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Is there anything that gives you hope for 2018 (and only 2018)

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I have little hope for the hitters in 2018. They have 3 guys (Cabrera, Candelario, and Castellanos if he is moved to DH) that have the potential to be good/great. Everyone else is blah at best. McCann can be a C+ player; maybe Hicks/Norris as back ups can be C+ too. Machado could be OK at SS, much like Iglesias, but you need offense from both your middle infielders in today's game, especially 2B, and neither can provide that. They don't even have a back-up MI. Mahtook is a solid platoon bat or a high-end bench bat. Martin is awful. Reyes circa 2019 could be a lot like Mahtook, a solid platoon bat or a high-end bench bat; same for Gerber later this year. Stewart could be a LH Castellanos, which is both good and bad. Maybe Eaves surprises and is part of a platoon at 2B. Maybe Lugo can play SS. Maybe Rogers' bat continues to grow and is up late 2019. 

Maybe it would help if AA grabbed any decent FA hitter who is still looking for work come March 1. Too many maybes.

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1 hour ago, Shelton said:

Yeah, I tend to agree that fulmer would not bring back a sale type return exactly. Sale is a legit stud, and wasn’t making much money, and it was DD trading for him. 

Fulmer may have equivalent “value” given his cost effectiveness, but teams don’t give up stud prospects like Moncada for cost effectiveness. 

But that isn’t to say that Fulmer wouldn’t bring back a very good return. Maybe you get a B+ prospect and a couple Bs instead of an A prospect, and B, and a C. 

I do think that Avila would like to trade fulmer and further stock the system if he had his choice. But I’m confident that he won’t make a poor deal either, so it’s basically wait and see if teams come calling. 

Well, Sale is a top 5 pitcher, under control for three years. Fulmer is more of a top 20 guy with two extra years of control, and is cheaper. 

Moncada was BA's number two prospect headed into last year, Kopech was 32. And they got a couple of decent prospects on top of that. It takes some luck to get that kind of deal, and Boston/DD were hungry for an ace.

That said, maybe a more apt comp is what the Sox got for Quintana, who is more of a top 25 pitcher. He's more expensive than Fulmer, averaging about  ten mil per year, and was under control for 3.5 years at time of trade. In return, they got Eloy, who came into the season ranked 14 by BA - and who was having a great season at time of trade (but still in A-ball) and Dylan Cease, who BA had ranked at 98 coming into the year + two fliers. 

You can even look to the Sox trade of Eaton... For five years of a cost controlled, good player, they got Giolito (ranked 25) + Lopez (31) and Dane Dunning. Not a top hundred guy, but not far off. In fact, he's ranked 82 on BAs new list. 

I think Fulmer is fairly comparable to Quintana with more upside plus 1.5 extra years of control, assuming Fulmer is not dealt until the deadline. So I think something btwn the Sox return on Sale and Quintana and even Eaton is reasonable. So maybe not a top 5 prospect, but a top 20 another in the 50-75 range and maybe something better than a flier to round it out.

Of course, in both cases, you had a team that really wanted what the White Sox were selling. And a lot depends on what the teams who want him most have to offer. 

The Yankees have a couple ways to make a deal work. They have a super elite guy in Gleyber to frontline a package. Or they could package Frazier and Florial with some good lower level guys. They could use Fulmer, but they are not desperate for him. That could change at deadline. 

The teams that seem ready to contend, have the prospects and really need someone like Fulmer are the Rockies and Brewers. Rox could put together an interesting package around Rogers and Pint. Brewers have a number of ways/prospects to make a deal work.

The Dodgers also have the prospects to make it work, but maybe not the urgent need.  

A lot can change btwn now and July tho. Teams with a need. Prospects emerging and hopefully, Fulmer thriving. 

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Thinking about it some more, I think fulmer is indeed good and valuable enough that the tigers should be able to demand a top 10 type prospect. 

I think he’s much more valuable than Quintana. He could be traded again in two years by the team that gets him, at which point he would be similar to Quintana. 

The key of course is finding another team that really wants him. Any team in contention or reasonably close to contention should be trying to get him. 

I think he could be a great fit in Toronto. If it doesn’t work out there, the blue jays could always flip him later and get back something pretty good. 

The rockies also look like a good fit. 

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14 hours ago, cruzer1 said:

The Astros were the worst team in baseball for a long time, but they followed the process, and now they're the best team in baseball. 

 

Follow. The. Process.

There is no process.  You either know how to identify acquire and develop talent to win or you don't.  AA has a decent but not very inspiring record on this so far.

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5 hours ago, Oblong said:

There is no one way to do things.  The Tigers can do it the "right" way and still be competitive this year if they were willing to spend money.  By competitive I mean a .500 team.   Get to .500 and you are within striking distance.  They're not doing it.  But it doesn't sacrifice anything to be willing to do that.  I simply do not buy the narrative that they have no choice.  

The trouble is they are trying to do what the Astros did but they aren't starting from the same place nor do they have the same people.  They are trying to build a better wheel when 20 other organizations are years ahead in the design/build process.   There's a team that will pass the Tigers and they're building something besides the wheel.

If you want to play the same game as everyone else you need better people and since August of 2015 I haven't been convinced the Tigers have people better than anybody else.  He's in Boston now.  We have Johnny Roast Beef showing off his new caddy.

Outstanding post, couldn't agree more.

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2 hours ago, Shelton said:

Thinking about it some more, I think fulmer is indeed good and valuable enough that the tigers should be able to demand a top 10 type prospect. 

I think he’s much more valuable than Quintana. He could be traded again in two years by the team that gets him, at which point he would be similar to Quintana. 

The key of course is finding another team that really wants him. Any team in contention or reasonably close to contention should be trying to get him. 

I think he could be a great fit in Toronto. If it doesn’t work out there, the blue jays could always flip him later and get back something pretty good. 

The rockies also look like a good fit. 

I agree. Fullmers most valuable to teams that are obviously in contention but also at the very top of the payroll limit. In Fulmer they get a stud and stay under the cap. That combination might be fleeting and rare. Its now for the Yankees and they have the prospects to do a deal but it looks like they will not make a strong , equal offer which goes to my earlier post that teams simply value the "potential" more  than ever before. I mean the Yankees have DiDi at short so they could trade Torres for Fullmer but won't.  I think even last off season they would have. Times have changed.

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2 hours ago, sabretooth said:

There is no process.  You either know how to identify acquire and develop talent to win or you don't.  AA has a decent but not very inspiring record on this so far.

That's the process.

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The Astros model is simple.  Go find Altuve, and after that go find Springer.  In my lifetime, Bill Lajoie found several guys like that in the late '70's, but the Tigers haven't done it since.  That's why I don't get all revved up about tanking to improve draft position for baseball in general, and for the Tigers in particular.

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1 hour ago, Charles Liston said:

The Astros model is simple.  Go find Altuve, and after that go find Springer.  In my lifetime, Bill Lajoie found several guys like that in the late '70's, but the Tigers haven't done it since.  That's why I don't get all revved up about tanking to improve draft position for baseball in general, and for the Tigers in particular.

Sooner or later they have to screw up and have a good draft. The higher the draft slot, the better odds they have. 

It probably won't happen, but eventually it has to, right? 

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9 hours ago, Casimir said:

That's the process.

Yep....some folks want to make it seem like losing a lot is a prerequisite, that's dead wrong.  Just because you've increased your draft position doesn't mean you're going to become the Astros or Cardinals..... just because you don't have top 10 draft picks doesn't mean you can draft and develop successfully either.

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5 hours ago, Yoda said:

Sooner or later they have to screw up and have a good draft. The higher the draft slot, the better odds they have. 

It probably won't happen, but eventually it has to, right? 

Nope.  Didn't happen in the Randy Smith era.

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On one hand it seems as if they can't develop the talent they draft but then you can look around the league and see they have actually - and those guys are with other teams like Eugenio Suarez, Devon Travis, Avisail Garcia.    But then again, was it the other teams that developed those guys?  

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44 minutes ago, sabretooth said:

Yep....some folks want to make it seem like losing a lot is a prerequisite, that's dead wrong.  Just because you've increased your draft position doesn't mean you're going to become the Astros or Cardinals..... just because you don't have top 10 draft picks doesn't mean you can draft and develop successfully either.

I don't think losing is necessarily a prerequisite.  But they do need a complete overhaul of the minor league system.  Identifying, acquiring, and developing.  Yes, the higher draft picks should help with acquiring.  But if they can't identify correctly or develop sufficiently, its moot.

I'm not sure the Tigers were close to contending this season.  I think there were too many holes to plug.  Sure, trade Martinez because he's likely to not resign.  But there just wasn't enough pitching.  Verlander and Fulmer in the rotation and Wilson and Greene in the bullpen.  We will disagree about it I'm sure, but its going to be tough to plug that gap in one offseason even with a upgrade at GM.  (Although with the way the market is shaping up so far, it might not be as difficult as I previously thought).

How has St. Louis remained competitive throughout the last 18 seasons?  17 winning seasons.  12 playoff appearances.  Not really any high draft picks.  How can Detroit replicate that success?  Can Detroit replicate that success?

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Good takes in this thread. There is no evidence that the Tigers process will work. It will make them profitable to the owner and probably better positions them for a sale. The talent evaluators we currently have a spotty track record at best.

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1 hour ago, cruzer1 said:

Amen

If you meant by "follow the process" to draft and develop talent at an exceptional level, I agree that is the process for long-term organizational success. 

When I hear "do what the Astros did" I also hear "lose a ton for a long time", which I don't agree with.

I also don't believe that we have Astros-level organizational talent to make the Astros model work that well.

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4 hours ago, Casimir said:

I don't think losing is necessarily a prerequisite.  But they do need a complete overhaul of the minor league system.  Identifying, acquiring, and developing.  Yes, the higher draft picks should help with acquiring.  But if they can't identify correctly or develop sufficiently, its moot.

Agreed.

4 hours ago, Casimir said:

I'm not sure the Tigers were close to contending this season.  I think there were too many holes to plug.  Sure, trade Martinez because he's likely to not resign.  But there just wasn't enough pitching.  Verlander and Fulmer in the rotation and Wilson and Greene in the bullpen.  We will disagree about it I'm sure, but its going to be tough to plug that gap in one offseason even with a upgrade at GM.  (Although with the way the market is shaping up so far, it might not be as difficult as I previously thought).

The only way that we would be able to compete in 2018 would be to have another $30-40M or more in payroll, which could have been accomplished by keeping JV/Upton/JD/Kinsler, or by acquiring a new group of FAs and try to claw back to .500 and make some deadline deals.  Clearly ownership was not down for that level of spending, so it's a moot point.  Without that spend, we're a 65-70 win team hoping for a miracle or trying to tank.

4 hours ago, Casimir said:

How has St. Louis remained competitive throughout the last 18 seasons?  17 winning seasons.  12 playoff appearances.  Not really any high draft picks.  How can Detroit replicate that success?  Can Detroit replicate that success?

I don't exactly know how STL did it, but that is the top model for sustained success.  And I highly doubt that Detroit has the capacity in the FO/org to match that.  Without that exceptional FO/org talent to select/develop the best talent without the highest picks or the most $$, you have to spend more $$ to buy the veteran talent needed to win....I don't think it's much more complicated than that.

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the draft and international bonus system has also changed significantly in the most recent cba. The Astros and Cubs did take advantage of some loopholes that allowed them to invest in premium guys from overseas if I'm not mistaken. The current environment encourages losing significantly because the terrible teams get the most bonus pools.

It's also possible that Avila's process is great in this draft and we have terrible luck with injuries to the top draft picks. I would hope Detroit sports teams are due for some good luck with top draft picks fulfilling their potential.

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12 hours ago, Charles Liston said:

The Astros model is simple.  Go find Altuve, and after that go find Springer.  In my lifetime, Bill Lajoie found several guys like that in the late '70's, but the Tigers haven't done it since.  That's why I don't get all revved up about tanking to improve draft position for baseball in general, and for the Tigers in particular.

Altuve was signed in 2007, a year the Astros did not have a first round pick, as an amateur free agent.

Springer was a #11.  You don't have to be awful to get #11.  

They did get Correa with a #1 pick, but they also got Aiken and Appel with #1 picks.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, sabretooth said:

If you meant by "follow the process" to draft and develop talent at an exceptional level, I agree that is the process for long-term organizational success. 

When I hear "do what the Astros did" I also hear "lose a ton for a long time", which I don't agree with.

I also don't believe that we have Astros-level organizational talent to make the Astros model work that well.

We need to be better than the Astros. That's the goal, right? Not to be an average team, but to be the best. 

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1 hour ago, tiger337 said:

Altuve was signed in 2007, a year the Astros did not have a first round pick, as an amateur free agent.

Springer was a #11.  You don't have to be awful to get #11.  

They did get Correa with a #1 pick, but they also got Aiken and Appel with #1 picks.  

 

 

 And then Aikman became Bregman, and the extra money they had for two high picks- the other being Kyle Tucker -  also allowed them to sign Daz.

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5 hours ago, Casimir said:

How has St. Louis remained competitive throughout the last 18 seasons?  17 winning seasons.  12 playoff appearances.  Not really any high draft picks.  How can Detroit replicate that success?  Can Detroit replicate that success?

StL has managed this and no other team has. Trying to think of any other reasonable comps to their success - particularly as a mid-market team - and best I can think of is the Braves of the 90s, but that was a totally different world. No team has come close. 

So I'd bet very heavily that the Tigers absolutely cannot replicate that success. 

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The Cardinals are unique, but there are several teams that are currently good that didn't have to Astrofy their organization to get there:

Botston

NY Yankees

Cleveland

LA Dodgers

Arizona

 

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1 hour ago, sabretooth said:

If you meant by "follow the process" to draft and develop talent at an exceptional level, I agree that is the process for long-term organizational success. 

When I hear "do what the Astros did" I also hear "lose a ton for a long time", which I don't agree with.

I also don't believe that we have Astros-level organizational talent to make the Astros model work that well.

When I hear do what the Astros did, I hear “trade your marketable mlb assets for prospects and build the system, don’t trade from your system for veterans, don’t give up draft picks to sign free agents, don’t invest any substantial money in free agents, all of this because the team has far too many holes to fill and even attempting to fill them all would not result in a championship team. And yeah, because of this approach the team is bad for a few years.”

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I agree partially with that but I think it's ok to spend modest money on fringe FA (or retain a guy like Kinsler rather than move for minor league filler) to help keep the team on ML as competitive as possible.  It is still fun to watch your team win sometimes.  I don't buy the argument made my some, not here, that whether the team wins 60 or 70 games doesn't matter. I used to think that but not anymore.  When you ask people to pay ML prices then you should make it fun, within reason.  There's no virtue for me that my team had the lowest possible cost/win ratio. That means nothing to me.

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