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2015 Off-season thread

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Maybe Avila was telling the truth about not being in on Cespedes because he is in on Justin Upton who might come in around 100 million with everyone focusing on Cespedes, Gordon and Heyward?? Or even better can we package something for CarGo and keep the Venezuela Mafia growing ?

I have no doubt that the Tigers are in full-bore on Cespedes. They need someone like that to make this team a legitimate contender this year. Illich recently said he doesn't mind going over the luxury tax to win. They're going to have to in order to do so this year.

The fact is, there's very few people on the FA market that fit an immediate need for the Tigers and that can improve our prospects so much with just one signing. LF is a huge hole right now.

Collins is a solid 4th OF type, and he can spell JD and Cespedes and possibly more importantly be the backup DH if VMart gets injured again (or if VMart has to play 1B if Cabrera gets injured).

I take Illich at his word when he says the goal is to win now regardless of the cost. I'd actually be surprised if we somehow walk away without Cespedes, or at least Gordon. But I'd put my money on Cespedes, because Illich has this loyalty thing and he's seen him play for the Tigers already.

Comments by the Tigers saying they're not interested don't mean much. They don't want to publicly drive up the price.

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Still one of DD's best moves...

Evan Grant ‏@Evan_P_Grant 27m27 minutes ago

Hearing Rangers surveying clubs' interest in picking up bulk of Fielder's contract. Not getting much response

Its both quite amazing and really good the Tigers managed to get rid of most of that contract. Plus they received kinsler.

Looking back only makes that deal seem more unbelievable it even happened.

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Its both quite amazing and really good the Tigers managed to get rid of most of that contract. Plus they received kinsler.

Looking back only makes that deal seem more unbelievable it even happened.

Not only did they get rid of most of the contract, they got the better player in the trade.

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I don't think it is self fulfilling. I think they just happen to have a lot of players that have fewer question marks or players that have been better.

The Brett Anderson thing says more about the poor projections of Verlander and zimmermann that it does about Anderson being an overly high projection.

Yeah, I agree about the poor Zmnn/JV projections, although I always want to wait and see how long it takes an NL pitcher to adjust to the AL.

It's just a theory, but maybe the Tigers liked Zmnn more than the Dodgers did, partially because of how they view things like this. Meanwhile the Dodgers get Iwakuma who is projected for 1 more WAR because of how they view things. Not saying that LAD thinks Kuma will be better than Zmnn, but there might be some correlation.

I also remember how Boston was heavy analytically last season and they were generally projected as one of the top, if not the top teams.

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what would you trade for Jose Fernandez?

Shooting from the hip: Fulmer, Castellanos, Iglesias, Boyd???? I would also make sure I have a trade for Brett Lawrie lined up. Grin and bear Machado and Romine at SS.

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@jonmorosi 11m11 minutes ago

#Tigers would like to add a left-handed reliever to their bullpen. They've talked about Sipp and Bastardo, among others.

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I'm surprised Justin Upton is still only 28. I think I would target him over Cespedes or Gordon.

Depends on contracts. I think Gordon is the best player (for the next couple years), followed by Heyward, Cespedes/Zobrist, and Upton. But who signs the best contract remains to be seen.

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Jason Beck ‏@beckjason 7m7 minutes ago

On a smaller scale, they also checked in on Franklin Morales.

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Depends on contracts. I think Gordon is the best player (for the next couple years), followed by Heyward, Cespedes/Zobrist, and Upton. But who signs the best contract remains to be seen.

I know a lot of people like Cespedes, but if he reverts back to the 290-300 OBP guy, that will get old fast. Upton provides the same power, base running and generally plus defense with better on base skills. He's also younger. Not sure why he isn't generating more attention.

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@jonmorosi 11m11 minutes ago

#Tigers would like to add a left-handed reliever to their bullpen. They've talked about Sipp and Bastardo, among others.

I like Bastardo.

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I know a lot of people like Cespedes, but if he reverts back to the 290-300 OBP guy, that will get old fast. Upton provides the same power, base running and generally plus defense with better on base skills. He's also younger. Not sure why he isn't generating more attention.

Taking a step back from it, it's hard to say. Probably as simple as the other guys had better 2015s. They also play better defense.

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Taking a step back from it, it's hard to say. Probably as simple as the other guys had better 2015s. They also play better defense.

I think part of it is Cespedes carried the Mets while Upton has never been that guy that would put a team on his back. However, I think he may just be the best fit for us as he wouldn't have to be that guy. He could put up his consistent numbers and be a great addition to Miggy and JD. I'd be thrilled if we sign any of the big 4.

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Taking a step back from it, it's hard to say. Probably as simple as the other guys had better 2015s. They also play better defense.

Alex Gordon actually had a worse season. Cespedes had a career year but his next highest war is 3.3 which is lower than Upton last year. Upton's defense is plus but not elite. Upton is also younger than those two.

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I also think Upton is viewed as a guy with a questionable attitude who does not get the most out of his talent. The lack of attention is probably mostly due to his fielding though.

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I also think Upton is viewed as a guy with a questionable attitude who does not get the most out of his talent. The lack of attention is probably mostly due to his fielding though.

Am I missing something on his defense? He's not elite but it doesn't appear to be a negative. I'm concerned about committing a lot to Cespedes after one great year. Before last year, Upton has been the better player. I would rather bank on Upton and has reliably good performance.

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I think Ilitch is willing to dip his toes into the luxury tax waters like now. But hes' not diving in and going $25 million over. This is about the team they're going to start the year with. If they need more offense, it will come a the deadline. And if the team sucks, they can start tearing it down.

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Alex Gordon actually had a worse season. Cespedes had a career year but his next highest war is 3.3 which is lower than Upton last year. Upton's defense is plus but not elite. Upton is also younger than those two.

Gordon had less WAR because he was hurt, he was better when healthy. Cespedes was 6.7 fWAR last season, and that's usually what matters most.

I agree with you on age, as I said it'll depend on the length and the $$$. If we're talking a 7 year deal, I'd take Upton over Cespedes or Gordon. If it's 4 or 5, I'd have to think about it.

Fangraphs crowdsourcing has Cespedes at 6/$132M, Upton at 6/$120M, Gordon at 5/$90M, fwiw. I'd take Gordon all day every day at those numbers.

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I think Ilitch is willing to dip his toes into the luxury tax waters like now. But hes' not diving in and going $25 million over. This is about the team they're going to start the year with. If they need more offense, it will come a the deadline. And if the team sucks, they can start tearing it down.

Agreed. As it stands, if they contend this year it is almost assured that they pay the tax next offseason. They would have paid it last year if they didn't trade those three guys at the deadline.

If they ultimately sell at the deadline this season, they will avoid it.

The tax itself in the first year isn't that bad. The problem arises if you get to a level where you exceed it year after year and the rate goes up. But this year is the last year at the current tax level, so if they can hover around the line they will probably be back under it in future years (assuming it stays).

I don't see them adding a 20 million per year player right now, but I could see them going after another 10 million per year guy, or maybe a one year deal at 15 or so for a guy that is left unsigned late in the offseason.

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Gordon had less WAR because he was hurt, he was better when healthy. Cespedes was 6.7 fWAR last season, and that's usually what matters most.

I agree with you on age, as I said it'll depend on the length and the $$$. If we're talking a 7 year deal, I'd take Upton over Cespedes or Gordon. If it's 4 or 5, I'd have to think about it.

Fangraphs crowdsourcing has Cespedes at 6/$132M, Upton at 6/$120M, Gordon at 5/$90M, fwiw. I'd take Gordon all day every day at those numbers.

I would probably take Gordon at that amount as well. fWar had Cespedes at 6.7, but his next highest season is 3.3. I think it's more likely Cespedes is 3 war than 6.7 next year. If you give Gordon 5 years and Cespedes 6 or 7, they're both going to be about 37. Give Upton 6 years and he is 34.

I just now realized it is Justin who is a free agent so I hopped on the Upton bandwagon.

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Am I missing something on his defense? He's not elite but it doesn't appear to be a negative. I'm concerned about committing a lot to Cespedes after one great year. Before last year, Upton has been the better player. I would rather bank on Upton and has reliably good performance.

His defense is OK, but the other three have plus defense, so if Upton is not getting the same interest from teams (I don't know that he isn't), I would guess that it's the defense. I would be happy if the Tigers signed Upton and don't have a strong preference between him and Cespedes. I actually might prefer Upton to Gordon because of their ages. It would obviously depend on the length of the contract though. Gordon has more immediate value.

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I don't value Cespedes as high as others. He walked even less last year and had a near career high BABIP. He also went off power wise in New York. He had a 317 ISO. Obviously that isn't going to continue. I think he's a good player but I prefer Heyward, Upton, and Gordon to Cespedes.

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I would still like to address the Lefty-Righty imbalance in our lineup, and key in on OBP if that's possible.

That puts me in the Heyward-Gordon-Fowler camp...

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I don't value Cespedes as high as others. He walked even less last year and had a near career high BABIP. He also went off power wise in New York. He had a 317 ISO. Obviously that isn't going to continue. I think he's a good player but I prefer Heyward, Upton, and Gordon to Cespedes.

I'm starting to agree with you. First of all, I forgot Upton was even on the market. There's quite the glut of corner OF we can choose from.

My guess is that if Illich is going to pay the luxury tax anyway, he's not going to care who we sign. It seems like we're going to go over no matter what this year, as adding a LH reliever will be enough to put us over the top. He'll take who Avila thinks is best.

I think I'd rank Upton over all the rest, though, due to age. I think Heyward stays with STL.

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