How the Tigers can put together the best roster since '84

Welp, the ending to the season sure did suck didn't it? But now we can focus on the fun of offseason moves without thinking about how our Tigers are doing this season! As you all are probably aware, 2013 will be the tenth anniversary of the worst roster ever produced in the history of the Tigers organization. So we celebrate by putting together a team that is head, shoulders, and torso above the second best team in the AL (Provided nobody is injured again *knock on wood*). AND we're gonna do it with a very reasonable payroll to boot. Isn't that exciting? As you know, the Tigers really don't have much to do in the way of improving the team. Most decisions will probably involve nontendering a bunch of arbitration eligible candidates. At most, there will probably be two low key FA signings that will tip the Tigers over the edge into elite. How should they go about it? I present to you Jman's plan for the Tiger's offseason, version 1.0

Note: To project payroll, I will be using MLB Trade Rumors projected arbitration settlements for the Tigers

The Offense/Defense (Guys who are not pitchers)

Available Spots: RF

Likely Nontender: Ryan Raburn, Don Kelly, Brennan Boesch,

Pre Arb: Andy Dirks

Good luck in FA: Delmon Young

What to do here: Just about everything with the offense is settled. Wave goodbye to Delmon. Sign Torii Hunter in FA for two years to the tune of $18 Million ($10 Mill the first year, $8 Mill). This should serve as a stopgap for two years until Nick C and Avi are ready. Vmart comes back from injurey. Avi Garcia will return to AAA to continue to develop as a player. Pick up Jhonny's option for $6million (Let's be honest, there aren't any better options that are realistic/ would create unnecessary holes in a trade). For the Bench, resign Quintin Berry, sign Scott Hairston for your lefty pitcher hitting specialist, resign Laird for around $1-1.5 Million, choice between Danny Worth or Razor as your replacement infielder. Preferably Danny Worth.

Your 2012 Offense:

1. Austin Jackson CF ($3.1 Million)

2. Andy Dirks LF ($.45 Million)

3. Miguel Cabrera 3B ($21 Million)

4. Prince Fielder 1B ($23 Million)

5. Torii Hunter RF ($10 Million)

6. Victor Martinez DH ($13 Million)

7. Jhonny Peralta SS ($6 Million)

8. Alex Avila C ($2.5 Million)

9. Omar Infante 2B ($4 Million)

Bench: Danny Worth, Quintin Berry, Scott Hairston, Gerald Laird (Combined around $2.5 Million)

Total Cost: $85.55 Million

Pitching Rotation

Pre Arb: Smyly

Arb: Fister, Scherzer

Resign: Sanchez

Trade: Porcello

Not much to do here. Resign Anibal Sanchez to somewhere between $8-12 Million (We'll set it at $9, let's remember, he's probably more of a #3 and should get that kind of money... Eh, what am I saying, someone's gonna overpay for him). I'd also advocate trading Rick Porcello to a team like the Texas Rangers for a small package of prospects (EX Porcello+ for Leury Garcia+).

2013 Rotation

1. Justin Verlander ($20 Million)

2. Doug Fister ($3 Million)

3. Max Scherzer ($7.5 Million)

4. Anibal Sanchez ($9 Million)

5. Drew Smyly ($.45 Million)

Total Rotation Payroll: $39.95

Total Payroll so far: $125.5 Million

The Bullpen

Pre Arb: Just about everyone not named Benoit, Valverde, and Dotel

Good Luck in FA: Dotel, Valverde

Arb: Phil Coke

This is what makes our payroll at reasonable Illitch spending levels. Our bullpen is littered with very young and cheap arms. I'm not so hot about retaining Dotel. He can be easily replaced by Bruce Rondon. Valverde is certain to leave in FA as well. So that leaves us with needing to sign a closer. Right now, that would be personal preference. I would expect Illitch to give Dombrowski somewhere between $8-$10 Million to play around with closers. My personal preference would be either Matt Caps, Joakim Soria, or Ryan Madson. I choose these guys as they are fairly reliable and would come cheap after injury or down years. Jonathan Broxton is another option, but he'd be more expensive


SU/Closer: Phil Coke ($2.1 Million)

SU/Closer: Bruce Rondon ($.45 Million)

SU: Joaquin Benoit ($5.5 Million)

SU: Octavio Dotel ($3.5 Million)

LH: Darin Downs ($.45 Million)

RH: Brayan Villareal ($.45 Million)

RH: Al Alburqurque ($.45 Million)

Total Bullpen Payroll: $13.9 Million

Final Total Team Payroll: $138.4 Million

And that is how I would go about preparing this team for its 2013 season, which I believe will be the best season since 1984. There should be no known reason to expect an up and down season like last year. Whatever team we end up with will be very fun and entertaining to watch.

Edit: Updated Bullpen with options picked up

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.

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