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The 2017 Post-Mortem

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Your thoughts, my friends..............  

I think Al Avila & David Chadd should be out the door tomorrow.   I think Al has botched things fairly badly -  misreading things like Pelfrey, Lowe, showing his cards at the end of last season.   I don't think he got the type of returns he should have for JD and Verlander, but the Cubs deal looked pretty good.   Plus he had the opportunity to start anew with an experienced manager after the dismal 2015 season.   I think a better manager gets them to the playoffs in 2016.  It was a bad bet.   Brad was better this year with a lot of his in-game decisions, but I think he lost the team a long, long time ago.   I just don't trust Al Avila to hire the next manager. 

As far as David Chadd - either his scouting department is not recognizing long-term talent or something is and has been failing in the developmental department.   Maybe I am wrong since we saw some solid years from Avisail Garcia, Devon Travis, and Eugenio Suarez, but they didn't really develop until after leaving the Tigers.   Something is amiss there and it has been for awhile.   As far as upcoming position players it feels like Mike Gerber has some upside but is another Tyler Collins and Christin Stewart looks to me a lot like Steven Moya 2.0.    The pitchers do look promising with Franklin Perez, Matt Manning, Beau Burrows and Alex Faedo but they have an awful long way to go and I think we should be happy if two of them make it to the majors as plus players.   

I can't even bring myself to grade these guys because so many of them were disappointing.   Even the guys that put up decent year-end numbers like Castellanos and McCann seemed to do it well after the Tigers were out of it.  We need full seasons, not half seasons.  We've done this with guys like Tony Clark and Carlos Pena in the past.   A lot of guys put up some empty numbers.   Does anyone really care about Alex Presley's batting average?

And I hate the World Baseball Classic, I think it cost us two of our top 3 hitters.   Kinsler was not right and Miggy was hurt all year.   I wish they could demand that their veteran players not play in that silly exhibition tournament.   The Tigers are paying Miguel 30 million a year, not Venezuela.   

2015 was disappointing, but I am very angry with this organization right now.    There was talent on this team when the season started,  we know it was going downhill at some point but I didn't expect it this fast and I don't think they did much to reload their system.   Out of all the guys they got in these trades I am really only expecting Candelario and Franklin Perez to make any kind of impact.  Sorry if I am not excited about Lugo, Cameron, Rogers or the others.    I know Isaac Parades has a high upside but its a long way from A ball to the big leagues.  There's 50 other guys with his upside - maybe 10 of them make an impact and with the Tigers developmental staff, I wouldn't count on it.    I wasn't angry after 2003 - that team had maybe 4 guys that could play on any other team.    

I think the team needs pretty much a clean sweep in the GM's office, the scouting department and most of the minor league staff.   And I do think the team is for sale, regardless of what Chris Illitch says.  What else is he going to say?  

 

This season was just ugly. 

 Across the board

 

 

 

 

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And I do think the team is for sale, regardless of what Chris Illitch says.  What else is he going to say?

Serious question, as I don’t live in Detroit: What has Chris Ilitch done to indicate the family may sell the team, apart from signing off on Avila’s rebuild of a team that has a bloated payroll but missed its window?

Clearly the family is committed to Detroit, and the Wings, with Little Caesar’s Arena. Would they sell the Tigers but keep the Wings? Is there suspicion (I’ve never read it) that they need to sell the Tigers to fund the arena?

Or is this argument that they are going to sell the Tigers just frustration that they didn’t want to keep throwing money after a failing franchise?

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4 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

James McCann ended the season with a .650 OPS (and sub 0.300 OBP) against RHP.

But it seems like his numbers were much higher than they were at the midpoint of the season - which was abysmal. 

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22 minutes ago, Jason_R said:


Serious question, as I don’t live in Detroit: What has Chris Ilitch done to indicate the family may sell the team, apart from signing off on Avila’s rebuild of a team that has a bloated payroll but missed its window?

Clearly the family is committed to Detroit, and the Wings, with Little Caesar’s Arena. Would they sell the Tigers but keep the Wings? Is there suspicion (I’ve never read it) that they need to sell the Tigers to fund the arena?

Or is this argument that they are going to sell the Tigers just frustration that they didn’t want to keep throwing money after a failing franchise?

I don't know.  I have always felt that the Tigers were Mike's baby.    Others may know this better than I do but I don't believe the Illitch family owns any stake in the stadium itself.    I think the family owns a significant portion of the LCA and the arena is far more versatile when it comes to year-round events - and the hockey team financially is easier to manage than baseball.    

I would never expect any owner in this market to be as freewheelin' as Mike was but the prospect of someone totally new is a little scary.   Just as the arrival of Pudge Rodriquez was an earthquake for the Tigers and their way of doing things, this new era is sudden and shocking.   Yeah, we knew it was coming but man they were a couple games out of the playoffs last year.     

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Re: Wanting more for JD and JV. 

I don't think that reasonable. Have you heard any indication any team was willing to give up more? I didn't. Those were about the best deals out there. To want more probably wasn't realistic. 

I want Rachel McAdams to knock on my door and be in my bedroom tonight. Doesn't mean its gonna happen. 

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1 hour ago, Keepleyland2 said:

Re: Wanting more for JD and JV. 

I don't think that reasonable. Have you heard any indication any team was willing to give up more? I didn't. Those were about the best deals out there. To want more probably wasn't realistic. 

I want Rachel McAdams to knock on my door and be in my bedroom tonight. Doesn't mean its gonna happen. 

I agree but I do think other teams are probably kicking themselves now seeing what JD is giving Arizona and what that adds to your lineup for an October run.  I think in hindsight, there are some playoff teams that would give up more than what we got.  

I am sure the Astros are ecstatic with the Verlander trade and the Tigers have nothing to be ashamed about there either.  We got an excellent haul for him and the Astros got the ace the needed.  Win-win for both sides.  

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Avila isn't going anywhere. Ilitch has doubled down on him with the recent front office realignment. And I don't care if the team is for sale. Nothing will happen before the draft. This method of team building should be in Avila's wheelhouse. Not the late Mike Ilitch team building of patching a flawed roster. 

And if he fails, they will hopefully have a decent stable of prospects to work with plus tons of payroll flexibility. The Verlander, Upton, and Cubs trades were very good. Martinez was undervalued on the market and might have been impuslive rather than the best trade possible.

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18 minutes ago, Hart said:

I agree but I do think other teams are probably kicking themselves now seeing what JD is giving Arizona and what that adds to your lineup for an October run.  I think in hindsight, there are some playoff teams that would give up more than what we got.  

I am sure the Astros are ecstatic with the Verlander trade and the Tigers have nothing to be ashamed about there either.  We got an excellent haul for him and the Astros got the ace the needed.  Win-win for both sides.  

I agree, it makes me mad we got the short end to remind people that prospects are prospects and good big league players are good. If you got a shot you got to take it and go get the good big league player. It probably needed to swing back to prospect protection heavy after last trade deadline when people were giving away guys like a drunken sailor. Just sucks it had to be us. I would imagine next year is back to more normal. 

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I was actually surprised with both the haul and the salary coverage they got in exchange for Verlander.  I almost felt bad for Houston after I saw that.  That contract was going to be hard for this team to unload.

But good for them with Justin doing so well since the trade.

I really put most of this blame on Mike Illich, with all due respect to the dude.  There was no need to sign Cabrera, Sanchez, and VMart to such albatross contracts.  But Illich was huge on loyalty.  There was no reason to to second-guess Robbie Ray just because he didn't work out instantly, and instead opt for Shane Greene.  But we had to "win now" so we couldn't wait a year and a half for Ray to develop.

The only trade this season where it looks like we got a subpar return was JD Martinez, but we probably waited too long...he was just a 3-month rental when we traded him.

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2 hours ago, Keepleyland2 said:

Re: Wanting more for JD and JV. 

I don't think that reasonable. Have you heard any indication any team was willing to give up more? I didn't. Those were about the best deals out there. To want more probably wasn't realistic. 

 

It is reasonable for a fan to expect more that three OK prospects for one of the best hitters in the game.  I don't know why more teams didn't want him, but they should have.  

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Just now, TheCouga said:

I was actually surprised with both the haul and the salary coverage they got in exchange for Verlander.  I almost felt bad for Houston after I saw that.  That contract was going to be hard for this team to unload.

 

I was not surprised.  Verlander is a great pitcher and the contract is reasonable.  

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12 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I was not surprised.  Verlander is a great pitcher and the contract is reasonable.  

He's been inconsistent over the last 4 years, and promises to age even more in his 35-36 y/o seasons.

I could see us getting either the salary dump or the prospects, but not both.  I think we got a good deal on that trade.  At the All-Star break, I just assumed that contract was immovable.  I mean, he cleared revocable waivers, so basically nobody in the league thought that was a good deal.  Were the prospects we got for him worth $16 million that Houston's not paying?  It wouldn't take much performance out of just one of them to make that a much better deal than just dumping the contract outright.

I'm glad it's working out for Houston, too, though.  It wouldn't make me jealous to see JV get a WS ring with them.  None of the other AL teams are easy to root for, either (two being our division foes, and two being the Sox/Yankees).

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5 minutes ago, TheCouga said:

He's been inconsistent over the last 4 years, and promises to age even more in his 35-36 y/o seasons.

I could see us getting either the salary dump or the prospects, but not both.  I think we got a good deal on that trade.  At the All-Star break, I just assumed that contract was immovable.  I mean, he cleared revocable waivers, so basically nobody in the league thought that was a good deal.  Were the prospects we got for him worth $16 million that Houston's not paying?  It wouldn't take much performance out of just one of them to make that a much better deal than just dumping the contract outright.

I'm glad it's working out for Houston, too, though.  It wouldn't make me jealous to see JV get a WS ring with them.  None of the other AL teams are easy to root for, either (two being our division foes, and two being the Sox/Yankees).

He is 13th in MLB in WAR over the past three years.  He has been frustrating at times, but the overall results have been excellent.  

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So many of the mistakes can be traced in full or at least in significant part to the fact the Tigers have been simply incompetent in drafting and development, failing to even produce even a modest number of replacement level payers

Saurez, Crawford for Simon

Knebel, Thompson for Soria

Leyba, Ray for Greene

Vasquez, Paulino for Veras

signing Lowe, Pelfrey, Zimmermann

It really was a snowball effect where one bad decision begat a worse one. They are thankfully hitting reset. I don't think they will be unwatchable next year and I think they will actually have a better record in 2018

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I'd be pretty surprised if they didn't go into the season next year with the worst roster in baseball. I'd expect, at minimum, for Kinsler and Iglesias to be traded in the offseason and just replaced internally. Castelannos, Wilson and Greene could also be traded either in the off season or by the deadline. Ditto for Fulmer although I'm less confident they'll shop him at this point.

I suppose Cabrera could have a bounce back year. If he and Fulmer do really well then that changes some things. But, I'm just expecting Cabrera to finish out like Pujols. Plus, their top prospects are all at least a year away and they don't have many young players who could have breakout years. It should be a rough 2018.

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On the bright side, we shed a decent amount of salary next year, including Anibal.

On the down side we still have to pay Anibal $5MM for a buyout, JV $8MM to play for the Astros, and still (lol) $6MM to Prince Fielder to retire from the Rangers.  And probably $18MM to VMart to ride the 60-day DL for most of the season.

Not to mention the horrible Zimmerman contract.

Still a lot of dead weight on this payroll even after the rebuild.

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the worst part about the rebuild will be watching cabrera struggle for the next six years as people just refer to him as a contract albatross rather than as one of the greatest right handed hitters of all time.

they needed to rebuild.  i just hope some of the pieces they got pan out.  i dont think any of us here knows if they will or wont.

2018 is going to be rough.

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I'm not angry, just bummed. You win some, you lose some. The Tigers got lucky that Verlander was as great as he was for a decade - they could have ended up with Matt Bush or Philip Humber instead. The Tigers got lucky with the Cabrera trade - DD was in the right place at the right time with the right pieces. Tigers got unlucky with Zimmerman - his signing and subsequent poor performance may be the most disastrous in Tigers history. 

But eventual decline was inevitable and except for maybe starting the rebuild in earnest at the end of 2015 instead of mid-2017 (not that JV would have had the trade value at the end of 2015 he did in mid-2017), at the 100,000 ft level I can't argue too much with how it has all gone down. They yanked off the Band-Aid this summer, who knows how it will all play out. I still prefer the Tigers' approach to the Wings' "re-tooling" which has left them in an arguably worse situation.

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3 hours ago, tiger337 said:

It is reasonable for a fan to expect more that three OK prospects for one of the best hitters in the game.  I don't know why more teams didn't want him, but they should have.  

Damn straight.

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8 hours ago, TheCouga said:

 There was no need to sign Cabrera, Sanchez, and VMart to such albatross contracts. 

Sanchez was not an albatross contract.  The Cubs were close to signing him and $15M a year was reasonable.

He just fell off a cliff after performing really well in the first half of the contract. 

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11 hours ago, Motor City Sonics said:

But it seems like his numbers were much higher than they were at the midpoint of the season - which was abysmal. 

Probably because he was unfathomably bad against RHP in the first half of the season, and his second half brought him up to merely terrible levels against RHP.

In any event, McCann sucks, which was my point in posting his line because I irrationally hate him and am sick, in general, of hearing about him like he is an actual piece to build around.

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Trade Kinsler. Let Sanchez and V Mart go. Find some bargain free agents to fill spots. They are probably in the 60-70 win range next season.

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I'm really confused as to why Miguel Cabrera played basically the entire season while

1. The team sucked

2. He sucked

3. He had herniated discs in his back (and if they really only found out he had herniated discs in his back after months of back problems...)

Other than that, what is there to say. Team sucks, all the fun players are gone, going to suck next year, at least we have Candelario.

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