This past off-season has been a wild and curious ride. It's easy to look back at it and scratch your head and say, "In Dombrowski We Trust" as many fans and pundits here are saying.
For me personally, everything about this off-season made sense until the last week. The Fielder trade was clearly about making this team faster and better in the field while also getting some long-term payroll flexibility. It was a smart move, even if Fielder has a rebound season in the Texas heat this year.
The Fister move was more of a head-scratcher but understandable as long as you were looking at the long-term assumption that the Tigers always planned on resigning Max which made Fister expendable, they clearly thought getting Ray was selling high on Fister. Fine, who am I to doubt the organization's internal scouting reports.
The Nathan move obviously made sense. Buying low on Joba also made sense.
Then we get to the last two weeks. Losing Iglesias hurt, trading for Romaine made sense. Trading for Gonzalez was puzzling but even if it was a reactionary silly trade, it didn't cost much.
Then came the Max Scherzer comments which from my point of view was the first truly bizarre, 'Metsian' move of the off-season. Dombrowski, usually a low-key, 'mum is the word' kind of guy made pretty sharp and revealing comments about the Scherzer negotiations. It seemed like Dave let his emotions get the better of him with those comments. I think it's pretty clear, signing Scherzer was always supposed to be the bow that Dombrowski put on the off-season, one that made the Fister trade make sense. When it didn't happen, Dombrowski got upset. A week that started with an annoyed Dombrowski, ended with a rich Cabby. Now plenty others have debated the Cabrera signing. People here seem happy with it, Most professional pundits think it ranges from a mild overpay to an insane franchise sinking move.
Personally I don't love the move but what really scares me about it is that it seems to be a reaction to the Scherzer mess. Which brings me to the title. My favorite team is the Tigers, my second favorite team is the Mets. I hate to say it, but this Tiger's team is starting to remind me of the Mets, circa 2008. They had a very successful run from 2000 until 2008, when injuries and a horrid bullpen derailed their chances. Then disastrous long-term contracts coupled with ownership problems turned the franchise into a doormat Towards the end of the Mets successful run, club management also made a bunch of reactionary moves that puzzled national pundits.
Bad bullpen, injury problems, unfavorable long-term contracts, uncertain ownership issues and reactionary moves by the GM. Any of this sounds familiar? I think everything rests on what happens with the ownership. The Mets were doomed as soon as the Wilpons connections to the Madoff scandal went public. For the Tigers, a lot hinges on who the owner is 3-4 years from now and if he/she is willing to spend as Mr.I has. I just pray we don't become the Mets...