I am a casual and ardent Detroit Tigers Fan. I have grown to love baseball more and more as I have gotten older. It helps that living out in L.A. I can buy the baseball package and still watch all the games at home or on my phone. I am not an expert but know more about this team than I should. With that said I want to discuss something that just dawned on me. After the signing of Tori Hunter we are absolutely loaded. Whether short term or long term if we do nothing we are in great shape. Lets look at this thesis a bit and then discuss the merits of making other moves this season short term and long term.
Right now we are loaded. Here is what our team looks like
Ajax - Young and budding superstar
Hunter- Perfect veteran presence. We have the perfect replacement for him in Avisail Garcia in two years if we do nothing at all
Fielder - Duh
VMart - at least good for this year and probably next depending. He could retire if we win it all this year but I doubt it
Dirks - Will play at least league average and has a flare for doing things at the right time. Given the chance we all see his potential.
Perlata- We could do much worse. If he does better than last year but not quite as good as the year before we will be in great shape
Infante - a full year of a real 2nd baseman. And my guess is we can resign him for a few years. 2nd base is in good hands. Finally.
Avila - We are good at catcher for a long time.
This team alone is good enough to win it all. Add Berry on the bench and a few tweaks for depth and we could be taking it all home with this team.
Verlander Fister Scherzer Porcello Smyly- Young, awesome and a lot of upside if they stay healthy and Porcello improves by one measly notch.
Al Al, Dotel, Benoit, Coke, Villareal, Downs, Rondon. Youth getting better could make this unit better than years past.
For 2 years we could get buy with this team and win it all. When VMart is gone Nick C. moves to third, Prince moves to DH, and Cabby moves back to 1st. Avisail takes over for Hunter and we have to find a SS in the 2014 FA class which looks like it will be a good one. Also we have 2 picks in this Junes draft in the top 50 and we don't sign any FA's with penalty attached we have the 21st pick and a high mid first from the Marlins we got back from Jacob Turner. DD has a knack for finding Guys that can play soon and I have a feeling one of these 2 guys could be a huge trade chip of a player for us buy the 2015 season.
So this I ask TIgers fans......why would we do ANYTHING right now but stand pat?
If Illitch is willing to spend the money than there are two moves he can make that are no risk to us as a team and will only add MORE value to the team post 2014.
OPTION #2 - Sign the 2 dudes everyone is talking about.
Even if we have to pay Anibal 6 years 15mil for a 90 mil total it does two things for us now. It makes our rotation deep and very difficult and if the team needs to dump salary in 2 seasons it gives us a trade chip that can be used to get back prospects to reload and we don't ahve to give up a draft pick for him now, we arlready did, like we would for Greinke and or Hamilton. And remember that draft pick is a high one for a team as good as us. We lucked out. Do you want to pay Kyle Lohse 12 million a year and give up a pick or Anibal 15 and keep the pick and be able to get picks for him later. Teams always want pitchers at the deadline.
Stephen Drew would at the very least be an even swap for Johnny P. I think he helps our defense and has some upside. DD has always liked him. No draft picks lost. And we can trade Peralta to a team that will value him higher as a 3B. A team willing to give him a 2 year extension may value him more highly than we TIgers fans do. And Porcello would also be available for trade.
So if we make these two moves we are set across the board at every position for the next 2 years, our monster WORLD SERIES WINDOW, and have amazing pieces that we can keep for depth or trade for value.
We would have Porcello, Peralta, and Boesch available for trade.
There are two ways to go with this. Use these pieces with 2nd tear Minor league talent like Andy Oliver or Casey Crosby and fill some of our remaining holes. If we traded Peralta Porcello Boesch and our 2nd 1st round pick for a really dang good closer/reliever and a decent OF to platoon with Dirks or added Dirks and got a very very good OF that would be a huge win across the board. Won't Get Justin Upton but may be able to get a guy a step below.
OPTION 3 - The SCREW MONEY CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU OPTION
Sign Anibal and Drew and Soriano and give up your 1st round draft pick. And then sign another average corner outfielder to go with Dirks. Don't think even Illitch has this much money. But I could be wrong
OPTION 4 - Be a Baller DD and make a deal. AKA the JUSTIN UPTON Option.
This option is about going for it all right now. We deplete the farm system and create a super team that is ready now to win for the next 3-4 years until Illitch sells the team or dies and then we sell people off like a crazy person.
We trade Peralta, Boesch, Porcello, Nick C, Avisael Garcia our trade-able pick, Dirks, and Casey Crosby.
In return for this deal we would get one ELITE YOUNG PLAYER at the level of Justin Upton(any other names?), and Top 6-7 closer, and another interesting piece.
Our 1-6 is amazing for years to come, our 7-9 is solid with upside, our pitching rotation is 2nd to none and one of the best ever if Smyly balls out, and our relievers are top 3 in the bigs.
We would have the best defensive outfield in baseball all around, we would have the best all around pitcher staff, we would have the most power a lineup as seen in a long time, our middle infield wouldn't be a weakness anymore, our corner infield defense would be weak but have the most power in the game of baseball to make up for it. We would be a team, for the next 2 seasons, with no discernible weakness.
If a pitcher gets hurt we still have 3 studs. If an outfielder gets hurt or we need a pinch runner late we have Quinten Berry and a player that we get in the big trade. And If Illitch needs to cut salary we have YOUNG talented guys that can be moved for more affordable options that don't hurt our team that much.
So the long and the short of this post is simply. Raburn is gone. Inge is gone. Danny HR is gone. There are fewer and fewer holes to fill and more and more options by the day. DD and Mr. Pizza have made it so that not even Lamont coaching on a bad day could screw this up. And there is no right answer. We win either way we look at it. Patience? Great we have guys almost ready to step up. Aggression. Great we can build a team people talk about 50 years from now.
It is exciting to be a TIger's fan and I would love to hear your thoughts on what we should do going forward.