune, but I hope they get him anyway. He had a bit of an off year last year, but his peripherals and velocity were fine, just gave up more home runs than usual. He is also just 29.

Edited by tiger337

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like Zimmerman and Bastardo, both, but we'll still need another starting pitcher--given what Happ just received, though, I'm tempering my expectations on who that will be.

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For those who don't trust Morosi, Zimmerman is reporting the same thing. He is going to cost a fortune, but I hope they get him anyway. He had a bit of an off year last year, but his peripherals and velocity were fine, just gave up more home runs than usual. He is also just 29.

The mechanics difference that seemed to trend for him in 2015 as compared to earlier in his career what that he started throwing both his slider and curve a little harder - couple that to the 1 mph or or so that his FB was off and he was giving away a couple of mph of speed differential from career norms - and he stopped throwing his always rare change - but still one less speed change for batters to look at. Maybe not a pitcher that believes so much in the value of change of speeds.

At any rate, he seems to have started to pitch a bit differently last year as compared to his previous seasons - possibly he's looking for tweaks or adjustments to compensate for decreasing confidence in his FB - though why that would you lead you to stop throwing a change or throw your breaking ball harder isn't obvious.

Whatever - if they can get him for anything in the $125mil range he looks like better value than a Cueto at $200+.

Edited by Gehringer_2

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I'll gladly take Zimmerman aslong as it's not a huge overpay, but I think Samardzija may be my preferred target. I worry that Zimmerman's numbers are inflated a bit by playing in the NL East, which boasts lousy offenses and pitcher friendly parks. Again though I'd take him in a heartbeat and if Anibal bounces back a 1-2-3 of JV, Sanchez and Zimmerman is about as good as you're going to find in the AL but I just think that Shark is going to command a lot less and has the potential to give you just as much if not more.

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Zimmerman was the one I was hoping for going into the off-season. He's a step down from the top three who I figured they wouldn't get and step up on the rest of the field. Lately, I hadn't considered him much because I guessed he was out of their price range. It's just a rumor though and Chris Cotillo is saying a few other teams are targeting him as well.

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I think it maybe more than just a "minor" rumor. It's currently on ESPN.com's main page, and considering all the things that have gone on in the sports world today, for that to be a headline article on it means to me that there's a lot of validity to the rumor and that they maybe pretty damn close to a deal.

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I think it maybe more than just a "minor" rumor. It's currently on ESPN.com's main page, and considering all the things that have gone on in the sports world today, for that to be a headline article on it means to me that there's a lot of validity to the rumor and that they maybe pretty damn close to a deal.

yeah, it does seem to be more than the typical rumor. Beck is talking about and he's generally really conservative about these things.

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I wanted them to stay away from Zimmerman.

a) I have an injury hunch with him--decline in FB velocity/effectiveness doesn't alleviate my concerns

b) Not a strikeout pitcher or swing and miss guy--will this become a problem as he ages?

c) ERA better than peripherals. How much of that is due to pitching in that park/league?

I'm especially concerned as he'd be the first major guy to sign, and that means we'll likely be paying a premium. Anything more than 5/100M would make me nervous, and I suspect it'll be 6/120M+

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Zimmermann is really the one tied to a draft pick that I wanted the Tigers to pursue. I've always liked his consistency and his stuff.

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For those who don't trust Morosi, Zimmerman is reporting the same thing. He is going to cost a fortune, but I hope they get him anyway. He had a bit of an off year last year, but his peripherals and velocity were fine, just gave up more home runs than usual. He is also just 29.

He's an old 29 bodywise. If we sign him we will be paying 20 million for a 4 + era who won't make it 6 years. I saw him pitch a half dozen times last year and was thoroughly unimpressed. He became really hit table all of a sudden.

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I wanted them to stay away from Zimmerman.

a) I have an injury hunch with him--decline in FB velocity/effectiveness doesn't alleviate my concerns

b) Not a strikeout pitcher or swing and miss guy--will this become a problem as he ages?

c) ERA better than peripherals. How much of that is due to pitching in that park/league?

I'm especially concerned as he'd be the first major guy to sign, and that means we'll likely be paying a premium. Anything more than 5/100M would make me nervous, and I suspect it'll be 6/120M+

Same.

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The mechanics difference that seemed to trend for him in 2015 as compared to earlier in his career what that he started throwing both his slider and curve a little harder - couple that to the 1 mph or or so that his FB was off and he was giving away a couple of mph of speed differential from career norms - and he stopped throwing his always rare change - but still one less speed change for batters to look at. Maybe not a pitcher that believes so much in the value of change of speeds.

At any rate, he seems to have started to pitch a bit differently last year as compared to his previous seasons - possibly he's looking for tweaks or adjustments to compensate for decreasing confidence in his FB - though why that would you lead you to stop throwing a change or throw your breaking ball harder isn't obvious.

Whatever - if they can get him for anything in the $125mil range he looks like better value than a Cueto at $200+.

Does Cueto really have a chance at $200 million? That would shock me and doesn't seem to be very realistic.

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Does Cueto really have a chance at $200 million?...

IDK. People seem to be grouping him in the top tier with Grienke and Price so I'm assuming he's gonna get a good chunk more than Zimmermann or Shark.

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