Some difficult,roster altering decisons are nearing for Dave Dombrowski and the Detroit Tigers.
Typically when players are 2 years from from agency or less, the dilema of whether to sign them becomes paramount. Do I extend them, trade them or take the draft choice.
That dilema is not just real for the Tigers in 2014, it's life (roster) changing
1. Max Scherzer is entering his walk year
2. Rick Porcello is 2 years from free agency
3. Miguel Cabrera is 2 years from free agency
4. Victor Martinez is entering his walk year
5. Austin Jackson is 2 years from free agency
6. Torii Hunter is entering his walk year
So..4 of your 5 top of the order hitters and your #2 and #4 starters all can walk by the end of 2015. your best hitter, your cleanup hitter, your Cy Young winner and a 5 year SP..damn thats scary.
By the way..your payroll is already at 150MM with Verlander about to get an 8MM dollar raise in 2015.
Think they will just pay everyone, think again, it's not happening, regardless of what you believe, the Tigers do have a budget, it a big budget and likely increasing because they will get a new lucrative local TV deal in 2017, but its not unlimited.
The bigger question, do you really want some of these players, especially on long term very expensive deals.
Here are my predictions on what they do for each one of these players.
1. Max Scherzer-he's gone, the Tigers aren't paying him 7/170..and the LAD, NYY, LAA along with 2 or 3 other teams will.
2. Rick Porcello-traded, Porcello will likely be dealt..maybe even during this season. He is in his 5th year and if he continues to gradually improve he will cost 6/96MM. You guys wanna pay that..I don't.
3.Miguel Cabrera-sign him. do you really have a choice 6/180 maybe more. Just remember you will be paying a DH 30MM for 3 or 4 years. David Ortiz makes 11MM for 2014..yeah..11MM
4.Victor Martinez- sign him for 2 or 3 years..
5.Austin Jackson-tough choice, but I say deal him, wanna pay Austin Jackson 5/75MM cause thats what he's gonna cost.
6. Torri Hunter-let him leave, he not that good, can't really play defense any more and he will be 40.
That a lot of great and important players and we are keeping 2 of them..so get ready for some changes..and lots of complaiinng. You also have two other factors weighing on these decisons, Mike Illitch's health and the new influx of local TV the Tigers will be reciving starting in 2018..their ratings in 2016 and 2017 should have a major impact on the value of that deal..which should pay them 100-130MM a year a raise from the current 40MM..(they do recieve other monies from FSD, we just don't know how much I eastimate that number to be 20-25MM). So there is a built in incentive to try and be very good.
The good news, you couldn't have a better guy making the decsions about how to navigate these waters, Dave Dombrowski has been through this before.
So lets enjoy this roster while we can, after 2014 they are blowing this team up..